Immigrants must respect the laws of the land

Re “Catholics can lead way in immigration debate” (News Analysis, Aug. 28). 

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles has forgotten one main point in Christ’s teachings. I believe Christ said, “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” That to me indicates that laws should be obeyed. Laws of Caesar are what governments use to regulate the countries under their jurisdiction.  

I am a legal immigrant. I have no problem with those that enter legally and remain legal. I do, though, have a problem with all the illegal immigrants that come through our borders, whether they enter for work or other reasons. 

I believe all illegal aliens should repatriate at their own expense, the sooner the better. Then, and only then, can U.S. companies request temporary workers on a quota basis. The U.S. companies would be responsible for the workers as long as they remain employed. At the end of the employment they would be returned to their native land. 

I do have empathy and I do share what I earn with many charitable organizations. I just don’t feel that the type of empathy for which Archbishop Gomez is trying to make a case, is a valid one. 

— Fernando Calvarese, Swansea, Ill. 

No amnesty 

Re “Catholics can lead way in immigration debate.”

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez says immigration is not a problem but an opportunity. Is that so? 

As Catholics, we should expect that all people, whether immigrants or not, will obey the laws of this nation. If we as citizens cannot rely on our own government to enforce laws that have been enacted to protect us, then we will lose our freedom to choose the path of the future.  

We cannot continue to accept these immigrants who break into our country, as there is no more money in the budget. It is immoral for someone to expect others to pay their way. I do feel compassion for these folks; however, they need to stop complaining to us. They should go back to their mother country to complain. We have too many people living in this country as is. Immigration reform is just a “code word” for amnesty and for U.S. taxpayers to pay the bill.  

James B. Black,Valley, Wash.

Practical attire 

Re “Church dress codes call for more modesty at the Mass” (News Analysis, Aug. 21). 

The Mexican archbishop said that sandals were inappropriate for men. I agree. This past Sunday, as on most Sundays, I removed my sandals as I entered Our Lady’s Basilica. The Bible states: “Take the shoes from your feet for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 

One priest said that it was not too much to ask men to wear long pants to church. However, for many days now the temperatures have been in the three-digit range. I do not have a car. I either walk or ride a bicycle. This afternoon I plan to go to weekday Mass. I will be wearing the knee-length shorts I will have on all day. If I put a pair of long pants in my backpack I would have trouble carrying the other stuff I need. Also, there would be no place to change at church.  

— Francis Day,via email

Subsidiarity applies 

Although I agree with Msgr. Owen F. Campion on the Catholic position on social policies for persons in need (“The morality of taxes,” Aug. 28), I believe he left out what I consider one of the foundations for Catholic social theology: subsidiarity. 

Subsidiarity is that principle by which we respect the inherent dignity and freedom of the individual at the lowest local levels, thus enabling individuals to have the most possible discretion in affairs of their lives. The writings of recent popes have warned that the neglect of subsidiarity can lead to an excessive centralizing of human services, which in turn leads to excessive costs, loss of personal responsibility and quality of care. 

I pray that our leaders, especially our bishops, priests and politicians, will open their hearts and minds to the Lord and thereby guide us along his way by incorporating the principles of subsidiarity defined by our popes into our church and government policies and actions. 

John Gishpert, Denver, Colo.

Relying on God 

As I was out searching for material to do an intergenerational event on the changes in the Mass, I came across “Witnessing the truth of ‘source and summit’ on vacation” (Openers, Aug. 28). I’m one of those who tried for years to attend daily Mass. It was an exercise in failure until one day, I simply “let go and let God.” He’s gotten me out of bed and in the church pew an hour ahead of time. It’s been great. Sometimes we have to admit we cannot do it. Our Father in heaven will open the door for us. We just have to ask. 

Eileen Wehner, via email

Contraceptive message 

Often in OSV there are pictures of families. Often these pictures show dad, mom and two children. As Catholics, we don’t believe in artificial birth control. Therefore, Catholic families should be having more than two children. Are you giving a different message? In the July 24 issue there is an ad for an OSV-published book, “Raising Good Kids.” Shown are dad and mom, a son, and a daughter. Perhaps you should be more aware of the message you are giving. 

Ralph and Jeanne Morris, via email