Skip to comments.US Catholic Politicians Confused About Faith, Bishop Says
Posted on 11/22/2005 9:05:40 AM PST by marshmallow
Nov. 22 (CNA/CWNews.com) - During the International Congress on Churches, the Lay State and Society, Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, Texas said most Catholic politicians in the United States have fallen into "a distorted understanding of what their faith is."
During a speech on Catholics and public life in the US, Archbishop Gomez noted that "today 70% of politicians who claim to be Catholic in Congress and the Senate support abortion, and that figure reaches almost 90 percent in traditional Catholic states such as Massachusetts or New York."
Many Catholic politicians, inspired by the interpretation of some influential theologians, consider all the teachings of the Church to be on equal footing. "They respect a large part of that doctrine, especially in social matters, but they disagree on issues such as abortion, euthanasia and homosexual unions. According to them, they adhere to a large part and say they are adhering to it all."
This understanding, the archbishop pointed out, has led to "curious anomalies, such as a Catholicity survey carried out by one Catholic senator among his colleagues in 2003 which showed that this senator and another were the most Catholic of the Senate, despite having voting voted 100 out 100 times in support of abortion, euthanasia, homosexual unions and experimentation with embryonic stem cells." An example of such a situation was the presidential candidacy of John Kerry. Kerry claimed to be Catholic yet openly supported abortion.
As a result, many Catholics looked to their bishops and priests for guidance. "It was necessary for the bishops of the United States to take some time to reflect on this matter, which was what took place in Denver, Colorado, last year, with the support of a letter sent by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith," said Archbishop Gomez.
"The Church teaches that abortion is a grave sin and that not all moral issues have the same weight as the interruption of the life of the unborn or euthanasia," the archbishop continued. "If some candidate campaigns for and supports laws that allow abortion and euthanasia, his pastor should meet with him, instruct him in the teachings of the Church and inform him that he should not present himself for Communion until he puts an end to the state of sin in which he finds himself," Archbishop Gomez said in conclusion.
I say we put Chaput in charge of picking all new US bishops. His proteges are grade A #1.
The Humble High Priest
Assessing san antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez's clout, his former boss Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput says enthusiastically, "He gets listened to in the state of Texas and in the U.S. Bishops' Conference. He gets listened to in Rome. And I think he'll be listened to by the Federal Government when it comes to immigration law." Last year, Gomez was a humble auxiliary bishop working for Chaput in Denver. But in December, Pope John Paul II leapfrogged the low-key 53-year-old over hundreds of diocesan bishops into the San Antonio, Texas, seatand the center of American Catholicism's future. Hispanics make up 39% of the U.S. church. By 2020, they may be a majority, say church officials. And Gomez is the nation's only Latino archbishop.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Gomez enjoys an excellent relationship with the powerful bishop of Mexico City and is a natural conversation partner for legislators toiling over immigration riddles. A long affiliation with the conservative teaching group Opus Dei guarantees him the Vatican's doctrinal confidence and a support and information network leading high up in Rome. Yet despite his orthodoxy, Gomez is a natural conciliator admired for uniting rich and poor and Anglo and Hispanic Catholics behind Denver's Centro Juan Diego, a hybrid Latino religious-instruction and social-services center hailed as a national model.
For years, there has been talk that a Pope might make a Hispanic Cardinal in the American South, but Gomez's predecessor in San Antonio, a logical seat for the honor, was too theologically independent for Roman tastes. Gomez is much more in synch.
I am privileged to say that I knew him here in Houston when he was Father Jose, and a more intelligent, humble and humorous man you could not find anywhere.
San Antonio is really, really lucky to have him.
PS: at Abp Gomez's installation, another Opus Dei Archbishop, Cardinal Cipriani of Lima, came up for the ceremonies and also made a stop to visit the Spurs training facility and shoot some hoops--Card. Cipriani was a Peruvian national class basketball player, evidently, before becoming a priest.
AMEN! We Christians need many more such as this man, who are not afraid to stand up for God's Word.
BTW marshmallow, a little while ago I saw on TV the Presidential pardon ceremony for the turkey. The turkey's name was ....... well, ....... Marshmallow!. Are you honored or offended? :)
How truly comforting to see such a servant elevated to his rightful place of service (unlike those appointed by Jadot). And what a blessing for you to see him rewarded.
Would love to see a picture of the two Archibhops shoting hoops!
It is good to hear bishops being bishops and teaching the truth loudly and clearly.
I think only Cardinal Cipriani shot the hoops.
I think only Cardinal Cipriani shot the hoops.
I perhaps should not report this, but he told his driver for the occasion (a priest friend of mine) that that was the most fun he had had in a long time.
Anti-immigrant prejudice poses threat to American way of life
Refusing college aid to immigrants keeps them from assimilating into mainstream
Week of March 17, 2004
America is a nation built by immigrants, and illegal immigrants Irish, Italian, German, Polish and others have always been part of the mix. But throughout U.S. history, Catholics have carried the burden of anti-immigrant prejudice in a unique way, so we have a special duty to speak up when we see it happening again.
I remembered this last week as I thought about two separate but related events.
The first was the copy of Foreign Policy magazine I received in the mail. In its March/April issue, Samuel Huntington argues that Hispanic immigrants, because of their differences from the American mainstream in language and culture and their resistance to assimilation, pose a serious threat to the American way of life. Huntington is a world-class intellectual writing in a prestigious national journal. In effect, he gives a credible-sounding vocabulary to the worst kind of nativism.
The second event was last week's struggle in the Colorado Legislature over House Bill 1187, designed to deny in-state resident tuition to the children of undocumented immigrants.
In her comments on the bill, State Senator Paula Sandoval said it best when she observed that, "All of these children (of undocumented workers) want to achieve the American dream. In some ways, what we're really saying is it's OK for people to come to this country to clean the university, to plow the fields, to harvest the crops and to work in our restaurants. But when it comes to enjoying the fruits of those labors, what we're doing ... is saying you're not invited to sit at the table for dinner."
I saw Senator Sandoval's comments the same day I read this passage from Samuel Huntington's Foreign Policy article: "The education of people of Mexican origin in the United States lags well behind the U.S. norm. In 2000, 86.6 percent of native-born Americans had graduated from high school. The rates for foreign-born population in the United States varied from 94.9 percent for Africans, 83.8 percent for Asians, 49.6 percent for Latin Americans overall, and down to 33.8 percent for Mexicans, who ranked lowest."
Most Americans, native-born or not, know what the expression "Catch 22" means. We've got a great example of it here.
For Huntington, Mexican immigrants have an alarmingly low education rate. That depresses their earning power, which prevents their upward mobility, which reduces their assimilation into the American mainstream. So what are Coloradans urged to do? We're urged to make it more expensive in other words, harder for the children of undocumented workers to get a college education. As a result, they'll earn less, contribute less to the public square and assimilate even more slowly. The one thing they won't do is go away.
Good people can disagree strongly and legitimately about immigration and its related legal issues. But in making U.S. immigration policies more coherent and just, we need to at least avoid punishing the young.
In hurting them, we're only hurting ourselves. And we're making absolutely sure that Huntington's nightmare will come true.
Defeated driver's license bill deserved to be law
February 27 , 2002
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver
Colorado Senate Bill 67 died on Valentine's Day in the Senate's Government, Veterans and Military Relations Committee. Its defeat will hurt many good people in our state, and concerned citizens need to hope, pray and work earnestly to ensure that next year, the legislative result will be different.
SB 67 would have allowed undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses. The main arguments in favor of such legislation are well known. They're worth restating one more time, though, so they remain fresh in people's minds. SB 67 may be dead for this year, but the underlying need for it is very much alive.
First, SB 67-style legislation would serve our public safety.
Colorado has a legitimate health and safety interest in licensing those who use its roads. More than 50,000 undocumented immigrants now drive on state roads unlicensed. If a job is at stake a job that requires driving a worker who cannot apply for a license will almost certainly drive anyway. And of course, unlicensed drivers are uninsured drivers, which makes them far more likely to flee the scene of an accident.
Second, SB 67-style legislation would aid law enforcement. A driver's license makes it easier to track outstanding warrants, repeat offenders and child support delinquents. It expands the database of fingerprints for crime investigation. It increases the willingness of immigrant witnesses and victims to aid crime investigations. It allows police to deal with traffic violators without becoming embroiled in policy issues. It also relieves police from issuing tickets for which there is no possible resolution. (Immigrants are rarely deported for driving and usually return unlicensed to Colorado roads.)
Third, it would not violate federal immigration law. Immigration law places no requirement on states regarding the licensing of drivers. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is not significantly interested in unlicensed drivers; rather, INS priorities focus on serious foreign criminals, terrorists and immigrant smugglers.
Moreover, state driver's licenses are irrelevant to work eligibility, government programs and benefits.
Fourth, it would arguably assist the fight against terrorism. Colorado licenses provide a database of identities including photographs and fingerprints. Excluding large numbers of people from this database could actually work against police efforts
Fifth and finally, it's the right thing to do. No one is a "criminal" for merely being an undocumented immigrant; it's a status with no criminal penalty. In fact, Colorado is host to thousands of working undocumented immigrants and depends economically on their labor. A driver's license simply allows these people to drive safely and with insurance in Colorado while the U.S. Congress debates future policy on immigration.
Shortly before the recent debate on SB 67, Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote to key members of the State Senate noting that, "SB 67 acknowledges the reality that thousands of good but undocumented immigrant workers live in our state, contribute productively to our economy and deserve the ability to travel safely and with insurance while here. I'm convinced that SB 67 will help improve security on our roads for the whole community, and it will add a very worthwhile element of stability to the lives of immigrant workers and their families."
SB 67 was a bill that urgently deserved to be a law. Both justice and common sense support it. We need to remember that for next year. This is an issue Coloradans can't afford to forget.
"If some candidate campaigns for and supports laws that allow abortion and euthanasia, his pastor should meet with him, instruct him in the teachings of the Church and inform him that he should not present himself for Communion until he puts an end to the state of sin in which he finds himself," Archbishop Gomez said in conclusion.