The Reason I’m Not in a Huge Sweat about Immigrants

is a) because I’m not delusional and I know nobody really has any intention of deporting 12 million people who are essential to our economy and b) I don’t see strong pro-family Catholics who are largely here to make it as previous waves of immigrants have done as a big problem for America.  That they failed to fill out paperwork is a nuisance for bureaucrats, but not a big issue for me.  It is the Big Laws, not the small ones, that matter  And on those they appear to be retaining a lot of common sense and faithfulness to the Church.

Here, for instance, is a rather refreshing press release from Catholics who are not dissenting from the teaching of the Church as so many “faithful conservative American Catholics” routinely do on this particular issue:

CATHOLIC LATINO GROUP URGES CALIFORNIANS TO LEAD NATIONAL TREND TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

SAN ANTONIO (October 29, 2012) –The Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL), a national organization of Hispanic business and professional people with chapters in Los Angeles and Orange County, today publicly endorsed Proposition 34–the Death Penalty Repeal Initiative. “With this endorsement,” stated CALL president and CEO Robert Aguirre, “CALL issues an urgent appeal to all Californians of good will to lead the growing number of states moving toward a restorative justice model that helps transform a culture of death into a culture of life.” The organization urges all California voters to vote “Yes” to the proposition which will appear on the November 6, 2012 ballot as “Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.” If passed, Proposition 34 will replace the death penalty in California with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“As a community of faith, we must proclaim the intrinsic worth and the God-given dignity of all human life, whether innocent or guilty. We are all created in God’s image,” stated Robert Aguirre, president and CEO of CALL and former law enforcement officer of twelve years. “I have always believed that the death penalty was morally wrong,” he added.

CALL’s position on the repeal of the death penalty remains in line with the Catholic Church’s teaching on social justice. In 1980, the Bishops of the United States called for ending the use of the death penalty. The Bishops pointed out 32 years later that capital punishment is still failing to protect the nation from those who commit violence and that its continued use feeds into a seemingly endless cycle of violence.

“We recognize the profound anguish of those who have lost a loved one to violence and offer them our prayers and the hope of a fuller sense of justice,” explained Aguirre.  “Nothing can undo the terrifying memories of violence that have been inflicted, not even taking the life of the convicted killer. Justice demands that those who have committed crimes should be punished and society must be protected. Ultimately, violence does not end violence. Killing in the name of justice does not end killing,” Aguirre concluded.

The Catholic Association of Latino Leaders is a national organization comprised of business and professional people dedicated to promoting the common good of Latinos, the Church and our nation. Established on the premise that it is the particular vocation to transform the world through “faithful citizenship,” CALL members do so by finding new and culturally relevant ways to promote the values of their faith–especially within the historical context that Hispanics were the first American Catholics. CALL provides a forum for members to strengthen their faith in community through prayer, education, service and leadership. CALL provides programs, services and events for the benefit of their community and country. CALL has chapters established in Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Denver, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Milwaukee, Miami, and Washington DC.

Death Penalty Abolition is not just a damn wussy librul American pantywaist bishop thing, by the way.  It’s also a damn wussy librul Roman pantywaist pontiff thing. And for many “faithful conservative” Catholics, fidelity on the matter is as reflexively rejected as Humanae Vitae is on the left.  Read, for instance, the bloodlustful dissent in the comboxes at the link and the sundry crazy ideas, rationalizations, and theories for telling the Pope and bishops of the world off on this matter so that America can keep her prestigious position with such nations as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, and North Korea as a preserver of the treasured power of the state to kill its citizens (especially minorities).  What could possibly motivate Latinos to regard this policy as stupid and destructive of the common good?  Especially when they are Catholics in a rapidly de-Christianizing and increasingly anti-Catholic culture with a metastasizing police state mentality?  Weird.

  • http://thesacredlandscape.blogspot.com/ steven schloeder

    That they failed to fill out paperwork is a nuisance for bureaucrats, but not a big issue for me. It is the Big Laws, not the small ones, that matter And on those they appear to be retaining a lot of common sense and faithfulness to the Church.
    I am not sure how you got from illegal aliens to the members of CALL. Are you assuming that any of them are, or ever were, here illegally? Or is it just that they are all Hispanic and therefore can all be lumped together? Or something I am missing?

    I am also interested in how you arrive at the the notion that being in a nation illegally is a small law matter. The owner or custodian of a property has the right to determine who is allowed in: I don’t think you would make it a small law item if I took up permanent residence in your house without your knowledge, invitation and permission. How is the guardianship and regulation of a nation’s borders any different in essence from your guardianship of your front door?

    BTW, as a conservative I am all for the end to capital punishment in America, and I support CALL’s efforts in this.

    Pax, Steve

    • Mark Shea

      No. I don’t assume member of CALL are illegal aliens. But I will bet money that they favor amnesty for illegal aliens, which is common sense, while a vital conservative talking point is typically the need to punish illegal aliens.

      I’m glad you favor getting rid of the death penalty.

      • http://thesacredlandscape.blogspot.com/ steven schloeder

        The “talking point” is not really a conservative position — of course you can cherry pick to your heart’s content and find all sorts of things said to support your point, and ignore all the nuanced positions that don’t support your point. Punishment seems basically reserved for the coyotes, not the illegal aliens. The balance is to find compassionate means of shifting through those who are contributing to the society (and I’d give a lot of leeway on what that entails) from those who are injurious to society. E.g., we all want to keep families together even if they are all illegally here– but if the father is convicted as a criminal should he not be deported?

        http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/republican_party_immigration.htm

        Policies like Bush’s temp worker visas make a whole lot of sense — the current immigration policies are not workable and they serve neither the nation’s economic interest nor facilitate law abiding people of good will from other countries who want economic opportunity to obey the law through reasonable procedures.

        There needs to be serious and prudent policy to protect the borders, uphold the rule of law, ensure justice, and there are all sorts of ways to improve policies that conservatives would probably widely support.

        But back to the other point — how is taking up residence here illegally only breaking a “small law”? How is the same principle not applicable to your duty to protect your own home and family from strangers moving in unannounced? You seem to be suggesting that the State does not have compelling interest to regulate what non-citizens can reside within its borders, when you would presumably insist on regulating what non-family members reside within your home. Is there a problem with that parallel?

    • dpt

      “How is the guardianship and regulation of a nation’s borders any different in essence from your guardianship of your front door? ”

      I see the borders being man-made constructs, and the US borders has changed in the past and could very well change in the future. If tomorrow Congress grants amnesty to illegal aliens then argument goes away for those currently here.

      I do think Catholics and church leaders need to speak up more about the oppression, corruption, and crime in their home countries that drive the immigrants to risk their live’s to enter across our southern border.

      • http://thesacredlandscape.blogspot.com/ steven schloeder

        DPT: How is your claim to own or rent specific property at a specific address, and to have a front door to keep out unwanted intruders, not also “man-made construct’? If tomorrow you allowed anyone to take up residence in your bedroom, the problem of trespassing goes away as well.

        –Steve

        • dpt

          Yes, if I allow it then it is no longer trespassing, but we have a right to private property.
          The border is not private property nor is the US. If tomorrow, the US becomes part of Canada, my home, fundamentally, remains my home.

          If tomorrow amnesty could be granted by Congress to illegal aliens and the case is close, they are no longer illegal. Congress doesn’t have the right to force anyone into my home as private property is a basic and fundamental human right.

          • http://thesacredlandscape.blogspot.com/ steven schloeder

            DPT:

            You seem to be missing the point. A nation is the public property of the citizens of the nation, under the guardianship of the government — it is directly parallel to your guardianship of your private property.

            As for your “right to private property”, the doctrine of the Universal Destination of Goods would obligate you to share your excess and bounty with those in need: the Church clearly teaches that private property is not an absolute value, and that all goods are ordered to all people. If you are going to claim that a nation cannot regulate her goods (land, resources, economic opportunity, public funds, etc) with regard to the uninvited trespasser, then you are susceptible to the same principle applied to your home.

            You also seem rather quick to discard the positive teaching of the Church that “A nation has a “fundamental right to existence”, (Compendium 157). The Church recognizes both the right and utility of nations in establishing the common good among the people governed, as well as the principle of self determination toward that end.

            And lastly, you are inverting the point: it is not that Congress is claiming any right to force anyone into your home — it is that you are denying the right of the Government to keep people from entering the country without permission (under the dubious theory that public lands are not properly governed by the government of a nation) which by the same token you would be denying yourself the authority and right to keep people from entering your own home.

            -Steve

            • dpt

              “If you are going to claim that a nation cannot regulate her goods (land, resources, economic opportunity, public funds, etc) with regard to the uninvited trespasser,”

              Sure the nation has the right to regulate, but it seems to me that the illegal immigrants are invited and have been so for many years. Businesses want them, consumers want them (because they desire low cost goods), etc. and ultimately our gov’t has allowed this.

              I do not see in the near-term the govt ending this, nor will they deport 12 million or so illegals. They are here, so lets get them into our system and lets work with the long ignored processes to regulate immigration along the southern border in a humane matter.

      • Ted Seeber

        Isn’t your front door also just a manmade construct?

        • http://hezekiahgarrett.wordpress.com Hezekiah Garrett

          No, Ted, a “construct” is an abstraction. I hope your front door is made of wood, or steel, or somesuch actual material. If you have a front door in the abstract. but not in reality, those Oregon winters are going to be expensive.

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    ‘And for many “faithful conservative” Catholics, fidelity on the matter is as reflexively rejected as Humanae Vitae is on the left.’

    What, exactly, is the definitive, unchanging teaching on this matter that all Catholics are to bound to be faithful to? As far as I know we’re merely told by the Church to exercise mercy, and that the application of the death penalty is an area in which Catholics can faithfully disagree. Unlike contraception, the Church has never taught that capital punishment is intrinsically immoral, so I am now confused as to why you compare being against the death penalty to being against the use of birth control?

    • Mark Shea

      Funnily enough, Humanae Vitae is not infallibly defined either. And progressive dissenters enjoy playing the game of “Simon Peter says” here just as you are with capital punishment. Meanwhile, those of us who think that it is our task to be docile to the Church instead of looking for Minimum Daily Adult Requirement loopholes for ignoring the obvious guidance of the Magisterium decline to play the Progressive or Reactionary Dissent game.

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    I didn’t mention whether or not these issues have been infallibly defined, I’m just a bit confused as to why you compare them as though they are both intrinsically evil. I’d appreciate it if you could point me to the actual teaching that states that the death penalty is in and of itself immoral (like contraception). I’m not trying to find loopholes, I’m just honestly trying to reconcile what seem to be contradictory teachings from a Church that claims infallibility.

    As a cardinal Pope Benedict XVI wrote that “there may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    Was Cardinal Ratzinger mistaken? What you seem to be saying is that there is no legitimate diversity of opinion with regards to capital punishment, let alone its application. Which seems unnecessarily divisive to me. Or am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    Unless, of course, you think finding loopholes and assenting to the bare minimum can be considered ‘legitimate’.

  • Kirt Higdon

    I’ve lived among immigrants all of my adult life, have employed many, sponsored one family, aided others, and made some life-long friends. Immigrants have added immensely to the quality of my life. I’m always puzzled at why people object to them as a group.

    • Ted Seeber

      For me, it had to do with trying to reconcile generosity, with the inescapable capitalist economic law of supply and demand pricing.

      I have problems seeing how one can support a Living Wage for all workers, under the downward pressure implied by a virtually infinite supply of workers.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    “America can keep her prestigious position with such nations as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, and North Korea as a preserver of the treasured power of the state to kill its citizens”

    Especially when America could join the ranks of such nations as Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Columbia, Mexico, and the Netherlands by banning the Death Penalty.

    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

      Do they still have “life without parole” as a punishment? Then they still have the death penalty because the end result is the same (the inmate dies between prison walls) the only thing changed is the execution method (time vs poison or electricity or fire or rope etc).

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        Well that’s a new twist on it. Especially given the approach to the death penalty in the US. I mean, people die of old age on death row, which always, IMHO, negated the whole ‘they won’t have a chance to make their peace with God.’ argument. I know in my discussions about the topic, folks who support the DP make similar cases about the resources and expenses tied with keeping people in prison for life, and how they could be better spent, but I don’t think I remember anyone saying life in prison is just the death penalty without the drugs. Interesting take. All things devours, birds, beasts, trees, flowers.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          Maybe we can start a new policy of letting the criminals pick their execution. ;)

          I for one, if I was guilty, would far prefer a gas chamber or firing squad or guillotine that’s quick than wasting decades away in boredom.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            Perhaps, it does seem to bring up the issue of just how locked away from humanity and loved ones for life is somehow different than being executed X years in the future. But my main point was really to take issue with the ‘guilt by association’ dig above. Yes, we know there are countries we don’t want to be compared to that still have the death penalty. But how many don’t have the death penalty that we really want to be compared to?

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              Yeah, I get ya there. Though it can vary since I think some would want to be like sweden, denmark or netherlands.

          • Ted Seeber

            “I for one, if I was guilty, would far prefer a gas chamber or firing squad or guillotine that’s quick than wasting decades away in boredom.”

            Which is another good reason to NOT have the death penalty- because it’s far nicer than the criminal deserves in justice.

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              Now on THIS a debate can be had. Though I’d only really agree with you depending on the criminal. For some, execution might be more just than long imprisonment. Others, vice versa.

              • Ted Seeber

                For execution to be just, the criminal would have had to kill by the same method. How many murderers do you know who kill by lethal injection?

                • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                  Kevorkian? (sp)

                  Though for length, I’m sure there’s a joke to be made about corporate meetings and being bored to death. ;)

                  • Ted Seeber

                    Thanks, I had overlooked the evil doctor.

        • http://hezekiahgarrett.wordpress.com Hezekiah Garrett

          Yes, Dave. You’ve heard this same argument made about a different subject, you just don’t recognise it because it is amenable to your position in this case.

          “Untold, countless natural abortions occur each and every year, in the tens or hundreds of millions, in this nation alone. How are we to say that 1 million or so elective abortions are wrong?”

          This is precisely the same as an argument regularly used by leftists to soothe the consciences of cafeteria catholics. Frankly, if one can’t see the difference between dying a natural death and dying by strangulation or poisoning, one shouldn’t have any say in any political economy, lacking a fundamental connection with reality.

          But it is soothing, isn’t it?

      • Ted Seeber

        Time as a death penalty method is more respectful of God’s sovereignty. Just as avoiding contraception is a recognition of God’s sovereignty at the other end of life.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          hmm… perhaps. Though wouldn’t this make doctors & medicine disrespectful of said sovereignty? (and did He give rulers the sword to punish the wicked?)

          • Ted Seeber

            Yes, in some cases- and thus the argument against *both* life extension where there is no hope of recovery and active euthanasia.

            • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

              Ok. Well I may not agree with you, but I can at least follow and respect your reasoning and find it sound.

      • http://thesacredlandscape.blogspot.com/ steven schloeder

        Nate: The difference between life imprisonment and the death penalty is that with the former no one is the direct material cause of the death –no one gets out alive anyway, so the question of lifetime incarceration is really about protecting society from those who would harm it. This does not seem morally equivalent to the death penalty, since we are all to suffer that same end — it is simply a question of the limitations on human freedom while waiting for that inevitability.

        –Steve

        • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

          BTW, do we have any data that suggests our current incarceration system is completely sufficient for always protecting life both outside and inside the prison system? A lot of the argument seems to hinge on that. Any studies or stats that show when this finally became the case?

          • Ted Seeber

            Maybe not our current incarceration system, but technically, any civilization with the ability to weld steel plate is capable of designing and building an escape proof cell.

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          So, (without trying to be snarky here), would sealing someone up in a metal box and not providing them food (or air) count as “direct material involvement” with their eventual starvation/suffocation or not?

          • http://hezekiahgarrett.wordpress.com Hezekiah Garrett

            An escape proof cell need not be airtight. They would still be able to be fed, treated medically to the degree that they cooperate at the grate, spoken and prayed with.

            But not escape. The mind that can’t distinguish natural death from killing might just be the mind that can’t imagine welded steel plate as anything but a contiguous solid object.

          • http://thesacredlandscape.blogspot.com/ steven schloeder

            Yes it would count as count as “direct material involvement” .

            Think of Terri Schiavo — her caretakers (which in a prison system, the state assumes the duty of care for those incarcerated) had serious moral obligations to provide nutrition, hydration, oxygen, care of wounds, and such. The question I pose to those who think Schiavo was properly left to die of dehydration and malnutrition is “why not just snuff her out with a pillow?” I’ve yet to get a straight answer on that.

            So by parallel, the prison system must provide for the basics needed to sustain life — air, water, food, sanitation, care of wounds, and such. To deliberately withhold is to predictably cause the death.

  • http://321force.blogspot.com Barbara

    No logical person cares about people who will do anything including break immigration laws to lift up their families. What most of us care about is the safety of our family members on border towns. Not everyone who comes here has good will in their hearts, and when good people have to protect their homes with guns because the government isn’t doing its job, something must be done. I doubt our pontiff would disagree.

  • Dan C

    There is a Truth still, absolute in its reality, that exists on the subject of the death penalty and the treatment of all “strangers” as the Gospels refer to them.

    The claim to “prudential judgement” is a claim that in its routine function has been a form of relativism, allowing a “free for all” on matters of economics and peace in terms of moral evaluation. (Except for liberation theology, because all good conservative Catholics know that religion used in the service of THAT form of politics is intrinsically evil.)

    The primacy of the conscience exists for all in all matters. Perhaps this is the place in which one needs to start. That the Church has direct wisdom on certain matters, identifying good and evil, and has less definitive judgement on other matters (war and peace of particular concern) does not mean that there is not a “Truth” for matters such as the just dealings with immigrants or abolition of the death penalty. There is a Truth and it is as demanding as Humanae Vitae.

    Starting at the Iraq War, conservatives have been taught by their particular icons to use one’s Prudential Judgement as a tool of moral relativism, justifying many activities that are evil on the basis of the use of one’s Prudential Judgement.

    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

      does not mean that there is not a “Truth” for matters such as the just dealings with immigrants

      I don’t see why we can’t defend our southern border the same as that good Catholic nation Mexico does

      • Dan C

        “Defending our borders” lacks a Gospel foundation. Such a moral imperative fails to distinguish Christians from Hindus or Muslims.

        “Defending our borders” is not very New Testament-y, is it?

        • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

          So do a lot of issues. Your point?

        • Ted Seeber

          Matthew 21:12 would indicate differently. The Money Changers had invaded the Temple, just as certain groups of criminals use human smuggling as a cover for drug smuggling.

          • Dan C

            The Money Changers were permitted. It was part of the Deal. they did not break laws, they became part of the ruling structure, intricaately part of how the day to day Temple functioned.

            They constituted the perversion of the Temple, the subjugation of God to temproal profit and the exploitation of folks needing access to God.

            I am not sure illegal immigrants are that. Illegal immigrants are the same “strangers” from all ages, sometimes refugees (noble and respectable), mostly “wretched refuse.”

  • Blog Goliard

    The “family-values illegal immigrant” thing is a myth reinforced by anecdotal positive impressions, for instance at the local parish (that small minority of the immigrant community that attends my local parish is awesome, no doubt about it). Let me pull just one study at random, circa 2007: Illegitimacy rates among non-Hispanic whites, 24%. Immigrant Hispanics, 42%. Native-born Hispanics, 49%.

    Education levels are low, poverty levels are high, illegitimacy rates are high…and on average they stay the same or even get worse in the next generation. Perhaps we should welcome them anyway, even if–in aggregate, and despite many outstanding individual examples to the contrary–they make many of our country’s most acute sicknesses worse. And maybe I’m wrong to think that one of the natural political rights of a people is to preserve the country that was handed on to them, and pass it on in reasonably recognizable and sustainable condition to their children and grandchildren. (If ten million Germans, say, suddenly showed up in Mongolia for some reason, wouldn’t the Mongolians be right to worry about assimilation, the preservation of their own culture, and such?)

    in something resembling But let us be clear-eyed about what’s going on: the will of the vast majority of voters, and the best interests of working-class Americans, are being ignored; and the survival of America in a form recognizable to those for whom this is their beloved homeland is being imperiled; all so that businesses can import cheap and exploitable labor…and so that Democrats (with Republican acquiescence, being the Stupid Party) can demographically construct a more statist and dependent and balkanized electorate.

    • Irenist

      The “family-values illegal immigrant” thing is a myth reinforced by anecdotal positive impressions

      You’re right: the Irish are a whiskey-swilling, whoring, thieving, murderous papist menace. Oh, sorry, wrong century. Carry on.

    • Ted Seeber

      There is a point in this, but it is an internal problem in Latin American cultures between the heathen virtue of Machismo and the Catholic Holy Virtue of Chastity.

      One method of dealing with this in English Protestantism was the Sweet Sixteen celebration, marking the age which a girl was able to get married. The Latin American version is a year earlier, at age 15, the Quincienara.

      The problem is, in the United States today, with an economics that doesn’t value unskilled labor, that is far too early to be getting married and having children. It’s biologically correct (women aged 15-25 are far more fertile, and far better to able handle pregnancy, than women over the age of 30) but not economically viable (it is hard to find a living wage job without that additional 10 years of schooling most people get between 18-28, leading to economically inspired divorce).

      Yes, due to education, only 24% of citizens fall into this trap, and immigrants do more often. But the real problem is more one of culture vs economics.

      • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

        (omg, Ted & I are agreeing on a lot, Hell’s getting cold ya’ll)

        not economically viable (it is hard to find a living wage job without that additional 10 years of schooling most people get between 18-28, leading to economically inspired divorce).

        I both agree and disagree. I think that only those “10 years” are needed because our schooling has become such a joke. If we allowed kids to focus more on what they want to learn (and will be useful to their future) I think those extra 10 years could be condensed into far less. Like… the Germans might be onto something here:

        More important still to Germany’s industrial strength is the country’s education system.

        School finishes at lunchtime across much of Germany due to … a “societal preference,” designed to allow children to spend more time with their families.

        But it’s in the later years of schooling that the German model really stands apart.

        Half of all youngsters in upper secondary school are in vocational training, and half of these are in apprenticeships.

        Apprentices aged 15 to 16 spend more time in the workplace receiving on-the-job training than they do in school, and after three to four years are almost guaranteed a full-time job.

        And in Germany, there is less stigma attached to vocational training and technical colleges than in many countries.

        They are not considered a dead end. In some countries, company management come from those who attended business school, but in Germany, if you’re ambitious and talented, you can make it to the top of even the very biggest companies.

        • Irenist

          Nate, I think Hell just froze over completely, b/c I’m also a huge fan of Germany’s vocational ed. system….

          • http://hezekiahgarrett.wordpress.com Hezekiah Garrett

            Me too!

            Heck, I quit at the top of my class half way through a BS Nursing program to go get vocational training in the one area of Western medicine which interests me. I might still get an RN or BSN later, but it will be much later, by bridging my emergency experience.

            And I am so much happier, with more medical experience and far less debt than any of my old classmates I run into.

  • Paul

    Mark, respectfully disagree. You obviously don’t live in California. Please feel free to move here, pay the exorbitant taxes, live in a society with heinous criminal gang activity, witness failing schools due to lack of common language, deal with failing infrastructure due to mismatch between funding for public goods and vastly under reported population, and so on.

    Good people, yes. Loved by God, yes. Problematic when you’re talking about numbers in the millions with no control, oversight or proper funding. Absolutely.

    Please feel free to send a check to the State of California to subsidize what you feel to be not a big deal. It is.

    • Mark Shea

      I live in Washington, where (as in California) a huge chunk of the economy depends on the exploitation of illegal immigrants. If we are going to exploit them, we should give them the benefits of citizenship.

      • Blog Goliard

        They have citizenship.

        In their home countries.

        • Mark Shea

          Yes, but they are being ruthlessly exploited in this one. And our economy has absolutely no intention of changing that. So since they are already being treated as member of the American workforce (a far more important measure of citizenship than filling out some paperwork) we should just face reality. We are not going to round up and deport 12 million people. Nor should we.

        • Dan C

          We need to focus on the Pauline view of citizenship. We do share a common citizenship then with these immigrants.

        • Dan C

          We focus so much on this “world of flesh.” Sorry, charity, basic constraints of justice (that means folks are justly due to fair labor) are not determined by lines on a map neither birds nor God recognizes. Keeping folks out so we can have more is not a matter of the “world of the Spirit.”

          I paid attention during the Pauline Year.

          • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester
            • Dan C

              Vatican City’s immigrant policy is a concern because?

              I would be delighted to emulate European values in matters of medical coverage. But I doubt you would.

              And you would suggest that we need not replicate other folks” errors. And I would absolutely agree with that statement.

              Get the point?

              • Ted Seeber

                Because if they were doing the same job with immigration as New York City, they should be taking in 9 refugees a year.

                Surely they could find a place to house that many.

                Right now, I think Syriac Catholic Priests bearing near-original copies of the Gospel of Matthew should get priority. :-)

              • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                Vatican City’s immigrant policy is a concern because?

                It’s one of the worst forms of hypocrisy. What Dickens called “Telescopic Charity”.

                In other words, if you keep telling people that they should fly by flapping their arms, then everybody notices you’ve never jumped off a building, flapping your arms, they might question whether your advice is a good idea.

                I would be delighted to emulate European values in matters of medical coverage. But I doubt you would.

                And they’re already finding that the medical coverage has problems when you allow anyone to walk in and take advantage of it (especially if they don’t contribute as much to the system). Everything has costs and trade-offs. Those don’t go away just because you close your eyes and wish really hard.

                And you would suggest that we need not replicate other folks” errors. And I would absolutely agree with that statement.

                So… again: Mexico, Vatican City… a lot of the countries that are advising what our immigration policy should be… end up with immigration policies that are the exact opposite.

                Tell me, do you take investment advice from thieves too?

                • Irenist

                  Nate, I wouldn’t say that the Vatican should be properly analogized to a thief.

                  Christ was poor, but that didn’t stop him from telling the rich young man to give away all that he had to the poor. A poor man may licitly speak on an issue he hasn’t the means to address himself. Similarly, the Vatican City State has an area of 110 acres, and little economic activity; the United States is quite a bit larger and wealthier. It is licit for the Vatican, which has neither room nor jobs for a large population of immigrants, to speak on an issue which it hasn’t the means to address itself.

                  As for Mexico, I would say only this: I wouldn’t send a runaway back to an abusive home just because her parents were rude to guests; that the government of Mexico is cruel to immigrants is no justification for us to be cruel in our turn to Mexicans fleeing the economic mismanagement of that government.

                  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                    Nate, I wouldn’t say that the Vatican should be properly analogized to a thief.

                    I don’t think it is, it’s more the point of taking advice from someone you shouldn’t.

                    Christ was poor, but that didn’t stop him from telling the rich young man to give away all that he had to the poor. A poor man may licitly speak on an issue he hasn’t the means to address himself.

                    1) Was He? He does own Everything after all.
                    2) Except Christ also gave of all He had as well. Not just His death, but in healing others, multiplying the loaves, etc. So the comparison is flawed (yet not quite) because Christ was consoling the rich man to do all he could, even as Christ Himself was doing all He could.

                    Similarly, the Vatican City State has an area of 110 acres, and little economic activity; the United States is quite a bit larger and wealthier. It is licit for the Vatican, which has neither room nor jobs for a large population of immigrants, to speak on an issue which it hasn’t the means to address itself.

                    So then, you admit that there is a point where immigration can be restricted, yes? Then (as the old joke goes) we’re just haggling over specifics. It’s not that you don’t think immigration shouldn’t be restricted, you just don’t think we’ve reached that point.

                    As for Mexico, I would say only this: I wouldn’t send a runaway back to an abusive home just because her parents were rude to guests; that the government of Mexico is cruel to immigrants is no justification for us to be cruel in our turn to Mexicans fleeing the economic mismanagement of that government.

                    You missed applied your analogy. It’s not about sending a runaway back to an abusive home. It’s about taking parenting advice from the abusive home. It’s about the worst hypocrisy, the “I think everyone should do _, except for me” mentality.

                    • Irenist

                      So then, you admit that there is a point where immigration can be restricted, yes?

                      Sure. For the Vatican microstate, no immigration at all might be prudent. I also don’t think it would be prudent to try to shelter any immigrants in my studio apartment. But I do think a continental nation of 300 million people can absorb a few more of the wretched of the earth.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      “I don’t think it is, it’s more the point of taking advice from someone you shouldn’t.” As has been pointed out, the Vatican city-state is all of 110 acres. That is ever so slightly smaller than the USA. Apples and oranges.

                      More than a minor quibble: The Magisterium, which is what informs the Church on such things as migration and the free movement of peoples, is distinct from the Vatican, a city-state. You are using the term also as metonym with the Magisterium (which is not unusual), but in the context of an attempt to smear it with hypocrisy, you clearly mean the city-state of, again, 110 acres.

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      I also don’t think it would be prudent to try to shelter any immigrants in my studio apartment. But I do think a continental nation of 300 million people can absorb a few more of the wretched of the earth.

                      Fair enough, just keep in mind that some parts of the debate is that others think it can’t. (the other being what I pointed out below, a question of identity)

                      As has been pointed out, the Vatican city-state is all of 110 acres. That is ever so slightly smaller than the USA. Apples and oranges.

                      And the widow had only 2 mites. Clearly it was apples and oranges to compare her to the rich people in the temple.

                      Also, like I said above, sounds like you’re just conceding that yes, there could be times and circumstances to restrict immigration. Then the rest of the debate is haggling over details, not “disobeying the church” or (what started this) being a “world of the flesh”.

                      Besides, what started this was Dan C said:

                      Sorry, charity, basic constraints of justice … are not determined by lines on a map neither birds nor God recognizes.

                      Which means your argument is invalidated by him. Those 110 acres aren’t recognized by God nor bird after all.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      “And the widow had only 2 mites. Clearly it was apples and oranges to compare her to the rich people in the temple.” No. She gave what she had. The Vatican city-state does as much as it can. That’s the point of the widow’s mite. You’re asserting that a 110-acre city-state that doesn’t, surprisingly, follow the same immigration policy of a country that spans North America, somehow translates into the Magisterium of the Church being unable to teach on the subject. That’s some spurious reasoning.

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      She gave what she had. The Vatican city-state does as much as it can.

                      Really? You have the news stories about the.. half dozen of refugees it takes in each year? After all, it has a much smaller population density than New York City’s, and if you took NYC’s immigration rate and scaled it down, that means VC should take in about 6-9 people a year. Are they doing all they can?

                      That’s the point of the widow’s mite. You’re asserting that a 110-acre city-state that doesn’t, surprisingly, follow the same immigration policy of a country that spans North America, somehow translates into the Magisterium of the Church being unable to teach on the subject. That’s some spurious reasoning.

                      Except that’s exactly the point. They’re speaking on that which they know not. To quote the article I linked:

                      No one in Vatican City, or in the Vatican Curia, has to think about how to permanently feed, clothe, house, and employ people coming from other lands.

                      It’s high time they did. The Vatican should start welcoming a generous complement of immigrants and refugees – both legal and illegal – for permanent settlement, or it should stop insisting that others do so.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      “They’re speaking on that which they know not.” Hmm, I guess all those unmarried people opposed to gay marriage had better shut up then. Have fun with that restriction.

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      Since you favor no restrictions, I guess Protestants that want to voice their opinions on Catholicism can speak freely. Have fun with that.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      “Since you favor no restrictions, I guess Protestants that want to voice their opinions on Catholicism can speak freely. Have fun with that.” I am having fun with fat :P

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      “Since you favor no restrictions, I guess Protestants that want to voice their opinions on Catholicism can speak freely. Have fun with that.” I am having fun with that :P

                  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                    Or rather I should say, the analogy wasn’t meant to compare the Vatican to thievery. It’s rather like…

                    Taking advice from a vegan for your hamburger recipie.
                    Asking an objectivist which charity you should donate to.
                    Getting Superman to tell you how to survive falling out of a plane.
                    Having an orthadox Jew tell you the best brand of bacon.
                    etc, etc

                    Or rather, having all of the above offering you their unsolicited advice.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      False analogies. It’s not unsolicited advice for a Catholic.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      Of course, if we want to complain about unsolicited advice … Hi Nate! Hi ivan! How about them internet comboxes? Or is it the scale and authority of the Church that bothers you, or that it’s happy to address its teachings to people of goodwill in addition to Catholics?

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      As has been pointed out, the Vatican city-state is all of 110 acres. That is ever so slightly smaller than the USA. Apples and oranges.

                      But it’s about the size of several cities in the USA. So can those cities keep out immigrants? As the first article I linked to pointed out, for VC to accept the same rate of immigration as NYC (and hey, it’s not near the population density), then it should allow in 9 people a year. And of course, since apparently there can be no restriction on immigration, then it should allow in Protestants, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Atheists… etc. Which leads us to…

                      Or is it the scale and authority of the Church that bothers you, or that it’s happy to address its teachings to people of goodwill in addition to Catholics?

                      1) Goodwill does not equal good idea. i.e. Wanting to feed the hungry does not make all the food you hand them healthy.
                      2) When it is willing to practice what it preaches (or even tries) and allows any and all non-Catholics to come into its city, then I’ll at least consider its arguments.

                      Of course, some would argue that if you let in a bunch of non-Catholics, Vatican City would be drastically altered in which case: congrats, you’re starting to get on the same page as those who want restricted immigration.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      “But it’s about the size of several cities in the USA.” There are 640 acres to a square mile, making Vatican city all of 0.171875 square mile. I’m sure there are cities that big in the US (Maza, ND was a city comprised of all of five people until recently), but “let[ting] in a bunch” of anyone isn’t physically possible, unless your definition of bunch, like cities in America, is very loose.

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      There are 640 acres to a square mile, making Vatican city all of 0.171875 square mile. I’m sure there are cities that big in the US (Maza, ND was a city comprised of all of five people until recently), but “let[ting] in a bunch” of anyone isn’t physically possible, unless your definition of bunch, like cities in America, is very loose.

                      Oh we can play the definition game. How about… Guttenberg
                      0.196 square land miles (some water) with an estimated population of 11,176 making it a pop density of 57,116 per square mile.

                      Compared to VC which has an est pop of around 1,000 of 5,900 psm.

                      In other words, parts of New Jersey are holding ten times the number of people VC does. So what’s half a dozen immigrants per year for them?

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      Actually… never let it be said I’m not fair. Here are some instances so credit to VC for that.

                      Though that’s been over a year ago, I wonder how the followup has been. Searching onward.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      No, we’re not playing the definition game. I just don’t understand why you think that a place that’s much like the Capitol of the US isn’t, and really can’t be, a destination for immigration. Much like the Capitol, it’s small. Much like the Capitol, the Vatican has no farms and no industry. Much like the Capitol, it’s a complex for a governmental body. And much like the Capitol, the Vatican works with agencies external to its physical location to address issues.

                    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                      Washington DC… a city with 617,996 pop and 10,065 density.

                      Again, better than VC.

                      Of course, this also proves the other point of many immigration restrictionists: maybe it’s the people involved that are the best judge of how many can come. (you know, like having Americans decide what’s best for America instead of Italians)

                      Again, keep proving my points and disproving Dan’s.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      The Capitol, Dan. Not the capital.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      And by Dan I completely mean Nate, obviously.

        • Ted Seeber

          Actually, many do not. For instance, a huge portion of Mexican immigrants are actually Maya of various tribes, who have been denied citizenship by their own government.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    “If we are going to exploit them, we should give them the benefits of citizenship.”

    Who’s we? I’m trying to remember the last time I exploited an illegal immigrant. Nope, not coming to my mind. Since I don’t live along the borders, and therefore don’t bear the brunt of the problems one way or another, I usually don’t get too involved with this issue. But we?

    • Ted Seeber

      Do you eat?

      Large amounts of our agricultural system in the United States are supported by undocumented workers. All the way up the food chain to restaurants- the last time I was so desperately unemployed as to want to work in food service, my backup industry, I was informed that they were only accepting citizens who were bilingual- and only for working the cashier stations. You needed, you see, to interface with both customers and the kitchen staff.

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        So by partaking in a product I partake in the crime? Is that true in any and every case, and not just about immigration?

        • Ted Seeber

          By partaking the product, you arguably benefit from the crime, and thus, partake in the crime. The solution, of course, is to shop at farmer’s markets with farmers that you trust not to use illegal labor.

          And yes, it’s true about a lot more than just immigration- another reason to buy local direct from manufacturer.

          • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

            The worst problem is that the government has so distorted the food market, many farmers are often left with no choice but to either hire illegals or grow no food.

            I mean, I agree with you, “vote with our dollars” and all that, but for many out there (farmers are the ones I’m immediately aware of), it’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” bind.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            If that is the case, then don’t we all partake in all the crimes of everything we partake in?

            • http://hezekiahgarrett.wordpress.com Hezekiah Garrett

              YES!!!

              If you don’t have scurvy (or spend a lot of time investigating your produce sources), Dave, you likely are exploiting the illegal immigrant.

              This computer I am using, and the wireless router it is connecting to the internet through, make me complicit, same as you, in the exploitation slave labor in south Asia.

              We’re going to have to answer to the Father for our remote material cooperation. I’m hoping He sees that while I ate the fruit and used the smartphone, I also welcomed the alien and supported undermining current industrial practises.

  • dpt

    “But we?”

    US consumers…yes, we may not have any choice, but if your shopping habits favor the lowest cost items, then behind the scenes one will find illegal immigrants in the work place.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      My shopping habits favor the cheapest items because of our financial situation. Again, am I to understand we are saying guilt by degrees of association here? So if we get a product that was produced under any one of a host of problematic issues, we are somehow complicit in the crime? Does this always apply?

      • dpt

        I don’t see it as a crime, though we have low-cost things and services in the US because of “illegals”.
        We have low cost goods because of labor that has been abused in China. We can’t divorce ourselves from the relatity of our current market place and conditions in our commerce, though we have an obligation to speak up and move the system in the right direction.

        (On a side note, I am put off by many Catholic gift shops that peddle plastic crap and figurenes made in China. ugh)

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    ‘“I have always believed that the death penalty was morally wrong,” he added.’

    ‘[T]he Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty’ ~ CCC 2267

    Either this group is out of line with what the Church actually teaches, or it believes that the Church, when it comes to the punishment of offenders, does not exclude recourse to immoral actions.

    • Mark Shea

      Or they believe an unspoken minor premise such as “The death penalty, while it may be morally acceptable in some hypothetical sense, is morally wrong as practiced in the real world.” You know, like the Church basically teaches–which is why she urges abolition of the death penalty.

    • J. H. M. Ortiz

      “‘[T]he Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty’ ~ CCC 2267″.
      This quote from the CCC is quite garbled, because it misrepresents as a complete categorical statement what in the Catechism is part of a conditional, hypothetical statement, with clauses introduced by “supposita” (English “presupposing”) and by “si” (Engl. “when”): note that though the English translation has here “when”, the Latin original “si” means “if”, not “when”.
      (I wonder how much this English mistranslation of “when” for Latin “si” has contributed to the controversy among English-speaking Catholics.)

      • J. H. M. Ortiz

        I now realize that some English versions of CCC 2267 do have in the sentence in question the accurate translation “if”.

  • Ted Seeber

    This is one of the biggest issues in the last 20 years I’ve been tempted to dissent from the Church on. I now refuse to dissent. I may not understand how increasing the supply of labor in a system where labor is priced on supply and demand can be considered justice, but I can have compassion for the individual who has been chased here by starvation and a lack of private property in their homeland, and I can do everything in my power up to and including opening the hospitality of my own home to help.

    I still find it much easier to welcome the victims of political repression or natural disaster as refugees though, than the man who is seeking profit in a system that makes profit off of the death of a million Americans a year.

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    Well I can pretty much guarantee that the issue here in South Africa is not so hypothetical, where our prisons are pretty much hell and have almost zero chance of reforming inmates. Most of them come out of prison as gang members with HIV. Funny how our government, under Mandela, legalised abortion at pretty much the same time as it abolished the death penalty.

    • Mark Shea

      Thanks for the textbook specimen of a non sequitur argument.

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    Nope, what I’m saying is perfectly logical. The Church teaches that the death penalty is not intrinsically evil and that states have the duty to enforce it if there are no other means of protecting society (including fellow inmates of the aggressor). Whether or not there are non-lethal means to protect society is an empirical question that will change from one historical context to the next, and the Church is no more infallible on determining this than you or I. Disagreeing with the recent popes is therefore in no way an attempt to find what you call ‘loopholes’ in Church teaching, but rather what the same popes have called a ‘legitimate’ disagreement, since it is an issue where the Church has no unique (infallible) expertise. It is at it’s root not even a moral question.

    The prison system in South Africa has proven that it has no non-lethal means of protecting society since prisoners are very rarely reformed, and most serious crime is committed by repeat offenders, a lot of it actually within prison walls. If this does not justify recourse to the death penalty then I don’t know what conditions do.

    • Ted Seeber

      So, South Africa is so primitive it does not have steel manufacturing and welding technology?

      Or maybe you have a different definition of the words “no other means of protecting society” than I do?

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        It may be that he’s saying the above argument, that America is just like China and Iran because it has the Death Penalty, can be looked at the other way when we see how many countries that have abolished the Death Penalty consistently allow for abortion rights, or sometimes euthanasia, and other such rulings that are no closer than that old time religion.

        • http://hezekiahgarrett.wordpress.com Hezekiah Garrett

          You think he’s peddling twaddle? Well that’s not very nice to accuse someone of…

    • J. H. M. Ortiz

      Granted that the Church does not at present teach that the death penalty is intrinsically evil, it does not follow that she does teach that the death penalty is not intrinsically evil.

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    ‘For execution to be just, the criminal would have had to kill by the same method. How many murderers do you know who kill by lethal injection?’

    Does this apply to all crimes? Is locking someone in a jail for 5 years only just if he is guilty of doing that to someone else?

    On a related note: is forcibly keeping someone within a fixed perimeter for years on end consistent with human dignity?

    • Ted Seeber

      Threading is broken again apparently.

      “Does this apply to all crimes? Is locking someone in a jail for 5 years only just if he is guilty of doing that to someone else?”

      Pretty close from my point of view. Perfect justice to me is repentance resulting in restitution under supervision.

      While I have argued in the past for some victimless crimes (I just voted against marijuana decriminalization, for instance) I certainly do think we need at the very least some proportionality with respect to justice.

      “On a related note: is forcibly keeping someone within a fixed perimeter for years on end consistent with human dignity?”

      I believe it can be consistent with human dignity.

  • j. blum

    Why does the immigration argument so rarely focvus on the employer of the “illegals,” usually known as Agribusiness?

    • Ted Seeber

      I’ve long supported the punishment for HIRING illegally to be confiscation of the business by the government with ownership handed over to the immigrants themselves, if not guilty of other crimes.

  • Jonathan Waldburger
    • Mark Shea

      Thanks for that ongoing effort to demonstrate good solid reactionary contempt for the normative teaching of the Church when it threatens conservative sacred cows. The Cafeteria is wide open on the Right too.

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    Perhaps you could do me the favour of rising above the reactionary way in which I defend my ‘conservative’ position and actually defend yours. In the meantime I’m flattered!

    • Mark Shea

      For a “faithful conservative” Catholic I should not have to defend the normative teaching of the Church. However, since you asked: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/death-penalty-magisterium-vs-left-and-right

      What really needs defending here is not the teaching of the Church, but the claim to be a “faithful conservative” catholic while doing everything possible to ignore and minimize the obvious (and global) teaching of the Magisterium from the Pope to every bishop on the planet. Good luck with that.

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    Thanks for that link, Mark. The issue I have been raising had little to do with zeal for the death penalty though. Instead, I’m arguing (with the current pope himself) that there is room for disagreement on this issue, even with the pope.

    This is because the Church does not teach that the death penalty is (even usually) immoral, but rather that given the prevalent political and legal *circumstances* we now (in our current socio-political climate) have better means of administering justice. This is not a moral judgement and therefore by definition cannot be binding in any magisterial sense. To compare Catholics who disagree with this prudential judgement of the current papacy with Catholics who reject Church teaching on non-prudential and universally binding moral issues like contraception is the real ‘reactionary’ position to take.

    If Cardinal Ratzinger called such disagreement ‘legitimate’, who are you to insinuate that those who disagree are ‘cafeteria’ Catholics? Or are you suggesting that the current pope meant that one could be legitimately unfaithful to magisterial teaching?

    • Mark Shea

      “Prudential” is not–despite the fond wishes of the Postmodern Right-Latin for “Feel free to ignore the Church”.

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        I’m having a hard time seeing where he is ignoring the Church. In fact, he seems to be wanting to enter into a reasoned discussion about why the Pope and all the Bishops in the world are moving to change what I was told when I came into the Church seven years ago would never be changed. Sounds like a fair question to me.

        • Mark Shea

          If you were told the Church could never change its position on a prudential judgement, you should ask for your money back from your catechist.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            Well, heh, that would be here. Many years ago (I guess around seven by now), while I was on my journey into the Church. Though it wasn’t said like that. Ironically, my issue was being broadsided by a fundamentalist (one of several) who heard about me coming into the Church. He threw this up as evidence that the Church, just like other mainline Protestant (read: liberal) denominations, simply changed its teachings to fit the latest, hippest. He quoted several things about the Church historically allowing for the use of Capital Punishment, and then some quotes by bishops and priests against the DP.

            Puzzled, I came to the Net where here, and on the CHNI, I was assured not to worry. Though circumstances could certainly change the application, the Church won’t change the basics of its teachings. Oh, you could disagree in this case, and priests and bishops wanting to abolish the death penalty were just fine and dandy, because there was room to disagree. This was confirmed later by others I met on my journey. But the Church clearly taught that the DP was allowable under certain circumstances, and not to worry about it changing any time soon. That was 2005. Didn’t convince the good pastor, but made sense to me. Soon, apparently, being a relative term.

            All of this was ironic because as an opponent of the DP, it bothered me that the Church allowed it, even in the most restricted circumstances. But then, I understood there were actually sound, reasonable arguments for its use, and never thought ill of those who disagreed with me. As a Catholic, I would be free to disagree under prudential judgement I think. Times do change, don’t they.

      • Jonathan Waldburger

        ‘“Prudential” is not–despite the fond wishes of the Postmodern Right-Latin for “Feel free to ignore the Church”.’

        Nobody is arguing that it is. The Church has many insights and recommendations on non-moral issues that we would do well to heed. You are the one who constantly repeats the phrase “that is all Mother Church asks of us”, or something to that effect. All Mother Church asks of us with regards to the death penalty is that if there is another effective form of protecting society from murderers and the like, we use it. She doesn’t teach that the death penalty is immoral, like your Catholic Association of Latino Leaders does. And her judgement as to whether there are other effective ways of punishing criminals is in no way a moral judgement, as is her judgement of contraception to be a grave evil. Do you not understand this?

        It’s kind of like the Church teaching that the legitimate use of NFP requires ‘grave’ or ‘serious’ reasons. What constitutes those reasons may be outlined for us by the Church, but at the end of the day it’s a prudential judgement for each individual couple to make for themselves, not the Church or anybody else.

        I’m actually flabbergasted at the way you’ve replied to me.


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