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Catholic Church isn't a democracy -- thank God

Published: Thu, April 21, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

Catholic Church isn't a democracy -- thank God
Many American Catholics (and nonCatholics alike) have expressed on TV and newspapers during the passing of Pope John Paul II, that they think the church and/or the pope is too strict. They think the pope should bend to what people want, what they believe, and to the changing times. They think (or rather hope) that the new pope will bend to their will and allow contraceptives, priests to marry, to kill the unwanted, women to be priests, etc. They're using terms like conservative and liberal.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus' word to the apostles, to the popes and on to us is the same yesterday, today and forever. He even warned us that heaven and Earth could pass away, but, His words would never pass away.
Americans just don't get it. The Catholic Church is not a democracy like our beloved country's government.
Pope John Paul II (The Great) was loved and respected all over the world not in spite of, as so many commentators would have you believe, but because he never bent to the will of the people. He only bent to the will of God, then faced all the people with it as Jesus did. If they want to call the church strict, that's a good sign, not one that should cause change. Jesus, nor the pope, ever said it would be easy -- quite the contrary. They both taught us how to live it, and history has shown us it's not always easy doing the right thing, especially what's good for us.
The pope's youth movement understands this better than a lot of American adults and especially all the instigators arguing these issues in front of the mass media. Thank God.
The snow melts and out pops a burned-out eyesore
Recently the snow has melted and the signs of spring have come to life. I live at 2516 Market St. and unfortunately the property at 2536 Market has taken my eyes off of what little beauty of nature I have living in the city. The abandoned apartment building caught fire this past winter. The owner has failed to do what is required to secure the building.
In addition, this past summer the garbage company removed the dumpster and a pile of garbage has accumulated attracting rodents, stray dogs and cats. This property has not only attracted animals, many transients and drug addicts make it an ongoing stop over to take care of their needs. The police have raided this building many times but they keep returning.
I think it is high time the owner takes responsibility and cleans up this mess. It is our responsibility to make sure our community is a clean and safe place to live. Will the owner of 2536 Market St. please clean your plate?
Another view of a man often referred to as 'the convict'
I am writing you about William Umbel, or as you call him, "the convict." I first met Bill when I was 5 years old. I was walking down the produce dock on Pyatt Street where he had a produce business. Bill began looking out for me then. Not too long after that, my dad died and my mom got sick. Bill took me in, gave me a place to live, fed and clothed me, and often took me to church with his family.
When I was old enough to work, he gave me a job at the Pyatt Street Diner that he owned. He taught me that I needed to work in order to survive in this life. He often took me places with his sons who are just a few years younger than me. And he treated me like one of his own.
He has always been there for me. In fact, I don't know where I would be today if it hadn't been for Bill showing love and kindness to me. I now work for a good man I met through Bill at The Diner. I work 40-50 hours a week, I like my job, and I am a productive member of our community.
I would like to know how many people who are voicing their opinions against Bill would have taken a stranger off the street and consistently provided guidance for over 20 years.


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