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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Statement on Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life

March 10, 2006
Cardinal William H. Keeler
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro Life Activities

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick
Chairman, USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Domestic Policy

A recent public statement by 55 Catholic and Democratic members of the House of Representatives offers an opportunity to address several important points about the responsibilities of Catholics in public life.

We welcome this and other efforts that seek to examine how Catholic legislators bring together their faith and their policy choices. As the Catholic bishops of the United States said in our June 2004 statement, “Catholics in Political Life”:
We need to do more to persuade all people that human life is precious and human dignity must be defended. This requires more effective dialogue and engagement with all public officials, especially Catholic public officials. We welcome conversation initiated by political leaders themselves.

Therefore, we welcome the Representatives’ recognition that Catholics in public life must act seriously and responsibly on many important moral issues. Our faith has an integral unity that calls Catholics to defend human life and human dignity whenever they are threatened. A priority for the poor, the protection of family life, the pursuit of justice and the promotion of peace are fundamental priorities of the Catholic moral tradition which cannot be ignored or neglected. We encourage and will continue to work with those in both parties who seek to act on these essential principles in defense of the poor and vulnerable.

At the same time, we also need to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s constant teaching that abortion is a grave violation of the most fundamental human right – the right to life that is inherent in all human beings, and that grounds every other right we possess. Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation on the vocation and mission of the laity, Christifideles Laici, which the Representatives’ statement cites, declares:
The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God fínds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination…. The human being is entitled to such rights, in every phase of development, from conception until natural death; and in every condition, whether healthy or sick, whole or handicapped, rich or poor (# 38).
While it is always necessary to work to reduce the number of abortions by providing alternatives and help to vulnerable parents and children, Catholic teaching calls all Catholics to work actively to restrain, restrict and bring to an end the destruction of unborn human life.

As the Church carries out its central responsibility to teach clearly and help form consciences, and as Catholic legislators seek to act in accord with their own consciences, it is essential to remember that conscience must be consistent with fundamental moral principles. As members of the Church, all Catholics are obliged to shape our consciences in accord with the moral teaching of the Church.

As bishops, we too are bound by our own consciences to teach faithfully and to recommit ourselves to continued reflection and discussion on how Catholic faith and public service can work together to promote human life and dignity and advance the common good. Through dialogue, especially the irreplaceable dialogue between Catholic political leaders and their own bishops, we hope to promote a better understanding of how the Church’s teaching on human life and dignity challenges us all.

Editor’s Comments.

The March 6th edition of the Catholic Voice published a letter signed by 55 Catholic and Democrat Party members of Congress, dated FEbruary 28. This letter entitled Statement of Principles”notified the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that though they, the Congress members, acknowledged the “moral leadership” of the Catholic church, they did not want to ”see Catholic Faith defined solely by a ‘one-issue, very narrow right wing agenda.” They were referring to the issue of abortion.

This is, apparently, a follow up letter to a more strident one issued in May of 2004 in which 48 Catholic Democrats protested the Bishops threats to deny Communion to dissenting politicians.

This latest Statement of Principles letter, sounding more like a statement of politics as usual carried a release date of February 28, but, in reality it was circulated around Congress late last year and only released at this date. If it was truly a statement of principle then there would have been some Catholic Republican names on it as well. Certain Republican members of Congress who happen to be Catholic also support abortion or abortion funding with taxpayer dollars but they do not claim a special privilege from the church in doing so. This seems to be yet further evidence that the Democrat Party owes greater allegiance to Planned Parenthood and Population Control practice than they do even to their church. Perhaps the “religion” of eugenics is a greater calling for these people than their professed faith.

What is published above is the Bishops latest so-called response which we, the Oakland Diocese Watch editors, find to be completely worthless. Rather than carrying through with their 2004 threat to refuse communion, this letter indicates an even further retreat from
standing firm on the commandment Thou shalt not kill

Therefore, we welcome the Representatives’ recognition that Catholics in public life must act seriously and responsibly on many important moral issues.” What the Bishops don’t seem to recognize is that our faith has been publicly denigrated by these so-called Catholic Democrats.

Every California Democrat member of Congress who signed this letter has received a 100% approval rating from the political action arm of Planned Parenthood including at least one from within the Oakland Diocese, George Miller of Martinez. This man has traded for years every election time on his Catholic faith. It’s about time our Bishop called him in for a chat and just maybe it’s time that our Bishop carried through on the promise to refuse communion to those politicians who would bring shame and scandal to our faith.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Or, The Good Samaritan as Immigration Reform Lobbyist

by Diane Lily.

People are being encouraged to chose sides on the hot button issue of immigration. The issue rarely addresses facts. instead appeals are made to our emotions or our fears. Interfaith groups including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops challenge the faithful to accept all immigrants regardless of country of origin. They intimate that we are prejudiced if we set limits and penalties on those who according to the Bishops statement only want to live, work, raise a family, get education and health care in the freedom and security of the US since they, presumably, can’t get that in their own countries.

In October of 2005, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops joined 174 other politically activist Catholic, Jewish, Protestant and non profit groups in an interfaith statement entitled Strangers No longer calling for a massive overhaul of immigration laws and regulations. The objective is creation of a new “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” program which will “establish a safe and humane immigration system consistent with our values. Our diverse faith traditions teach us to welcome our brother and sisters with love and compassion.” It depicts the illegal immigrant as only desiring to “come out of the shadows” and be recognized as lawful permanent residents who after six years will have the opportunity to become “United States Citizens.”

the use of two words in this statement should alert us to the true nature of the goals of their version of reform - comprehensive and humane. Comprehensive in regard to legislation always indicates a massive new government program and funding including the whole array of social services and humane indicates a large and generous give away program with no questions asked based on some nebulous understanding of compassion.

The February 20, 2006, edition of the Catholic Voice published a thinly veiled obviously professionally done article carrying the byline of Mary Doyle, social justice resource specialist for the Diocese of Oakland, entitled immigration reform - a Catholic perspective.

Following an opening couple of paragraphs intended to rub your sympathies raw by comparing an illegal clinging to the outside of a train with the figure of the crucified Christ, the article quickly becomes a
flat out promotion for federal legislation, S.1033, sponsored by Arizona Senator John McCain,(R), and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, (D). The bill and the Interfaith statement were both issued around the same time so it’s hard to say which came first. The bill is closely patterned on the demands of the interfaith statement incorporating previously failed foreign Agriculture worker language creating a guest worker program (Title lll).

This legislation entitled Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, has an identical House bill, HR 2330, cosponsored by Cong. Nancy Pelosi,(D-San Francisco). It would create several new layers of commissions and advisory groups comprised of government appointees, representatives from the unions, community organizations, religious and educational groups creating public/private partnerships to advise the government on the care and feeding of these guest workers while delivering an expanded array of social services and work related training programs to those who have entered our country illegally,

The interfaith statement supporting Comprehensive Immigration Reform, published October 18, 2005, entitled “Strangers No More.” is co-signed by 175 different religious, social, health and service groups and individuals including some aggressive street activist types such as the Gamaliel National Clergy Caucus Leadership council closely allied with the PICO groups within our two counties of Alameda and Contra Costa. It calls for the following reforms to encourage “hard-working immigrants to “come out of the shadows.” presumably into which they were thrust by our harsh, inhumane immigration laws by:

1 Legalization of the undocumented regardless of country of origin.
2. Speeding up family reunification for entire families.
3. Creation of a temporary worker program with appropriate worker protections
4. Restoration of due process protections for immigrants.
5. Partnerships for Prosperity. Bilateral international programs and policies which impact the root causes of migration.

the article neglects to inform the reader that there are at least three other immigration bills in congress awaiting action, HR 4437, which already passed the House awaiting Senate action (vehemently opposed by the Catholic Conference) and another bill by Arlen Specter (R-Pa) that has no bill number or title as of yet but which also creates a very generous guest worker program.

The article also fails to inform the reader that there is a very strong and legitimate sentiment within our country of opposition to furthering the cause of illegal aliens numbers usa”

Cardinal Roger Mahoney has made headlines recently by stating publicly that he intends to defy any laws restricting aiding illegals already in this country and he encourages others to do the same. Section 1106 Volunteers at the end of the legislation states that:

    It is not a violation of clauses (ii), (iii), or (iv) of subparagraph (A) for a religious denomination described in section 101(a)(27)(C)(i) or an affiliated religious organization described in section 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(III), or their agents or officers, to encourage, invite, call, allow, or enable an alien, who is already present in the United States in violation of law to carry on the violation described in section 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(I), as a volunteer who is not compensated as an employee, notwithstanding the provision of room, board, travel, and other basic living expenses.

Apparently Cardinal Mahoney believes that he is above the law and Senators Kennedy and McCain are encouraging him in this regard. Why is it that in the eyes of so-called social do gooders it is okay to defy the law when it comes to expansion of governmental programs and funding and not good when it comes to limiting government involvement and funding such as in parental consent legislation or abortion funding?