A Publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland
Catholic Voice Online Edition
Front Page In this Issue Around the Diocese ForumNews in Brief Calendar Commentary
Mission Statement
Contact Us
Publication Dates
Back Issues

Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland

Movie Reviews

Mass Times

Catholic Voice
Letters from
our readers

Theology of
Christmas cards

Dark nights of faith wash us clean;
only then can the
angel help

A (liturgical)
new year's resolution

placeholder December 12, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 21   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
  Want to Write?

Contributions to Reader's Forum should be limited to 250 words. Letters must be signed and must include the writer's address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are subject to editing.

Mail your letter to:

The Catholic Voice
2121 Harrison St., Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94612

FAX: (510) 893-4734

Email letters to:


Election: A chance

After reading the Nov. 21 issue of The Voice I can only express my dismay over the issue's content with regard to the election results.

The students at Bishop O'Dowd came to school "feeling frustrated, confused and powerless." What do they teach students now? The election turned away the most anti-Catholic candidate for the presidency in generations — the whole Catholic community should be celebrating that we dodged a bullet, not be confused.

The comments of Archbishop Gomez said nothing to clarify what had happened. With Mr. Trump we have a chance to set many things right, with Mrs. Clinton we had no chance.

Robert Zimmerman
Walnut Creek

Voice one-sided

I find it very obvious, in reading The Voice throughout this election cycle, that The Voice staff is very one-sided. To wit, the post-election reporting quotes bishops who disagree with Donald Trump — in name, Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, yet it silences the voices of Archbishop Cordileone, Bishop Barber or Bishop Vasa of Santa Rosa. I am sure you can say that these latter three didn't say anything about the election of Donald Trump. I looked, and didn't find any comments by any of the three I mentioned. That in itself illustrates a point. We conservatives allow the democratic process of the United States to work. If someone is elected with whom we disagree, we dissent at the ballot box, or in a Senate vote, but we do not deny the legitimacy of the peoples' voice. And we allow government to govern

We don't destroy, we don't burn homes, businesses or vehicles, we suffer silently, as the government spends our money against our will. We still pay our taxes. We still fight for the changes we believe in, but we do it in a quiet way.

I can tell you that Donald Trump wasn't my first choice. Nor was he my second, third or fourth choice. I voted for another candidate in the Republican primary. But I proudly voted against a very pro-abortion candidate.

I suggest we allow President Trump to govern. It's OK to disagree with him. I heard a quote the other day: "The left hears Donald Trump, takes him literally, but not seriously. The right hears Donald Trump, takes him seriously, but not literally." Why not give him a chance to do what he said, to make America great again.

David Thayer

Clergy support?

The Seamless Garment is alive and well — the idea that all life issues are equal and that there is no hierarchy of values with the protection of the unborn at the top. Before the election we heard from a number of priests and bishops, if we heard from them at all, that the election was not about abortion. But it was — to many voters across the country!

Uncatechized voters didn't realize that a vote for Clinton and pro-abortion Kaine would have meant the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, resulting in full funding for abortion under Obamacare, the repeal of the Helms Amendment meaning expanded export of abortion and contraception to other nations, repeal of the Weldon Amendment, forcing pro-life physicians out of practice, increases in federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the world's largest abortion provider and seller of baby body parts, a ban on pro-life activities at abortion centers, suppressing pro-life pregnancy centers and the practice of religion, and the appointment of pro-abortion Supreme Court justices.

Many voters were misled into believing Hillary Clinton would be the next president and when that didn't materialize there was widespread emotion, such as was reported on the front page of the Nov. 21 Voice about the students at Bishop O'Dowd.
Grief led to anger and riots in some US cities. The Wikileaks revelations of corruption and collusion in the Clinton and Democrat Party were never spotlighted. Not that that would have made a difference to the Soros-paid-for protesters.
We didn't see these types of reactions when the most pro-abortion president in US history was elected. Now that we have a president who has made strong pro-life appointments in his cabinet, pro-lifers have some hope. At least, a lot of fear has been diminished. Let's hear some support from the clergy.

Jack Hockel
Walnut Creek

School fears and facts

In the Nov. 21 Catholic Voice, Michele Jurich writes regarding the questions of the Catholic elementary school pupils, "Their questions were sharp and showed they have been following the news with critical eyes."

To the contrary, they have been absorbing the mainstream media's Democrat advocacy hook, line and sinker. I don't know if it is families, friends or teachers who have been frightening our elementary school students about non-existent threats such as nuking protestors, but it seems their teachers are not succeeding in helping to quell their fears with facts.

Perhaps the saddest comment comes from a Catholic school eighth grader: "With the number of races in the U.S. [and this student mistakenly included Muslim as a race], how is he going to support everyone?"

Do they even say the Pledge of Allegiance in this school? "Liberty and justice for all" is our national goal and the stated goal of president Trump. But a Christian student should understand especially that "there is no Greek or Jew ..." (Romans 10:12; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11). One thing that makes America great is its commitment to equal justice under the law, whether it be for a librarian or a Secretary of State.

Catherine Norman

Who are vulnerable?

The Nov. 21 Catholic Voice showed Holy Names High School students allegedly "in a walk for peace Nov.10, an effort to spread a message of solidarity and peace in our divided country."

But instead, division was the evident objective. One student's sign celebrated "WOMEN POWER, LATINO POWER, BLACK POWER, MUSLIM POWER." Other signs, referring to Donald Trump, said "NOT MY PRESIDENT." Two students carried the Costa Rican flag.

Meanwhile, the HNHS Facebook page showed a large post-election gathering of students, most with fists raised defiantly. Other flags in the crowd represented Chile, El Salvador and Nicaragua — but not the United States.

At Bishop O'Dowd High School, where students were "feeling frustrated, confused and powerless" after the election, administrators created a "space for students to gather." Many "chose to leave class," needing "an expression of emotion."

No surprise there; O'Dowd's student newspaper reported in October that 91 percent of the school's faculty favored Hillary Clinton as president, versus 3.4 percent for Trump and 5.6 percent for others.

Two nearby articles, headlined as "The Prop 62 Debate," both supported that measure, intended to abolish California's death penalty. (It failed, 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent.)

The Catholic Voice piece was entitled "Catholics respond to election with calls to protect the vulnerable." But the most vulnerable, unmentioned in the article, are the innocent unborn. And in Hillary Clinton's view, opposite Donald Trump's, "the unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights" (April 3, Meet the Press).

Mrs. Clinton even re-asserted support for partial-birth abortions — though the Supreme Court affirmed a 2003 Congressional ban on the barbaric procedure in 2007— based in part on her false rationalization of allegedly saving mothers' lives (Oct. 19, final presidential debate).

Michael Arata

Planned Parenthood

A few facts about Planned Parenthood from its annual report.

During fiscal year 2014-2015, Planned Parenthood received nearly $554 million in taxpayer funding; that is more than $1.5 million per day in the form of government grants, contracts and Medicaid reimbursements. Taxpayer funding is up nearly 5 percent from the previous fiscal year ($528 million). Taxpayer funding accounts for 43 percent of Planned Parenthood's overall revenue.

Abortions made up 94 percent of Planned Parenthood's pregnancy services, while prenatal care and adoption referrals accounted for only 5 percent (17,419) and .06% (2,024) respectively.

Planned Parenthood committed 323,999 abortions, a 1 percent decrease over the previous year (327,653).

Over the three reported years (2012-2014), Planned Parenthood has committed nearly 1 million abortions (978,818).

For every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 160 abortions.

But thanks be to God, with a pro-life White House and Congress, in 2017 we will finally be in a position to strip Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, of our tax dollars. But we must make it absolutely clear to our Congressional leadership that defunding Planned Parenthood immediately is a non-negotiable issue.

Jim Crowley
Walnut Creek

JP2 high school

I am writing in regards Bob Norris' letter, (Forum, Oct. 24) regarding the Pope John Paul II High School in Livermore. I want to make a few things clear to people who do not live on this side of the hill.

There are three Catholic grammar schools that would feed into this high school, one in Dublin, one in Livermore and one in Tracy. There are also multiple private grammar schools that the parents were thrilled about the opportunity to have a Catholic High School within a half hour drive of their home. Not only were the private school parents and children excited about this opportunity, but also the public junior high parents as well. One of the largest parishes in the Oakland Diocese is in Pleasanton, and many of its parishioners wanted to send their children to a Catholic high school, but once again the Tri-Valley was pushed aside.

Parents are not satisfied with the public high schools, but most cannot make the commute to Oakland, Hayward or Concord on a daily basis. They have no choice. The commute to Oakland is between 40 and 90 minutes one way. I know this because our family, like many others, have chosen to make the sacrifice to drive our children to a Catholic high school.

There are many students in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon and even Tracy that commute to Bishop O'Dowd, Carondelet and De La Salle every school day. It is not easy, and when most children drive no more that 15 minutes to get to school these children get on Interstates 580 and 680 and sometimes drive more than two hours a day to get to and from school.

With after school activities they sometimes do not get home until after 11 p.m. Pope John Paul II High School would have taken these parents and students off the busy roads.

I want to remind everyone a survey was done at each of the Catholic Churches in the area that asked parents if they would send their children to a Catholic high school if one was built right off I-580 in Livermore (this is not a remote area). There were thousands of responses, "Yes!" Did you know that Carondelet, De La Salle and Bishop O'Dowd have more applicants than they have room to accept? These students are declined admittance and thus end up at the local public schools.

Donations were collected for this high school, donors stepped forward, plans are drawn and environmental studies were done on the land. But, the new cathedral effort put the Oakland diocese in debt, so we waited and waited and still are waiting.

Even though my children will not benefit from Pope John Paul II High School, I believe in a Catholic education, and for our children to learn to be life long learners enriched in our faith. I believe that each student that wants a Catholic education should be able to get one. I feel that Pope John Paul II High School is over due.

Jamie Kepp

Vote guidelines

In Rev. Gerald Coleman's column (Forum, Nov. 21), he states three extremely important guidelines when casting one's ballot.

The second one says, in part: "...When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons."

Now I'm no Philadelphia attorney. I'm not even an attorney.

But the phrases, "remote material cooperation" and "presence of proportionate reasons" are big enough to drive a truck through.

If I go to confession and use those phrases, will the priest know what I'm talking about?

My understanding is that a bishop is responsible for teaching, governing and sanctifying the faithful of his diocese. Please, can the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provide more clarity in dealing with an act that is "intrinsically evil."

Let me add one afterthought. Perhaps Father Coleman could have chosen three less strident and inflammatory examples at the beginning of his article.

Kevin Coughlan

New at St. Michael's

St. Michael Church in Livermore has eight new, huge beautiful chandeliers. A new, powerful sound system is installed. With these new innovations it is making it difficult to sleep during Mass.

Mary McMahon

back to topup arrow


Letters to the editor provide a forum for readers to engage in an open exchange of opinions and concerns in a climate of respect and civil discourse. The opinions expressed are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the Catholic Voice or the Diocese of Oakland. While a full spectrum of opinions will sometimes include those which dissent from Church teaching or contradict the natural moral law, it is hoped that this forum will help our readers to understand better others’ thinking on critical issues facing the Church at this time.

Copyright © 2016 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.