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placeholder November 6, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Where is the help?

The USCCB is quick to weigh in on matters like birth control and abortion, but I don't recall hearing from it about the disastrous lack of competent and timely FEMA relief for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

One month after the hurricane hit, people are still dying because our government doesn't seem to care enough about the brown people on "an island in a really big ocean" who happen to be US citizens! Where is the outrage?

How can the bishops be so concerned that babies may or may not be conceived and/or born, but turn their backs on 3 million people who are already alive and desperately need assistance?

We should be ashamed. They are hungry, we're not feeding them. They are naked, we're not clothing them. They are homeless, we're not sheltering them. We are failing to "love one another as I have loved you."

Josephine Soublet

Perfect English

This note responds to the letter "Better understanding" (Forum, Oct. 9). The writer complained it is difficult for her to understand the English of foreign-born priests.

For the past nine years, our parish, St. Philip Neri-St. Albert the Great of Alameda, has been staffed by the Missionaries of Faith, an order based in India. These priests, who are so unpretentious that they use small letters, i.e., "mf," after their names, speak impeccable English.

We consider ourselves fortunate they chose the priesthood as their vocation and that they have been willing to serve in parishes so distant from their homeland. They do not need to learn English. They could, however, teach English.

John Zugnoni

Language frustration

Regarding the letter about not understanding our foreign-born priests (Forum, Oct. 9), yes, it feels ungrateful to complain, and yes, it's a huge problem that must be addressed.

Just because you can understand someone in a one-to-one conversation, doesn't mean you can understand him as part of the congregation at Mass.

This is particularly sad at funerals and weddings. It really detracts from these beautiful ceremonies.

I've asked other people what they do when they can't understand the priest, especially at the sermon, and the general consensus is you switch off just let your mind wander.

I can't do this, so continue to be totally frustrated. I feel like a stranger in my own church.

Some of my friends try different churches, even in different cities, to find a priest they can understand.

I don't profess to know what the solution to this problem is, but maybe there is a more equitable way to assign priests.

Margaret Richards

Jesus a Republican?

The writer of the Oct 9 letter "Anti-Catholic bigotry" is convinced that this has become rampant in the government, particularly among Democrats. As an example, she stated that two Democratic senators had reservations about an appointee to the federal bench because she (Amy Barrett) is Catholic.

The writer can rest easy. She is adding 2 and 2, and getting 5.

The senators are quite correct in asking Barrett if her Catholic faith would affect her decisions. Since official Catholic dogma is opposed to contraception/abortion rights allowed in current law, and since Barrett's duty is to judge whether specific practices are protected with current law, she certainly might have to recuse herself sometimes if she agrees with the official Catholic position, since she would clearly be biased. She's a judge, not a lawmaker.

The remainder of the writer's charges are wild, particularly about Barack Obama. He is indeed a Christian. The online resource, www.snopes.com (which checks facts) debunks these wild charges, and confirms Obama's education and background.

The Democratic Party's policies favor the "little guy," as opposed to the Republicans, who connive to make the rich richer, by taking from the poor. Think Democrats' protection of immigrants, climate change support, health care for everybody, as examples. And could you imagine Jesus as a Republican?

On contraception most Catholics don't think it's wrong. On abortion about half don't believe it's murder. Google "Pew Research" to check this out.

R. Zanker

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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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