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placeholder October 10, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Pray for life

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa, now to be known as St. Teresa of Kolkata. In 1994, then President Bill Clinton invited her to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast. Mother took the opportunity to identify abortion as "the greatest destroyer of peace today ... because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself."

She saw that here in the West, we suffer a poverty much greater than physical poverty — a spiritual one. At the prayer breakfast, she continued, "And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. … Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want."

Please join in prayer with the 40 Days for Life Campaign. Find the peaceful vigil nearest you at: https://40daysforlife.com/browse-campaigns/

Let us thank Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, for his support. View his letter here: http://bit.ly/2ddyOcP and click here for related stories.

And let us urge all our priests to join us in public prayer and to speak on the dignity and sanctity of each human life, especially during this campaign and the Month of Life, October!

David Zarri
Concord




Holocaust continues

Why you should pray at Planned Parenthood.

The Holocaust continues. Thousands of innocent, unborn babies die every day from abortion.

Planned Parenthood harvests and sells baby body parts (centerformedicalprogress.org).

All lives matter. Abortion is causing black genocide. Abortion ends more black lives than all other reasons combined.

Planned Parenthood wants to corrupt children too. In schools and programs, they promote promiscuity, perversion and cancer-causing birth control.

St. Teresa of Kolkata said that the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

Catholics still vote for pro-abortion politicians against Catholic teaching.

We will all be held to account before God for our silence and lack of action in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

As dispensers of God's mercy, we may save lives and souls.

Look at your children and remember the preciousness of life.

Honor Our Lady of Guadalupe and her unborn Son.

40 Days for Life started at Walnut Creek Planned Parenthood on Sept. 28.

St. John Paul II said, "Do not be afraid to go out in the streets and into public places ...This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is a time to preach it from the rooftops ...You must feel the urgency of the task. Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life."

For the sake of His sorrowful passion ... this is Calvary; like Jesus, the innocent and good are killed.

Marianne Pinto
Brentwood





Misunderstanding

Although I appreciate Richard Peterson (Forum, Sept. 19) being unsettled by the drift of the Catholic laity away from a belief in the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, he exhibits a misunderstanding of the cause of that drift when he attributes it to religious contact with non-Catholics, particularly Lutherans.

Peterson flatly asserts that the non-Catholics "do not believe in our God." That assertion is not only wrong historically, but it is also inconsistent with canon law, which allows non-Catholics in exceptional circumstances to receive the Sacraments and allows Catholics in exceptional circumstances to participate in Sacraments in other churches.

Ecumenical proclamations (such as the 2015 "Declaration On the Way" to full unity by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) as well as the common liturgical guidelines for ecumenical services (like those presented earlier this year by the Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) further belie the notion that Catholics and other Christian churches do not worship the same God.

Martin Luther did not give Catholics "Communion in the hand." Early Eucharistic celebrations were part of communal meals where people took communion by hand as a matter of course, and "communion by hand" is referred to by Church fathers in their writings more than a thousand years before Luther's birth.

Finally, Luther also did not contend that "the Eucharist was only a symbol, and not the Real Presence." His Small Catechism specifically states that the Sacrament of the Altar is "the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself."

Peterson is at liberty to refuse to "pray with these (non-Catholic) religious groups" if he fears personal religious contamination, but such shunting behavior fails to provide a witness of the Catholic faith to members of those groups. More importantly, though, such self-imposed insularity does nothing to stop the advance of secularism, the real cause of Catholics drifting away from their faith.

Carl Brodt
Berkeley





Bad Voice

You frequently print an editorial comment on letters that contain erroneous or misleading statements about our Church and faith. Why was there no such comment on the letter of Richard Peterson (Forum, Sept. 19)?

The letter was full of falsity about Christians of other communions and showed lamentable ignorance of the church's position on our relations with them. Peterson needs to be reminded that we are the church of the Second Vatican Council and that he should consult the Council document on ecumenism, "Unitatis redintegratio" ("Restoration of unity").

He needs also to look to the example of recent popes who have been eager to pray with Christians who share our faith: one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

Rev. Basil De Pinto
Piedmont





Real Christians

Again a letter has appeared (Forum, Sept. 19) that implies persons who have been baptized Christians are not to be joined in worship.

This goes counter to the decree on ecumenism of Vatican II. Among many other things it states clearly about all the baptized: "They have a right to be honored by the title of Christian, and are properly regarded as brothers in the Lord by the sons of the Catholic Church." (Chap. I) It had already said, "The Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers….", noting that the separation was caused by persons on both sides and no one now alive was responsible for the divisions. We must listen to our leaders when they tell us such things or we aren't really Catholics.

Frank Nieman
Pleasant Hill





Hold your nose

As Catholics, we have the serious duty to actively participate in our society, and to vote for legitimate authorities who will support Catholic teachings and values and advance the common good.

As Americans facing the upcoming presidential election, we have to choose between two very flawed candidates. Neither is an appealing candidate, given their very high "untrustworthiness" quotient. But, we must choose.

If we can't trust what the candidates say, a look at the party platforms gives a good indication as to where each candidate will take our country. Any party that destroys Catholic values is not one that should receive the support from any practicing Catholic.

Not too long ago, Catholics were reviled for being single-issue voters, based on the abortion issue alone. Those days are over!

There are now many government policy issues that are offensive to the Catholic faith, and which should motivate Catholics to vote for the candidate who most likely will advance the Catholic values and the common good. Catholics are free to disagree with each other on a wide number of policy issues, such as capital punishment, immigration, taxation, health care and many others, based upon a prudential judgment flowing from a properly formed conscience.

On other bedrock moral issues, such as abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, so-called same-sex marriage, homosexual behavior, human cloning, transgender legislation, and others which are all contrary to our Catholic teachings, Catholics are obliged to resist these moral evils and disorders. These aberrations to common sense and traditional values are all "values" currently being promoted by the Democratic Party.

Cardinal Raymond Burke recently said: "More than likely the judgment will be that neither candidate ideally answers these questions all in the way that we want. … The moral weight to voting is indeed very heavy. In other words, every vote counts" and "Catholics especially need to be very cautious and not simply opt out, or good pro-life people and good pro-family people, simply just throwing up their hands. I would just urge them to study the position of both candidates, to the fullest possible degree, to see whether or not one of them will not advance, at least to some degree, restoration of the civilization of life and love in our country."

Blind party allegiance or family history, or any such other inertia, is a sorry excuse on which to exercise this duty to vote. We must take our cues from the party platform as an indication of where the elected president is likely to go in conducting government affairs for the common good. We know what the Democratic platform says, and it is very adverse to Catholic beliefs and religious liberty.

Get out and vote, even if you have to hold your nose.

Bob Conlon
San Ramon





Catholic voting

Every voting season, the question of voting as a practicing Catholic comes up. Voting for a pro-choice candidate is an especially hot subject.

The Blessed Mother said at Medjugorge, "God hates abortion."

Archbishop John J. Myers in The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 17, 2004) had this to say: "Abortion and embryo-destructive research ... are intrinsic and grave evils; no Catholic may legitimately support them.

They are the gravest human rights abuses of our domestic politics, equal to the slavery of Lincoln's time .... Catholics are called by the Gospel of Life to protect the victims of these human rights abuses. They may not legitimately abandon the victims by supporting those who would further their victimization."

Barbara Meistrell
Alamo

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