Skip to comments.Open Letter to US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Posted on 05/17/2007 8:02:13 PM PDT by pgyanke
To Whom it Concerns,
Note: We are devout Roman Catholic laypeople who are sorely disappointed at our Church representatives in America...
You left off a word in your title for your million prayers... that word is "illegal".
The United States is a nation of immigrants. Everyone acknowledges that. However, for some reason, you and many who share your views seek to make those who flout our just laws citizens of a country they had no legal claim to enter. We have a door in this country through which visitors and would-be family members are welcome. Jesus talked about using doors in John 10:1 when He said, "Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber." -- from Douay-Rheims Bible.
Your implacable defense of lawlessness is unconscionable. I was raised by my clergy to respect the just laws of this land. Can anyone possibly say that legal immigration laws and processes are unjust laws? Of course not!
You do the Church a great disservice in this country and hemisphere. Why should anyone respect you? Why should an American patriot join and defend a church which is actively participating in the reordering of our society? I know many Protestants who express admiration for our theology but abhorrence for some of our social stances--this one being primary.
I try not to simply gripe but to also offer a solution... What should you do? I would think you would consider the condition of the country of Mexico in your deliberations. The largest contribution to the Mexican economy is remunerations sent back from illegals in this country. These illegals, by the way, in large numbers congregate separately, speak their native tongue and actively seek unification with the corrupt country they left behind. My own Church holds separate Sacraments for Mexicans in their native tongue rather than seeking to help them assimilate. Surely you know that any country which does not generate new citizens is doomed. How so for a country which allows an invasion of those who have no desire to live as one with the native population? The Church should be sheltering those who need shelter, teaching those who are ignorant, feeding those who are hungry and encouraging those who are able to return to their own lands.
Why do you do this? Do you think you are filling your pews, enriching your coffers? So what if you are... what becomes of the Church in Mexico while your diocese prospers? What about the American devout that you are driving away by your anti-American behavior? To whom do they go? Why can Catholic politicians choose among you to find those who will publicly provide the Sacraments to bolster their Christian credentials?
By what right do you flout the laws of this country? I know, the Congress and President today agreed on a comprehensive immigration package so it will likely become the law of the land. They do not do so with the blessing of a majority of the people who were meant to be the masters of their own government. You are encouraging this lawlessness among the political bodies as well.
I pray to our Lord fervently that you will repent of this evil--yes, evil--that you are doing to this country and return to the teachings of our Church which never encouraged such behavior. May God bless you and lead you in the paths of truth and communion with the Holy See.
Ping... for your review and comment.
I agree with you. If the immigration laws of this country were draconian and/or unreasonable, then I would have much more sympathy with the position that some of these bishops have taken.
I will say, however, that not all priests share the so-called “Social Justice” view on immigration. What bothers me is when certain church officials actually endorse the violation of just/reasonable laws regarding immigration. There is a short-sightedness here; and they do not seem to be aware of the fact that they are encouraging truly criminal behavior.
Great email. Thanks for posting.
Just to let you know, I sent of copy of your letter to the USCCB and signed my name to it as well. Thanks for posting.
I’m flattered and humbled. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
To everyone else who may post tonight: I’m going to bed. I’ll reply tomorrow. Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your e mail. You speak for a lot of us.
Calling an illegal alien an immigrant is like calling a shoplifter a customer.
“Calling an illegal alien an immigrant is like calling a shoplifter a customer.”
ANytime you see the words Social Justice, you know it’s lib speak for some horrendous liberal social program. In the most recent Bishop’s appeal for $$, I told them no dice. Not until they pull their heads out of their butts and respect America’s laws. I give to my Parish and to selected charities only.
31 And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. 32 And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. 34 Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:
36 Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. 37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? 39 Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? 40 And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.
41 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. 44 Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? 45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.
46 And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.
In the end, how they got here is of lesser gravity than what you and I decide to do to these people. Are we going to cry out for justice or mercy? Because, frankly, your sins and mine were enough to crucify the Lord, and we'll be begging for the mercy that neither you nor I deserve when the time comes for us to make account of our lives. The good news is, Jesus will show us that mercy. Bad news is, if we don't demonstrate it to His other children (and that especially includes the poor), we're totally screwed. I have no doubt in my mind that if Jesus (whose own family fled to a foreign country when He was a baby), were here in the flesh, He would call for mercy. And in fact, He is here and speaking through the bishops, who are only echoing what the Church has taught about loving thy neighbor for the past 2000 years. Shattering families and punishing innocent children is not part of our creed.
I pray to our Lord fervently that you will repent of this evil--yes, evil--that you are doing to this country and return to the teachings of our Church which never encouraged such behavior.
I understand this is very emotional, but if Jesus' teachings are any indication, the greater moral expectations lie on us, as Catholics, to demonstrate His mercy.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest. 29 And his fellow servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
31 Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: 33 Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? 34 And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. 35 So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.
I think you both have some good points. On the one hand, it is our duty as Christians to minister to those in need, including lawbreakers.
On the other hand, it is not doing good to our neighbor to encourage him to continue to do wrong.
I’m surprised that our Bishops don’t see that they are supporting the exploitation of Mexicans in the United States, particularly women and children. People as anti-business as many of the Bishops are (no further discussion on that) are nonetheless favoring the provision of peon labor to big business, at the expense of both American workers and American taxpayers. This makes no sense.
We are to love and minister to one another as if we were ministering to ourselves (from the Bible and the Catechism). That is why I say that the Church should shelter them, feed them, educate them and then encourage them to go back to strengthen their own country and the Church in Mexico.
What I didn't write (because it was late and I was angry) was that Mexico's immigration laws and enforcement are far harsher than ours--yet nary a peep from the Church. Are we to have the only borders in the world not worthy of defense?
Living within 20 miles of the border between the US and Mexico can make a significant difference in how a person will look at this whole situation.
It can be seen from many perspectives and show some real-time valid concerns for all involved.
I extend the invitation to you to come to where I live and we can talk about it some more.
Perhaps it’s the fact that you’re angry that makes the letter seem more hostile than the words truly are.
Wow, this one should hit home (if they really care about scripture).
If they got here illegally, send them home. Simple as that.
In no way am I suggesting that these people are not guilty of transgressing our law. By no means. They have certainly broken the law by circumventing the naturalization process. I'm saying that, by turning around and displacing twelve million people - many with children who are natural citizens of this country - we are breaking a much higher law that commands us to be compassionate to the poor, merciful to the stranger in our midst, and mindful that every person is imbued with the kind of dignity that can only come from God, and thus, should never be taken away.
If anyone on this site thinks I haven't agonized over my outrage at the blatant skirting of our laws versus the command of Christ to love others as the Father has loved me, they would be greatly mistaken. I don't believe in liberation theology. I don't believe this can be categorized as a question of liberation theology. This is about millions of innocent children who either stand to be separated from their families, or illegally compelled to accept deportation. This is about human decency. We live in, BY FAR (excuse the caps), the most blessed and smiled upon nation in the history of the world. God has blessed us with an abundance that is unprecedented. Are we really going to say "f' you" to all of these people now that we've absorbed them into our society? Are we really going to say to God, be merciful to us while we're deporting innocent children back to that squalorus, corrupt nation?
We shouldn't be worried about what will befall our great nation by letting these people stay. If God is truly Lord of the universe, we will be blessed a hundredfold for our compassion. Anyone who thinks otherswise doesn't understand God's mercy.
As for the borders, I'm not against using whatever measures are necessary to keep people from coming in. Walls, soldiers, whatever it takes. That's our right.
I’m not against doing whatever it takes to secure the borders and protect our citizens that have been burdened with this massive migration. That can and should be the priority. My concern is for respecting the human dignity of those who are, for better or for worse, already here. If we violate that, regardless of how they got here, we will be called to account as individuals and as a nation.
I can’t do much better than the words that came directly from Jesus. Whether we like it or not, there is a hierarchy of sin, and the Church, from the very beginning, has given special concern to the poor. Heck, one of the sins that cries out to heaven for vengeance is exploitation of the poor.
If someone invades my home by punching through my living room window, and in the process slices through an artery, I can’t just stand there and watch him bleed to death because he violated my property.
If a pregnant illegal alien enters an emergency room to give birth, should she be turned away? First reaction might be “yes, they’re not entitled to healthcare”. But then, our higher calling is to defend life. What do we do?
I know this is going to sound trite, but in the end, do we want to be the people in Pilate’s praetorium crying out, “we have no king but Caesar”?
However, regardless of the original intent of the amendment, it doesn't say "within", it says "subject to". This was to preclude the children of foreign diplomats, enemy forces, American Indians and those simply on holiday from gaining automatic citizenship of our country by happenstance of their location at birth.
This deliberate "misunderstanding" has given us the perversion we see now of pregnant illegals coming here close to their due date for the purpose of gaining their anchors. Now you, and others of the same reasoning, say they can't be deported because that would be tearing a family apart due to their dissimilar citizenship.
We are commanded to do unto others as we would have done unto us. Well...
1) I wouldn't illegally enter another country
2) I wouldn't break other laws of that country
3) I wouldn't break my own family apart regardless of our location and its desirability.
We do these families no great service in perpetuating the myth that they belong here simply by squatters' rights. The Church does them no favor in encouraging this. No, obviously, the favor done is when our government grants the next amnesty... they win. Doesn't make it moral, though.
But wait...there is more. It isn’t just the “anchor babies”—and the fact that taxpayers in a given state are liable by federal mandate to carry the burden of the medical care involved, nearly breaking the system. (all of which you have indicated happens by plan and not by chance).
There are other important things to consider. There are the “safe houses”-—houses used for the purpose of legitimate address, so that children actually living across the border can use that address to come daily across the border to get an eduation here at taxpayer expense. Or the houses are used as “legitimate” addresses for multiple residents who are here illegally.
There is the criminal element to consider as well. Not all illegal immigrants are law-abiding, truthful, trustworthy people. There are those who are also capable of plundering the neighborhoods or properties that are in close proximity of the border—especially the more rural or ranch-type areas. Cars are stolen and taken across the border to be “parted out” and sold. What once was considered an area of quiet beauty is now vulnerable to theft and misuse, with little or no protection or aid from any government source. Licenses are removed from one car and attached to another that is stolen so that it is very difficult to trace the theft of either.
At an even more sinister level, there are the 30+ tunnels that have been dug as underground conduits from Mexico to the US. These tunnels have been found to have steel-reinforced walls, capacity for air ciculation, -—and incredible amounts of stored drugs, ready for sale and dsitribution in the US. The drug trafficking and the crime connected with it is sobering and dangerous.
This is only a partial list of problems, and these considerations can’t be classified with those who come here to work in the fields, send money back—at an incredible 2 billion a year—to Mexico, never cause any trouble, never commit any crime, never seek to gain the privileges of free medical care, never steal or never drive drunk and illegally and so on.
The problem is very complex. Sanctuaries and safe houses and underground tunnels need to looked at for the realities that they are.
A guest-worker program—or by whatever name one can call it—is not the same as porous borders with no oversight.
My family recently helped an immigrant family that had come here legally, sponsored and then supported for 4 months rent and a meagre 4-month food allowance, after which they were on their own re; finding employment and self-support.
They were from Sudan, escapees from Muslim persecution of Christians there. They were processed through refugee camps and allowed into the US under sponsorship. We were able to help them for some time after their 4-month probation period was over. They did not come here illegally, they had to prove themselves in order to eventually get their green cards, and they now look to full US citizenship. They were required to do it the right way and in doing so, they learned to love this country and they are incredibly happy to have earned their citizenship.
These are differnces that can’t be swept under the rug.
As an individual family, (and in other cases, parishes), we have listened to the call for Christian charity and responsibility, but also recognize the difference between that and being without recourse in cases of unlawful and all-to-frequently criminal entry.
1) I wouldn't illegally enter another country
2) I wouldn't break other laws of that country
3) I wouldn't break my own family apart regardless of our location and its desirability.
That's fine. But you're looking at it from the wrong angle. Would you want to have your family and home upended and shipped off to a country you escaped from? Would you want to be separated from your naturalized chidren in the process? Would you want them to return with you to that squalor? If you answer is, "no, I would want to be shown mercy for my family", then you know what to do unto others.
Look, Jesus came unto the Israelites and said, "these Romans that are oppressing you and have invaded your land, you need to love them first. Even if they're your mortal enemies." And the Israelites said, "No, we need to make war on them and drive them out." And then Jesus says, "well, I wanted to protect you like a mother hen protects its chicks, but you have other ideas. Don't say I didn't warn you of the fruit of this animosity."
It's a hard saying, who can accept it? I don't think anyone of us is bold enough to say we would not have joined in with the other Israelis and said to Jesus - "what, LOVE the Romans? Give more to someone who's already taking from me? Yer out of your mind!" The cross was and still is the ultimate scandal to the world. It's the ultimate contradiction of human wisdom that God, by choice, took on the entire burden of sins that weren't His, suffered miserably, and died for our pitiable souls.
If we can't love these people in spite of our natural inclination to punish their transgressions, then we've missed the entire point of the Incarnation and the Gospel message He proclaimed.
ESCAPED FROM WHAT? I'm all for refugees and protecting those who would otherwise suffer persecution and death... but the vast majority of those we are discussing do not fall into these categories! They came here for the opportunities we've worked hard in this country to earn and many for the handouts we freely give away.
If you don't think I'm compassionate to the plight of families who came here expecting we would once again turn a blind eye, you haven't been reading my prior posts. And I won't rewrite what I've already written.
Besides, what makes Mexicans special compared to the rest of the world's downtrodden? There are at least 25 countries with poorer populations in the world... why don't we just absorb those populations too? Because it doesn't make sense that we are the world's nanny... regardless of location.
As we open our borders to the south, we are finding increases in diseases we had once conquered... tuberculosis is on the rise, bedbugs are returning, polio is making a comeback and so is smallpox. Are we not allowed to screen those who come for criminality and disease?
What of the hypocrisy of Mexico's own immigration policies? They police their borders well and harshly deal with those who illegally enter--all while lambasting us for wanting our government to do the same.
I sympathize and, yes, love the people themselves. However, rewarding lawbreaking that includes identity theft, fraud and other serious crimes that most have to commit to survive underground undermines our whole system of society. Why should anyone in this country respect any law if we won't even respect our own national sovereignty?
Finally, I'll give you a couple of taglines that say it well:
Illegal immigrants are the burglar, not the houseguest.
Illegal immigrants are the shoplifter, not the customer.
The Catholic Hierarchy are not alone in this crime.
They have company. The United Methodist Church, the Episcopalians, Lutherans, Quakers (Society of “Friends”
[Should read SUBVERSIVES], etc. are all in there with them.