Priests must set good example in Roman Missal transition

It is apparent in the letter written by Father R.G. Tamminga that he is very angry with the leaders of our Church who have chosen to improve the language of our liturgy, with the coming changes to the missal (“Translation is flawed,” Dec. 19). 

Apparently Father Tamminga would have us believe he has a greater level of knowledge and capability than the entire magisterium or the Holy Spirit himself. If we truly believe the Holy Spirit is still guiding and leading our Church, then it is our job to be obedient, to learn about and to embrace this coming change. 

After all, how can we expect our lay faithful to be obedient and to embrace this change when we have clergy standing up at the pulpit and showing clearly that they are not supportive of this change? I would suggest that Father Tamminga spend some time reading and researching these changes, take a deep breath and offer it up to the Holy Spirit. Embrace the change, roll with the punches and support what the magisterium has put into place for our new direction. Showing that you are angry and not supportive of our leadership is counterproductive, and is clearly a poor example for our lay faithful.  

— Deacon Todd Warren, Sartell, Minn.

Amnesty in disguise 

Those of us opposed to the DREAM Act are not, as is commonly believed, bigoted heartless people (“DREAM Act would align policy with legal culture,” Dec. 19). We are just more aware that in writing these kinds of laws the devil is in the details.  

For example, the law allowed for “students” to be up to the age of 35 years old; they would be eligible to petition to bring in their near and dear relatives; they are not required to achieve anything like a skill or degree, and colleges now cannot afford kids from middle-class families who need all kinds of special grants to afford college also. 

Does anyone ever con-sider the unintended consequences of these laws that impose costly mandates without knowing where the money will come from?

Even a two-tiered immigration bill that limited the extra benefits only to education would have been a more reasonable attempt. This is just another slightly veiled move toward amnesty. Please give us a more complete article so we have all the facts. 

— Phyllis Ross, Fountain Valley, Calif. 

Nightmare scenario 

So, with 10 percent of Americans unemployed, and many more underemployed, we should give amnesty to those adults who were brought here illegally as children ... so they can legally take jobs, draw unemployment and/or Social Security? Heck no! Amnesty is amnesty, and I say “NO!” 

How many more illegals will drag their children into the United States with the expectation that their kids will get this amnesty also?  

If the bishops had their way, all illegals would be given amnesty. These persons can go back to their homelands and petition the U.S. consulates for legal immigration status.  

— Daniel Barton, Fayetteville, N.C. 

Let priests marry 

I believe that Catholic priests should have the option to marry (Pastoral Answers, Nov. 28). A happily married clergyman would serve as a wonderful role model for his congregation. I think that a married priest would be much better qualified to offer premarital or marital counseling to his parishioners than an unmarried priest. After all, an unmarried priest does not have enough personal experience to draw upon when counseling couples. 

Who would want to be a passenger in an airplane with a pilot who has virtually no flight experience? No one, of course! So, would it make sense for anyone to go to an unmarried priest for marriage counseling? I think not. 

— JoAnn Fuir, Lewisburg, W.Va. 

Celibacy’s true meaning 

I wanted to respond to the recent column by Msgr. M. Francis Mannion regarding the celibate priesthood. We could all write arguments for and against, but the true meaning of celibacy is this: to remind us that we are destined for heaven. Our sex-obsessed culture needs this example to point us toward heaven, where there is no marriage, because marriage is a symbol! The column saddened me at first, but then I realized I have no reason to be sad. The future of our Church believes its teachings and traditions. Our young people want to know and follow the hard truths. Thus we are extremely hopeful. “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more” (Rom 5:20). 

— Theresa Jasko, Lansing, Mich. 

State role in marriage 

What I find missing in nearly all discussions of the “redefinition of marriage” is the inherent statism in those who assume that the state has the power to change the meaning of the word “marriage” (“Bishops aim to show why marriage matters,” Dec. 12). Some of those who observe that the state has authority over marriage (legal ages, terms of divorce and separation) draw the unwarranted conclusion that the civil order actually originates the “marriage contract.” 

Even the pagan Aristotle recognized early in his politics that the man-woman relationship was prior to the civil order. 

There is potential here for really large church-state conflict. Somehow the Church will survive bad political and legal theories; I’m not so sure about a constitutional republic, particularly one approaching total dominance over the citizenry. 

— George Struckhoff, Augusta, Mo.