Our mission is to Educate, Motivate and Activate the Catholic faithful of the Oakland, California diocese. Called to be supportive instruments of social communication as defined in Canon law 823, Para 1, we will review articles on social and moral trends reported in the official diocesan publication, "The Catholic Voice." Our goal is to provide local Catholics with a fuller perspective on issues affecting their temporal and spiritual lives, empowering them to act in defense of their faith.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Critical Look at the Catholic Voice - The
Newspaper for Diocese of Oakland, California

By  Diane Lily

This first presentation will provide an overview of specific articles found in several of the latest editions of the Voice. It is coverage of this nature that has brought us to the point of using the Internet to provide a more balanced and, hopefully in-depth analysis of information found in the Catholic Voice.

A diocesan newspaper basically has two functions.  One is to inform
parishioners about events taking place such as the Knights of Columbus
Crab Feed.  The second is to enable the bishop to teach  his flock,
either directly or through articles written by others.

It is this second function that is our focus.

Rather than teaching
his flock about the truths of our faith, such as authentic social
justice, he is allowing the paper to be used for the propagation of unauthentic [you could substitute heterodox for unauthentic, you call] positions.

For instance a letter to the editor in the January 9 edition of the
Voice challenging the Bishops support for opposition to the death
penalty was countered with a response from the Voice editor Monica
Clark. However, a letter to the editor in the January 23 edition
entitled “Abortion Exceptions” from a man declaring his strong pro-life
position and support for “Life Begins at Conception” legislation,
nevertheless defends the right to kill a preborn for the mother’s 
health exceptions as reasonable and compassionate.

What a perfect opportunity to inform all the Voice readers of the
falsity of that opinion.  But the editor is silent. Perhaps the editor
is assuming that some other reader will submit a letter countering this
argument. I hope someone does. But what a teaching opportunity from the
authority of the Bishop and it isn’t taken.

Bart Advertising

In the same January 9 edition page 3 carries an article written by
staff writer, Barbara Erickson, entitled “BART riders see pro-life
message.”  The article reports on a campaign funded by “Friends of
Respect Life Ministry” to place Ads on BART trains questioning “Have we
gone too far?”

The articles continues with the information that the Ad campaign was
designed by the USCCB and was first displayed on buses in the
Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area last January.

This is a wonderful program and is getting positive responses from
pregnant women. But, though the reporter presents it as a Diocesan
activity the diocese didn’t fund it. The head of the Respect Life
Ministry, Monika Rodman, had to beg parishioners for money.

If you think that that is okay, then think about this.  Go online to href=www.oakdiocese.org>Oakland Diocese and type in “affordable
housing” on their internal search engine.  There you see a massive,
diocese funded Social Justice
Committee agenda endorsing every government social program available.
Then type in Respect Life and see what comes up.

The newspaper is attempting to make it appear that the Diocese is
actively defending and promoting respect for life of the preborn. Why
are they doing that?  Because it’s January and the 33rd Anniversary of Roe
v Wade has arrived.

Recognition needs to be given to our new Bishop, Allen
Vigneron, for  supporting Ms. Rodman’s program and he was one of three
presiders at the San Francisco Cathedral for the Pro Life Mass on
January 21. We might suggest though that
next year he also takes the time to participate in the 2.5 mile Walk
For Life that followed the Mass.

Catholic Campaign For Human Development

Once a year the church conducts a fundraising program for the Catholic
Campaign for Human Development - CCHD - ostensibly to raise funds from
parishioners for  community service programs to help the poor and

Our diocese is no different.  The November 7 and 21, 2005, editions
carried articles about fourteen local (Alameda and Contra Costa County)
community organizations awarded a total of $210,000 in Campaign for
Human Development funds, they are:

Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Casa de Esperanza, Centro Legal de
la Raza, Community Recovery Services, Interfaith Coalition for
Immigrant Rights, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, United
Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County plus five units within PICO -
Pacific Institute for Community Organizing - which
received the majority of the funding.

In actuality not one cent went to
helping the poor. The money goes to middle class “advocacy” groups to
push political and social programs, some downright harmful to the poor
and antithetical to our faith.

More about these funded programs next month…

©2006 Diane Lily, all rights reserved.


Blogger hrh said...

Just found your blog off technorati. This is important work and thanks for doing it.

I agree that the voice does publish many unfortunate writings, especially in its letters to the editor. I too think that this presents a wonderful catechetical opportunity, and I wonder why they don't take it.

But, I think it's even worse that they will publish anything written by Julie McCarty.

10:36 AM


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