Gender confusion

Re: "How to talk to your kids about gender issues" (In Focus, March 12-28).

Man and woman are created by God to honor and praise him. How does "transgender" fit into that equation? How can altering one's sex make one pleasing to God?

God knows each and every one of us by our name. By changing one's body and name, does that make it right in the eyes of God?

-- Craig Galik Duquesne, Pennsylvania

Immigration realities

Re: "Mother Frances Cabrini: An immigrant who shows us the way" (Faith, April 2-8).

Having attended Catholic schools in the Bronx, New York, in the late 1940s, and later Hastings and New Rochelle (St. Jerome’s, St. Clare’s and Iona), I remember the stories — and the love and respect for Mother Cabrini.

We were all descendants of immigrants, from Ireland, Italy, Germany and more — later from throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. Society worked to integrate people from Puerto Rico and African-Americans from the South.

Now we are locked in a dilemma. How do we continue to welcome new people while preserving the core values that have allowed us to be the most welcoming and the most generous nation in the history of the world?

It is too easy to castigate those of us who worry about open Southern borders and unrestricted immigration from the war-torn Middle East.

Some of our schools are simply unable to cope with the influx of young people who speak no English and disregard our customs and conventions.

Our family has sponsored immigrants, and we contribute to supportive charities. However, we find it too easy for many to imply that we need open doors to unrestricted immigration. The reality of a militant strain of Islam, the problems we see in Europe and the reality of terrorism must be dealt with — although I hear little about these from the pope and other Church leaders.

We seem to forget about the idea of formulating policies which would create safety and peace in other parts of the world, thereby allowing people to stay in their native homelands. We need “safe zones” overseas and we need a rational military policy that deals with the cause of dislocation. We need balance.

Thomas J. Fields Jr., Springfield, Virginia

Porn addiction

Re: "Pornography: a growing public health crisis"; (News Analysis, March 19-25).

The articles about porn addiction have been good in that they show how destructive this disease is. But each article stops before giving any solution. But there is a solution.

I am a Catholic priest, and I was addicted to sex from age 12 to 42. I was in despair for years because I could not find a priest who understood sex addiction or had any solution. Finally, I went to treatment for drug addiction and besides offering Alcoholics Anonymous I was introduced to Sexaholics Anonymous. I found hope at last. The program started in the 1980s.

At this time I have 25 years of sexual sobriety. I am happy and free. Please let your readers know where they can find hope.

— Name and location withheld

Re: "Priest hits the street fishing for souls" (Faith, March 19-25).

When I read of St. Joseph, Missouri, I recognized the birthplace of Pony Express and Walter Cronkite. Now, I can remember and pray for resident Father Lawrence Carney: visible contemplative-in-action Christ figure, fisherman of souls, bearer of Mary to the masses. And doesn’t he do as Pope Francis asks of his priests to “wear your shoes down” while exercising a reminder of Archbishop José Gomez that we are called to holiness — to heaven — and to bring as many people as possible along with us.

Continued courage to you, Father Carney.

Bretta Ribbing, Manchester, Missouri
Top-Viewed Articles
The most popular stories on this week included:
1. Charismatic renewal movement turns 50 (News Analysis, March 26-April 1)
3. Health care debate draws Catholic voices (News Analysis, April 2-8)
4. Mid-Lent joy (Faith, March 26-April 1)
8. Top 10 Catholic cities, USA (In Focus, June 2, 2013)
9. Learning from icons (Feature, March 26-April 1)
10. The Ten Commandments (In Focus, March 26-April 1)