Skip to comments.Another Letter to US Conference of Catholic Bishops (Immigration)
Posted on 05/24/2007 12:47:30 PM PDT by pgyanke
Migration and Refugee Services
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Dear Most Reverend Bishops,
As a Roman Catholic, I am mystified by your stand in this debate regarding illegal immigration. As an American, I am outraged by it. First, I would ask that you honestly frame this issue. No one (except an extreme fringe) has argued against immigrantswe are a nation of immigrants. This is an issue about illegal immigration. Truth is better served when all sides honestly debate.
Your five principles:
1) To make family a priority in immigration law.
Why shouldnt the interests of the nation be the first priority? The United States of America has traditionally been (and continues to be) the most immigrant-friendly nation on Earth. No other nation (especially Mexico) treats its immigrants (legal and illegal) better. We consider family relationships in our immigration laws already. The change you are advocating isnt in regard to our legal and proper immigration laws you are advocating a change in the way we treat those who circumvent our just laws. I also note that you didnt specifically mention American immigration law. Mexico enforces its borders and treats violators harshlywhy do they not deserve a mention in this debate?
If we are to truly make the family a priority in immigration law, we should consider what a family needs. You are correct that it requires the dignity of the human person. Do we enhance human dignity when we make the poor populations of our southern neighbor increasingly dependent on remittances sent back from migrants to this country? These moneys sent back to Mexico are now the second greatest component of their GDP! Do we encourage the corrupt Mexican government to reform itself and respect its citizenry by giving them an outlet for their huddled masses yearning to breathe freely? Do we strengthen the Church in Mexico by absorbing their congregations into our diocese? The honest answer to these questions is no. The Mexican government now sponsors this invasion of our country in its desire for the remittanceswhich provide greater revenue than tourism! If anyone deserves your anger for the plight of the Mexican people illegally crossing into America, you can look no further than Mexico itself! The one who breaks into my home isnt a houseguest and the one who shoplifts isnt a customer.
2) To insist the worker programs contain protection for U.S. and migrant workers.
Our governments already protect the rights of individuals, those that are here legally and illegally. Show me another country where those who have disobeyed the basic laws of sovereignty are allowed access to the courts, petition the foreign government for redress of grievances, receive free medical care and education, and congregate openly without fear of reprisal. There isnt another country as foolish as ours has become.
3) To allow for an earned legalization program for the undocumented in the country.
We have a legal immigration and naturalization process. All who wish to become citizens should get in line with those who have waited years and decades to follow the law. It violates every rule of fairness and equal treatment to treat those who sneak into our country preferentially to those who respected our laws at the outset.
4) To restore due process protections.
As stated above, no other country protects the rights of the individual (whether here legally or illegally) better than America. Why is this country the focus of your attention?
5) To respond to the economic, political, and social root causes of migration.
Perhaps this reform would be better targeted at the home country of those who flee rather than at the nation who coddles them. I would also remind you of Cardinal Giacomo Biffis comments regarding Italian immigration in September of 2000 (as quoted in The London Daily Telegraph: "The criteria for admitting immigrants can never be just economic. It is necessary to concern oneself seriously with saving the identity of the nation." Italy was not an "uninhabited region" lacking in history and traditions, which was fit to be "indiscriminately populated." While it could admit anyone it wanted, no one had a "right of invasion." He urged politicians to heed his words, since "not all of the cultures of those newly arrived are in favor of living together.... He said he had recently aired the same views with a government minister. "I said, 'If you really have the good of Italy at heart, and want to spare a lot of suffering, then you can't allow all the immigrants in.'" He said these words to defend the Vaticans official position that only Catholics be allowed to immigrate to Italy. Apparently, the Church does believe in restrictive immigration policies for some countries.
Cardinal Biffis comments are very appropriate to this debate about American Immigration and dealing with the ongoing invasion by its closest neighbor.
I would also like to address your Justice Prayer.
Come, O Holy Spirit! Come, open us to the wonder, beauty, and dignity of the diversity found in each culture, in each face, and in each experience we have of the other among us. Come, fill us with generosity as we are challenged to let go and allow others to share with us the goods and beauty of earth. Come, heal the divisions that keep us from seeing the face of Christ in all men, women, and children. Come, free us to stand with and for those who must leave their own lands in order to find work, security, and welcome in a new land, one that has enough to share. Come, bring us understanding, inspiration, wisdom, and the courage needed to embrace change and stay on the journey. Come, O Holy Spirit, show us the way.
You speak of generosity and yet our country, by any measure (except governmental largesse on behalf of the citizens), is the most beneficent in the history of the world. We share our riches, feed the poor and rescue the hurting everywhere on the planet. Those who sneak into our country arent coming to share our riches, they come to take them. Also, why should Mexicans receive special treatment with a share of our riches? There are at least 25 nations with poorer populationsshould we absorb all of them as well? If we do and it crashes our society, who will then take care of the poor around the world, as we have, when we lose our abilities? You risk killing the goose that lays the golden eggs and having no more eggs.
Regardless of liberal rhetoric to the contrary, our societal strength isnt in our diversityits in our unityjust as it is for the Church. We believe in the melting pot and E Pluribus Unum. However, a large segment of the illegal community is choosing to not assimilate with our culture. It seems as if American culture is the only culture not worth celebrating on our own soil.
We have a method for passing laws and Constitutional Amendments in this country. Invading our borders and demanding our capitulation arent the approved method.
I have read and reread the Catechism of the Catholic Church to find your position on Social Justice. Treating one another as we would be treated ourselves does not mean that every human in the world should get to live in my house. I would have them be safe in their own home just as I want to be in mine. This is true of countries as well. I would see them fix their own countries rather than have them trash mine. Were conditions opposite and their standard of living were higher, I would give them the same respect I ask of them now. I would not see this as a reason to violate their law and security.
Lastly, I want to leave you with a dichotomy that greatly concerns me. I have called priests and bishops to account for years regarding their silence in the political process. This silence (or outright support for the Democratic Partythe party which has given and supported abortion in this country) has allowed 50% of Catholics in this country to go adrift in their voting. Rather than educating the congregations that the Democratic Party has in their platform support for abortion, embryonic stem cell research and homosexual marriage while the Republican Platform has an entire section on the Sanctity of Life, you silence your priests politically. What do we do instead? We hold impotent right to life rallies instead of putting down the politicians who violate human dignity. We do this all in the defense of our tax-exempt status.
So I ask you: How can the Church that cowers from its primary mission to educate the masses at the meer mention of the IRS embroil itself in opposition to US laws by offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants regardless of the consequences? You are a walking contradiction that demands an explanation.
If you wish to see the Church grow in America, put aside your opposition to American values. These values scandalize us in the eyes of our patriotic Protestant brethren and close the ears of those who would benefit from our ecclesiastical righteousness.
I would remind you that this country fought a war with itself which should have settled the debate on whether cheap labor is the basis of our greatness. No, our greatness comes from our faith, hope and loveand the generosity which comes from these. There is no reason for the Church to be in opposition to the sovereignty such a country.
John 10:1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber;
Thank you in advance.
I value your inputs and arguments.
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I think this is an excellent and well written letter. Thank you for doing this.
Duncan Hunter, ‘08!!!
There is no reason for the Church to be in opposition to the sovereignty of such a country
Even the Pope doesn’t agree with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He respects the rule of law. They do not.
Thank you. I adjusted on my letter.
I’d also suggest printing up copies of the letter and passing them out at functions, as well as trying to ask your leaders questions in public settings.
“meer mention of the IRS” = “mere mention of the IRS”
Thank you... are you sure you’re a neanderthal?
Our Catholic Bishops have been a disappointment for a long time. Your letter is most appropriate and well overdue. Each of us should be sending them letters like this each time their “pontifications” are out of line.
It is obvious the Bishops have been misled for a long time now. Their position on illegal immigration ignores our laws and the need for us to obey those laws (”render to Caesar...”)
not only when it is convenient.
Follow the money. This is money and power issue with the leftist priests in the Catholic church.
When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. (Lev. 19:33-34)(NIV).
It is time for the Bishops to go to the country that is the REAL problem...MEXICO...lets see how long they last there...
The primary job of a catholic bishop is to increase his flock. Increasing the levels of immigration from a catholic country into the US is the easiest way to achieve this aim.
“The primary job of a catholic bishop is to increase his flock”
Not true. The Bishop’s responsibility is to lead his flock. Also, I doubt that the Bishops would see much benefit to increasing their flock, when it came from a Catholic Church somewhere else.
“Even the Pope doesnt agree with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He respects the rule of law. They do not.”
Where do you get this from? I am asking because I heard our Archbishop explaining to someone that although the Pope has not publicly discussed the US immigration issue, he was fully in support of the Bishops and their policies regarding illegal immigration.
Maybe he wasn’t telling the truth, but he was quite confident with the comment. I doubt he would lie intentially.