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placeholder November 20, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Forgotten outreach

Regarding the article "Church's urgent need to reach out to Hispanic Catholics" (Voice, Oct. 23): It's nice to reach out to a specific group such as the Hispanic community. However, we have lots of other nationalities that live in this country, and have for many centuries.

Many of them do not go to church anymore. And newer generations don't as well.

Some may bring their children to be baptized, but after that, they are lost until it's time to be buried. They seem to be the forgotten outreach program. Perhaps something can be done with this project?

Donna Ramos

Happy collaboration

I was so glad to read (Voice, Oct. 9) that the Oakland diocese together with the Archdiocese of San Francisco and others will be collaborating with Life Northern California Pregnancy Resource Collaborative Network, which includes Options United, a Pasadena nonprofit, pro-life digital advertising provider and call center.

I am all for helping the dear mothers of innocent, helpless unborn babies to choose to protect their unborn children. Congratulations to all those dioceses and to the San Francisco archdiocese for choosing to protect these mothers and their children. God bless you all.

Catherine Clark

Significant year

2017 has proven to be significant to the People of God. It is the 100th anniversary year of the apparition of Mary to the three children in Fatima. The miracle of the sun occurred Oct. 13, 1917.

Also, the total solar eclipse occurred Aug. 21, 2017. It occurred across the United States. During the three months since the eclipse, signs and wonders have occurred, particularly through nature. No major hurricanes hit the United States in more than 10 years before the eclipse. One month after the eclipse three major hurricanes landed in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. In Mexico there was a large earthquake.

On Oct. 1 in Las Vegas, a man-made mass shooting of people attending a country Western music concert occurred. In a possible cover-up, we are told it was all done by one elderly man. Even Marvel comic devotees would be surprised at this assertion.

Last month was The Fire. It was no ordinary fire that struck on Oct. 8. Near hurricane-force winds hit the wine country area of Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. It was so fearful that no firefighter could get close to the fire for nearly three days. It burned areas in downtown Santa Rosa never before seen. Remember that this area north of us is one of the centers of the New World Order, as in the Bohemian Grove. What a warning that was to all of us — a warning by fire.

Richard Trevors

No-party preference

R. Zanker of Concord asks (Forum, Nov. 6) whether we can imagine Jesus as a Republican. Can we imagine him in the Democratic Party, the party of slavery, perversion and abortion?

The sad reality is that neither of the major parties is very attractive to a thinking Christian; we must vote by candidate, not by party, and, fortunately, that is how elections in the U.S. are mostly arranged.

Zanker opines that Catholic judges should recuse themselves on matters of contraception and abortion. So then should secular inhumanists (including many who call themselves "Jews" or "Christians"), and then we would probably have no judges left to judge such cases.

Of course, the Catholic "doctrines" on these two matters are rooted in natural law, as U.S. law used to be, and ceased to be my judicial fiat: it is perfectly reasonable — and desirable — that new judicial fiat re-root the law thither.

I have not checked the statements that most Catholics do not think contraception wrong or abortion murder, but they may be true, in which case the former shows a failure in catechesis and the latter one in high-school biology teaching. I got married a few years after "Humanae Vitae" ("Of Human Life") came out; at the marriage preparation classes one participant stated that he did not understand the Church's teaching on contraception; I asked whether he had read Humanae Vitae, and apparently he had not. Have the Catholics polled read its successor document "Evangelium Vitae," ("The Gospel of Life")? How many of our catechists have read it?

John A. Wills

Bigotry is OK?

R. Zanker (Forum, Nov. 6) misrepresents Patricia Weisner's letter (Forum, Oct. 9).

Wiesner's thoughtful letter criticized the aggressively biased questioning aimed by Senate Democrats at federal judicial nominee Amy Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor and extremely qualified jurist. The Democrats challenged Barrett's ability to avoid any influence of "Catholic dogma" in conflicts with existing law, despite her assertion of voluntary recusal in such circumstances.

It's "a new 'litmus test' based on religious bigotry," noted Wiesner, implicating Obama and Democrats at large. Wiesner recommended reviewing the Democrats' party platform, which supports abortion on demand, "no-cost contraception," tax dollars for Planned Parenthood and "American assistance" for abortion "throughout the developing world."

Zanker apparently approves Democrats' appalling confirmation-hearing behavior, and citing Snopes.com (as if Snopes is a credible source?) for supposed confirmation of Obama's allegedly Christian outlook, and claiming that Democrat policies, a party made up of the ultra-rich, "favor the 'little guy."

Zanker also referenced Pew research showing "Catholic" indifference on contraception and abortion. The Catholic Church is not and has never been a vote-on-values institution, but the harbinger of truth regardless of the zeitgeist.

Our Catechism doesn't follow Pew polling. I won't argue here whether Obama is a Christian or not, although such a claim is dubious. While showing few if any outward signs of being a Christian, his lack of concern of infanticide as state senator, his repeated lies promoting Obamacare, abortion inducing drugs and the birth-control mandate all smack of anti-Christianity, no matter what Snopes' compromised activists' purport.

Fortunately, for all those opposed to religious bigotry, Barrett's Seventh Circuit Court nomination was confirmed on Oct. 31, 55-43. All 43 nays (2 abstentions) were Democrats.

Matt Lopez

Language frustration

Margaret Richards' plea (Forum, Nov. 6) was spot on. Priests who cannot pronounce English clearly create obvious frustration in their congregants. This has become an increasingly common complaint — to the degree that some leave their parish.

The reality is that missionaries struggled with this problem and we are increasingly a missionary church again. So patience is important.

However, there is a solution that is too often ignored. Any priest or seminarian coming to a diocese, when speech is an issue, should be immersed in an appropriate speech program until he can enunciate clearly.

To its credit, the diocese has been requiring seminarians and encouraging priests to learn sufficient Spanish. My puzzlement for years has been why this is not required for those with accents that are difficult to understand by the predominantly English-speaking congregations. I'm sure there are qualified instructors available on either a volunteer or paid basis. It's not too late.

Bob Norris

Too much politics

I note that politics have continued to invade the letters to the Forum. I welcome thoughtful discussions involving Catholic teaching and beliefs but resent those who offer nothing but regurgitated political propaganda with all of its claims and attacks but few if any facts.

It is disturbing to find that there are Catholics who consider themselves good Christians mouthing slogans and unproven accusations as they attack fellow Christians.

It reminds me of the mob following their unscrupulous leaders crying out "crucify Him." If only we could all learn to seek the full truth and think for ourselves.

Clifford Wiesner

Ecumenical spirit

My wife and I were pleased with the ecumenical spirit displayed in the programs and events surrounding the Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of the Reformation.

However, it saddened us that nowhere could we find mention of Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Catholic humanist and theologian who worked tirelessly to reconcile and heal the rift within the Church.

After all, he was attempting — in Luther's time — to do exactly what the Church is now trying to accomplish 500 years later. Would canonization be too much to suggest?

Barbara and James Wolpman
Walnut Creek

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