Letters 01.25.15

Populace Is Fed Up

In response to the Register’s Dec. 14 editorial on President Obama’s recent executive action regarding illegal immigrants (“Comprehensive Immigration Reform”):

The “firestorm” ignited by Obama’s order (or “memorandum,” as his staff referred to it) does not “reflect a pent-up frustration with Washington’s failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform.”

Rather, it reflects a populace that is fed up with the president’s unilateral, extra-constitutional actions.

In six years, this president has demonstrated an absolute disregard for constitutional law — to say nothing of his disdain for the natural law and norms of U.S. justice and liberty.

The Register approaches the action with a superficial and misguided perspective, citing all the political, material and pragmatic drivers for “comprehensive immigration reform.” The bigger issue at hand is that the laws of this country continue to be flouted by Obama and — in this case — the multitude of illegals in America, who “find it much easier to break our immigration laws than to follow them.”

Since when does the Church advocate that the ends justify the means?

The U.S. bishops’ collective response is shameful. How can Archbishop Jose Gomez be “happy” with a twofold transgression of duly enacted law?

His statement uses the inflated, emotional and unsubstantiated rhetoric more becoming of a self-serving politician than a shepherd of souls.

There are many, many more salvation-endangering issues that his flock has to contend with than immigration reform. The laundry list doesn’t need to be rehashed here, but observance of all the Ten Commandments is in a shambles.

The U.S. immigration system doesn’t need reforming; it needs enforcing and perhaps modernization, as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio suggested.

Archbishop Gomez calls us to have concern for our “brothers and sisters in faith” who live “in the shadows” of their illegal entry to the U.S. We also have Catholic brothers and sisters in faith in prisons all over the country.

Should prisons be emptied out of concern for their suffering? To imply that a Catholic who is against blanket amnesty is somehow not concerned for his brothers and sisters in faith is playing a false guilt card.

I wish Archbishop Gomez and his brother bishops would lay on such heavy guilt for true offenses against the faith!

Our God is a God of infinite mercy, but also of perfect justice. The Catholic Church reflects that duality in her sacraments, teaching and other disciplines: the need to make penance after receiving the grace of reconciliation; the need to be purified of the temporal effects of sin before entering heaven; the need to abstain from sex prior to marriage. All of these things involve some degree of pain, time or waiting and suffering. These same principles ought to carry through in the enforcement of just civil laws.

All this is why the president’s action ignited a firestorm. He once again decimates a God-fearing person’s sense of justice and fairness … and without real compassion, since it was done for purely political purposes.

Like Charlie Brown, after running to kick the football held by Lucy, Catholics and others who follow the rules are left lying flat on our backs.

         Jennifer Fakult

         Mentor on the Lake, Ohio


Complex Issue

Thanks for your balanced editorial (“Comprehensive Immigration Reform”) in the Dec. 14-27 issue of the Register.

The secular media make is sound like the bishops have given President Obama their full support in his blatant abuse of executive power. Your column demonstrates the complexity of the problem and underscores the fact that the bishops are calling for permanent, legislatively enacted reforms.

I would add that this unilateral action by our president is likely to encourage even more illegal immigration, just as the Dream Act motivated tens of thousands of desperate families to send their children on perilous, illegal border-crossings.

Securing the boarder needs to be the first step toward expanding legal immigration, so as to discourage illegal entry and encourage people to follow our laws from their first encounters with America.

On a separate note, I was disappointed in the tone of the cover-story article in the same issue, entitled “Ferguson’s Fallout.”

Since the article was written after the grand-jury decision had been announced, and facts surrounding the incident had been revealed, why would you begin the article portraying Michael Brown as “the unarmed 18-year-old African-American youth [who] was shot and killed last August by white police officer Darren Wilson,” while neglecting important information about the incident?

This is the same rhetoric that fired up the passions of so many who subsequently sacked and looted the town.

Wouldn’t it have been more accurate, with the benefit of the facts, as revealed, to describe the incident as one in which “a 300-pound young man, high on marijuana, after robbing a convenience store, was stopped for questioning. He then attacked the police officer and, upon trying to take away the officer’s service revolver, was shot in self-defense and died at the scene.”

Later, the same article cites a priest stating, “Police injustice against African-Americans is a major problem.” Yet, no specific examples are given, so the reader is left to assume that Brown was killed unjustly simple because he was black.

I get most of my news from EWTN News Nightly and the Register and choose to do so for your balanced reporting, but this article sounds like it came from the liberal left media.

         Joe San Filippo

         Fort Myers, Florida


Missed Opportunity

In reference to “Ferguson’s Fallout” (Dec. 14 issue):

Your story passed up an excellent chance to educate your readership about the events that took place in Ferguson by simply repeating what has appeared in the secular press: “an unarmed 18-year-old African-American youth ... killed by white police officer ...”

We can get that much from any rag, but you should and can do better. He had plenty of column space to spell out that this “black kid” (280 pounds) attacked the officer in his vehicle, tried to take his gun away and fractured his orbit bone in the process, then charged at the officer after being wounded several times and ordered to stop. And all of this was after he had robbed a convenience store of cigars, which are hollowed out and stuffed with marijuana for smoking.

         Tom Smith 

         Kingsville, Maryland



In “Pope Francis Praises Albania’s ‘Precious Gift,’” (Vatican, Oct. 5 issue) the Register incorrectly identified Father Ernesto Troshani as a diocesan priest. Father Troshani is Franciscan. The Register regrets the error.