Skip to comments.Cardinal: Catholics are key to achieving immigration reform [ or stopping it ]
Posted on 05/06/2010 7:06:36 PM PDT by NoLibZone
Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, roundly criticized by many Catholic leaders as repressive, offers the country an opportunity to rally behind - and the Catholic Church to lead the quest for - comprehensive and humane immigration reform legislation, Cardinal Roger Mahony said May 3 at Fordham University in New York.
"The Catholic community is central to victory and justice on this issue," said the cardinal. "We are an immigrant Church ourselves, since the founding days of the Republic. The immigrant experience is our own, having come to these shores from all parts of the world. We should be front and center in leading the charge for immigration reform - not only because it is a matter of justice but also because it is part of our identity, of what we are as a Church."
Jesus Christ himself was an itinerant preacher with "no place to lay His head" and a refugee who fled the terror of Herod, the cardinal pointed out. "When we welcome the newcomer, in person or through our advocacy efforts, we welcome Him," he said.
Cardinal Mahony's talk, entitled "Immigration Reform: A Moral Imperative," was co-sponsored by America magazine and the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture. Attended by a standing-room only crowd of nearly 500 in the Lincoln Center Campus' Pope Auditorium, it included a brief video presentation featuring two immigrant stories (available for viewing at www.facesofimmigrants.org).
In his address, Cardinal Mahony said Arizona deserves credit for expediting the process that will hopefully result in long overdue federal legislation.
"With the stroke of her pen," he said, "Arizona Governor Jan Brewer not only signed into law the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant legislation, her action has helped to reinvigorate the comprehensive immigration reform movement, and has made clear the consequences of the failure to fix our nation's broken immigration system."
The cardinal asserted that the central feature of reform should be to bring the 12 million undocumented immigrants "out of the shadows" and offer them a secure path to legal status. In return, he said, "these immigrants must learn English, pay a fine, and work for several years before earning the right to receive permanent legal status. Some have described this grueling journey 'amnesty' - they are wrong. What is being proposed is a path forward which will require enormous sacrifices on the part of the immigrants every step of the way.
Another feature of reform would provide for a new worker visa program that would allow more migrant workers to enter the U.S. legally, said Cardinal Mahony. "Improvements to our family-based reunification system should also be included in any reform bill," he said.
He asserted that enacting comprehensive immigration reform "also makes economic sense." In January, he noted, the Center for American Progress released a report showing that enforcement-only policies actually perpetuate unauthorized migration and exert downward pressure on already low wages. "But immigration policies that result in worker empowerment, legal status and labor rights would exert upward pressure on all wages, yielding at least $1.5 trillion in cumulative U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years," he said.
The cardinal also cited a March poll by the Public Policy Institute of California which revealed that 70 percent of Californians said illegal immigrants who have been living and working in the U.S. for at least two years should be allowed to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status. Fifty-four percent believed that immigrants were a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills.
"Attitudes toward immigrants are beginning to change," said Cardinal Mahony, "but we need to do more to ensure that we do not become a nation that treats those who 'look foreign' as suspect and to be investigated, even arrested, merely on the basis of their appearance.
"This is where Catholic leaders and institutions like Fordham University come into the equation. We need to continue to educate Catholics who are ambivalent or undecided about immigration reform. We need to urge them to 'come out of the shadows' themselves and become involved in the solution."
Cardinal Mahony noted that in fighting for justice, it is essential that people listen. "In the Bible," he said, "injustice is often discussed as a serious 'hearing problem' --- both our own inability or even unwillingness to hear the cries of suffering from our own brothers and sisters, [and] the fact that Scripture teaches that God most certainly does hear the cries of suffering."
He cited several Old and New Testament references, including Proverbs 21: 13: "If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard."
"Scripture is clear," said the cardinal, "that even when we do not hear the cry of the immigrant, God most certainly does."
Support for illegal immigration in any form is immoral. The logically tenable position of Bishops is to argue to do away with all border controls, which in itself is ridiculous. The other position is to enforce duly and democratically established laws.
The support for illegal immigration is immoral - in that it contributes to lawbreaking and as such, only criminals and smugglers benefit from it.
Render unto Ceasar,Cardinal Mahoney.Your “Boss”....my “Boss”...said that.
The Catholic church has no special place to be involved in this issue except for their selfish desire to fill the pews with Mexican Catholics.
This is not a moral issue. It is a political issue and therefore they should stay out of it!
God Bless Father Bascio who broke ranks with Cardinal Mahoney.
This is a MUST SEE, Must Spread you tube!!
Cardinal Mahoney was leading him down the path to Hell!
Cardinal Mahoney Baloney.
This is beyond ridiculous. Jesus Christ was the ONLY Begotten Son of the Heavenly Father.... He was to be named Emanuel, which means God with us. Jesus Christ lived upon this earth in a flesh body and NEVER sinned..... I am NOT under Roman authority and I have the unalienable rights endowed by the Creator that not even this so called man of God has power or authority to tread...
Mahoney is wrong on immigration and so is the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church views the immigration issue from the perspective of self-interested demographics.
But they have plenty of help from the “mainstream” Protestants - Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, who increasing appear like people in search of a purpose.
After nearly 2000 years of proud Christian history, the most important groups in Christendom are throwing the whole ball of wax away over political correctness and making straight the way of Islam.
As a Catholic it gets to me to see Cardinals and Bishops standing for the invasion of our country.
Would they feel the same way if the vast majority of these people were non-catholic, or Jewish?
I dont think they would. They need to mind their Church’s and stay out of politics and Mexican invasions.
I used to give $20K plus a year to the Catholic Church, now I throw in a couple of twenties (dollar bills). The stupid bishops will wake up only when their balance sheets don’t balance. They only understand money.
2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.
Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.
A simpleton like you probably believes this idiot:
is an authority on the Constitution.
“The stupid bishops will wake up only when their balance sheets dont balance. They only understand money.”
True of most Christian denominations. Pathetic.
You and Mahony are both wrong and the actual teaching of the Church is that immigrants should obey the law and immigrate legally.
A country without borders ceases to exist. Perhaps that is what they want.
The Catholic Church, along with the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, and Episcopalian Church, with odd-ball other denominations represented, are conspiring against the sovereignty of the U.S. with sanctuary movements like “Wind in the Spirit.”
This isn’t Catholic-bashing and has nothing to do with theology. It has a lot to do with politics, political correctness and demographics.
If you are Catholic and disagree with this policy of the church, let your bishops know about it.
I couldn’t stand the politically correct garbage from the Methodist pulpits so I left them. When I find a Christian Church which doesn’t get involved in politics, or approaches it from my perspective, I’ll join them.
I do not think the Church gives a darn as to what country mexican catholics attend mass in. It is essentially the same mass in the US, mexico, south america, england, paris, etc.
On behalf of all Catholic Freepers, I want to apologize for Cardinal Mahoney, in general...