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 June 5, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 11Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers

Is legal solution the best?

Jerry Hutchinson and Donald F. Anthrop (Forum, May 22) stress the point that people who disobey the law should not be subsequently rewarded for doing so. Surely this is logical, and therefore a wholly justified viewpoint. The 11 million illegal immigrants we send back to Mexico will have no one to blame but themselves.

And yet, the vast majority of illegal immigrants risked their lives to come here to work, to better themselves, eventually to become citizens of our country. They contributed to our economy because employers exploited them, which ultimately accrued to our benefit.

Of course, even though they were exploited, they were better off than they were in Mexico. So we might consider that sufficient “reward” for their efforts.
Although there’s good reason to opt for the legal solution, that solution eliminates the problem, but doesn’t solve it.

The illegal immigrants displayed the kind of guts that made this nation possible. If this country presently did not have other serious issues to contend with, we might well cheer them on and welcome them with open arms. But common sense demands that, despite their courage and their good intentions, we must send them back to Mexico, even though that kills their only hope of a better life.

The legal solution is reasonable and just. But there’s a false ring to it because something is missing. You might call it compassion.

Thomas F. Mader
Walnut Creek

Shock and awe

I was quite shocked to see the harsh criticism of the United States Catholic bishops on the topic of immigration. One letter (Forum, May 22) called the position of the bishops “outrageous and appalling” and expressed grave concern for the American way of life.

I believe the U.S. bishops are saying that our commitment is to Jesus and the Gospel, not to the “American way of life.”

If we want to speak about the American way of life, let’s extend our understanding of America to agree with Pope John Paul II who sees the “Church in America” stretching from Canada to Argentina.

I don’t know how many of the bishops have had the “Jesuit education” of the letter’s author, but somewhere along the way the bishops have connected with Matthew 25, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and Catholic social teaching.

Rather than criticize the U.S. bishops, I am in awe of them for their stand on immigration.

I praise them for calling us to relate the values of the Gospel (dignity of the human person, welcoming the stranger, equality, community, service, compassion, etc.) to the social situation in which we find ourselves.

Also, I am grateful that they are working with the Mexican bishops in looking at a more comprehensive response to immigration that deals with the causes and the solutions.

Chuck Siebenand
Richmond

Thank you, Father Osuna

I remember working with Father Don Osuna and John McDonnell on the diocesan music committee and participating in the weekly liturgies at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral. The choir and orchestra recorded the liturgy on a L.P. titled “Those Who See Light,” which I still have, now converted to a C.D.
Between the music and sermons by visiting priests and theologians, the weekly cathedral liturgy was truly an inspirational event, not to be missed, and this was specifically due to the talent of Father Osuna.

Thank you, Father Don, for those wonderful years and congratulations on your retirement (Voice, May 22).

John Probst
Quincy


Leaving the Church

After three generations of Catholicism in my family, my family and I are leaving the Church. Where once the focus of the Church was on matters of the Spirit, now it seems the Church is all about political control - rightwing political control. The same rightwing spirit that gave us Fascism and Nazism.

When I see massive demonstrations against the unstoppable greed and corruption of the rich and powerful against the poor and the powerless, when I see leaders in the Church take a stand for the homeless, the poor, the uninsured, the atrocities done in the name of “national security” instead of harboring ecclesiastical ambitions or feigning piety by choosing to either doing nothing or choosing easier (or politically expedient) targets to attack, I might regret what I am about to do.

But until that day comes, I must allow my conscience to dictate my actions. The Church I am about to join has valid sacraments so I will not miss that. What I will miss are the good friends who are choosing to remain.

Leo Akiona, Sr.
Castro Valley

A great contribution

Thank you for the recent feature story on St. Leander School on its 125th anniversary. We of this community are most grateful to the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael for their many years of dedicated service and ministry.
We honor these holy women by acknowledging their gifts to us.

Joan Conboy
San Leandro

Respectful dress

Please, devoted worshippers, do not wear shorts and T-shirts when we are in church. The church is God’s house, a house of worship that is at the center of our collective hearts. We should respect God, his church and the dignity of our community.

Throughout society, wherever an occasion deserves respect, men wear suits and ties and women wear modest and neat dress. What place is more deserving of respect than the house of God.

Long Nguyen
Oakland


The opinions expressed in letters to Reader's Forum are the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Voice or the Oakland Diocese.

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