I beg to disagree



Dear Bishop Tobin:

I want to thank you for staying involved with critical issues that involve our state as well as our faith. I enjoy your column, Without a Doubt. Many have been very inspiring and the latest one has invited me to comment on some challenges facing us.

I have a few disagreements, along with a few thoughts that I hope are reassuring. Raising two daughters in our Catholic faith is challenging these days. One point I try to emphasize with them is the importance to remain a family. We will not agree on everything but we are held together by love and teamwork. As an example, I never thought of leaving my family in my youth because my parents always gave me a curfew any more than I would separate from my Church because they do not allow priests to marry.

The statistic estimating only 25 percent of Catholics attend Mass regularly is disappointing yet will probably go up. Our faith has many alluring people and wonders that can make a difference. If you can get more priests to give sermons like Fr. Kenney and Fr. Brassard, the other 75 percent will show up! Our faith is so alive in places such as Medjugorje. More attention needs to be placed on the miracles awakening Catholics around the world. The Blessed Mother has revived my faith like nothing else.

Some of the Catholic schools have waiting lists so there is obviously a strong desire with many families in our state to mix religion with education. I only wish some of the schools did not cost more than some colleges.

The long-term financial stability will take care of itself if the Church keeps up their side of the bargain. Dealing with past scandals and preventing future ones will inspire people to flourish in our faith. Look at past donations during the height of the trials and settlements. Millions still donated because Jesus is alive in the hearts of many.

The illegal immigration issue is very complicated. Do I blame others for coming here to escape dire situations in their homeland? No, because in certain life and death situations I would probably do the same thing. When the illegals that have been draining free health care, school and social services are caught, my compassion is for the legals that are seeing a drastic reduction of benefits because our state is running out of money paying for those who are abusing the system.

The governor has to take a stand. We are on a financial brink of disaster. Should there be a thorough and humane process to remove illegal people? By all measures, I agree. As it stands, I do not think of myself as unchristian because I do not want my taxes raised anymore to pay for people who come in to this country illegally, use all the free services they can, pay no taxes and leave or live “underground.”

Do I sympathize with ICE officials for refusing to participate in raids? Yes, however, they can either be some form of “conscientious objector” or find other employment that sits with their conscience. Law enforcement officials have every right to check anyone’s ID after any infraction and are bound by common sense alone to initiate a deportation process after an illegal has committed any crime. There are too many people trying to enter the US legally and live their own American Dream lawfully.

Bishop Tobin, I can understand your position and admire your conviction. No one should ever condemn anyone for being compassionate. I hope you understand a law-abiding citizen’s right to try to make everyone live by the rules. Whatever solution we have to the immigration issue will certainly mean the US will have to say no to some people. We live in a country that gives more than their share because we can and are a compassionate society. I thank you for all your dedication to everyone, not just Catholics.

Bob Smith