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placeholder September 18, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Wither Vatican II?

After reading the lead article in the last issue of the Catholic Voice, I have one question: Whatever happened to Vatican II?"

The plan for liturgy in the Oakland diocese is a return to pre-Vatican II.

I can only hope that it isn't! As an 89-year-old woman who has been actively engaged in both parish and diocesan service since the age of 16 — when I directed my first church choir with Latin hymns and Gregorian chant — I have experienced it all.

I embraced the changes of Vatican II eagerly — Mass in the vernacular and greater participation by the laity {the congregation) both in the pews and on the altar.

To go back to pre-Vatican liturgy sends us back to a time when only priests and, perhaps, a deacon (male) were allowed on the altar and, when lay participation was limited to responding to Latin prayers led by the priest or deacon and, perhaps, singing Ite Missa Est (Go, the Mass is ended).

These thoughts stem from my participation in and commitment to my parish and my diocese. Some of it can be accessed in the archives of The Catholic Voice. The rest you will have to take my word and memory for.

Norma Gray

Government 'deplorable'

The actions of our government with respect to immigrants has been deplorable. Steve Bannon, a Catholic, the former adviser to our president recently said the Catholic Church's opinion is just that of another guy.

I beg to differ. Our creator gave us two primary laws, Love of our God and Love of our neighbor. Our God is not just some other guy. God's laws overrule any law established by man.

The principle of welcoming the stranger has been demonstrated from biblical times to the present. Remember Abraham's encounter and the start of our Thanksgiving tradition.

Our constitution preamble and the traditions of the founders of this country have been that of welcoming immigrants. We are a country of immigrants. A look at the genetic heritage of any of us will find that we each come from ancestry of many nations.

We are not the original occupants of this land. Until now this country has never punished children for the crimes of their parents. Now with the DACA decision we do that as well. We can pass laws to control immigration but they must be consistent with our Creator's primary laws and our heritage.

Wayne Mortensen
San Ramon

Trump a mistake

Most in this country, including Republicans, must now realize that electing Donald Trump as president was a colossal mistake. Given his confrontational temperament, love for proclaiming falsehoods, his military's power to obliterate any country, his rejection of the Paris climate accords, his disregard for accepted diplomatic procedures and protocols (which have avoided many wars), he is surely now the most dangerous person on this planet.

And during his electioneering in 2016, he gave plenty of hints of how he would "govern."

So I find it astounding, puzzling and upsetting about 55 percent of white Catholics voted for him. Why? His scapegoating of immigrants? Opposition to abortion? Loud criticism of Obamacare? Distrust of a woman president? All of the above? Some of the above?

I lay much of the blame on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for not encouraging Catholics to weigh the moral aspects of all the relevant issues, rather than being single-issue voters.

Consider just climate change. Trump stated plainly his belief that it was a "hoax;" Hillary Clinton never did. Would his opposition to abortion outweigh the catastrophic effects of abandoning the Paris climate-change accords? Did the USCCB forget the pope's teaching on the morality of this issue?

In my local church, I never heard of or read any guidance from the USCCB. It needn't have worried about being political; for it didn't have to mention any of the candidates' names. The USCCB members should hang their heads in shame for how Catholics voted.

R. Zanker

A better way

As a Catholic educator for 40 years, it was with great sadness that I read the article about the Ripple School taking over the St. Jarlath facilities. No matter how it is spinned, no mention of God will be permitted there from 9-4 if Oakland public schools take over. Catholic doctrine interwoven in the fabric of all subject areas will be absent.

It would be lovely to have $9,000-$10,000 per pupil to spend, but Catholic schools have always produced superior results with less, especially in inner-city schools. The elephant in the room is how much will the parish be reimbursed by the public school district to rent the building. Financing Catholic education is difficult, but so worth it. There has to be a better way.

Marilyn Domin
Castro Valley

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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.

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