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placeholder May 22, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Heartwarming insights

The April 3 edition of The Catholic Voice contained some heartwarming insights regarding our faith. The articles about Angelic Acosta (and family) and Deng were both inspiring, honest and wonderful. And finally, the photo and caption of Krystle Hatchett and her triplets was absolutely beautiful.

God is good!

Dan Tracy

No empathy

We were absolutely stunned by the lack of compassion and empathy in the letter by Earl W. Rupp (Forum, May 8).

He seems to have forgotten the Christian admonition to avoid the Seven Deadly Sins, including pride. Perhaps he should read Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" where momma advises: "When you starts measurin' someone, measure him right child, measure him right. Be sure you done took into account what hills and valleys he been through before he got to wherever he is."

Morris and Josephine Soublet

Start of life
This is a response to the letter, "Face Facts" (Forum, May 8) concerning the "start of life."

Although life obviously starts at the moment of conception, how do we know when this life becomes human life?

The fertilized egg needs nine months to develop completely, and about six months to develop a brain. How can an organism be human without a brain?

The Church has been wrong in the past. For example, Galileo was silenced about his belief that the earth revolved around the sun.

Neither the Bible, nor Jesus, nor the Apostles' Creed say anything about this issue. St. Thomas Aquinas, a doctor of the Church, believed the soul was created when the newborn took his first breath.

This current position greatly hinders stem-cell research, which holds the promise of unlocking many riddles of how our bodies work, and why they get sick and how we can cure many sicknesses.

R. Zanker

[Editor's note: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, its official teaching, speaks directly to these issues in sections 2270-2275. "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person, among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life." And, "Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being."]

Repair Obamacare

It is not a crime to be conceived in rape. It would make more sense to kill the rapist, but that is not appropriate either: One of the advantages of a state of developed government, such as we have in California, over a state of nature is precisely that we can show mercy to criminals and not impose the most severe penalties; in a state of nature it is right to kill even small-time thieves, but not in a developed state, where we can punish by fines and various deprivations of liberty even the most depraved murderer.

Indeed, the rapist should be kept alive so that he can be compelled to compensate the victim, inter alia by paying for the psychotherapy she needs. That is a matter of commutative justice. He should also be kept alive so that he can be compelled to pay child support, either to the mother (I know of cases where a mother has bonded very strongly to a child conceived in rape) or to foster or adoptive parents, either directly or via the state. That is a matter of distributive justice.

When there is a crisis pregnancy, we should take the crisis out of the pregnancy as far as we can, not the pregnancy out of the crisis (which, if the pregnancy ends in abortion, may well continue as post-abortion syndrome for 30 years or more).

As for Obamacare, which presently covers abortion, it is a gross violation of the right to life and the ultimate in child abuse. If we hold, with Suarez, Grotius and Locke, that the purpose of civil government is to secure such God-given rights as those to life, to liberty and to property, then our first condition of good governance is that government itself not violate those rights.

If the choice were between keeping Obamacare as it is and dissolving the federal government, we would have to choose the latter (that is not, of course, the choice); a fortiori, if the choice were between Obamacare as it is and the American Health Care Act, we would have to choose the latter (again, those are not the alternatives).

Obamacare should be repaired, at a minimum to exclude abortion coverage either direct or indirect; going further, it should somehow be altered so that those who with its advent lost coverage of certain life-prolonging drugs regain that coverage and so that the tax on "gold-plated," i.e. better-than-Obamacare, insurance schemes be removed.

The accusation that President Trump is motivated by hate would be more significant if we could not with greater probability say the same of his predecessor.

John A. Wills

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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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