If you are prolife and not merely anti-abortion…

If you are prolife and not merely anti-abortion… November 20, 2014

then shredding families will matter as much as killing children, since shredding families often leads to killing children–and killing other people too.

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  • Marthe Lépine

    See also: http://www.catholicregister.org/faith/faith-news/item/19210-catholic-defense-of-family-means-aiding-migrant-families-bishop-says

    VATICAN CITY – Migrants are among the poorest, most vulnerable
    people in the world, and a church committed to defending strong families
    must be particularly engaged in assisting migrant couples and their
    children, a U.S. bishop told a Vatican conference.

    “Across the globe, 175 million migrants seek safety and sustenance in
    an unknown land,” Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City told the
    Vatican-sponsored World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants.

    • Peggy

      Hello Marthe,

      Not to snipe at you but at the world’s bishops. What have the Latin Am bishops, including Francis, done for the poor in their countries? Why haven’t they called out the corrupt governments? Why haven’t they worked to improve property and other legal rights for native peoples? Marxism is not the only solution. I have read about Hernando de Soto Polar’s (not the explorer but a modern man named after him) reforms in Peru which have improved many lives. He examined what rights are missing in those nations.

      Our bishops should be helping those bishops to tend to their peoples. We give lots of charity to the poor people in remote areas. At least I know of a few parishes in my neck of the woods who are very active in this area.

      Almost half of all new public aid (I think medicaid?) recipients were immigrants…probably legal and illegal, though legal folks have to show self-sufficiency. How are we American families going to be able to make it being continually stretched (Ocare, eg) and taxed, but getting nothing?

      • ivan_the_mad

        “What have the Latin Am bishops, including Francis, done for the poor in their countries? Why haven’t they called out the corrupt governments? Why haven’t they worked to improve property and other legal rights for native peoples?”

        They’ve done a great deal. You can begin to answer your questions by looking up the many priests and even bishops murdered for their efforts in those regards, e.g. Bp. Oscar Romero and Bp. Enrique Angelelli.

        • Peggy

          I know all about them. Many clergy became communist sympathizers unfortunately. There surely is a better way toward justice. Don’t blame and burden American citizens and taxpayers.

          Go home.

          There’s nothing wrong with the law, except that is is already too generous (anchor babies) and not being enforced.

          • ivan_the_mad

            God grant that you receive charity and mercy in greater measure than you give it.

            • Peggy

              These are not all “families.” Lived on the east coast. Know what it looks like. Single young men, trouble, sometimes working, bunkhouses in n-hood. Crime, and if women and children, dependent on public aid.

              Unemployment is too high. Blacks are being hurt by this, but O’s got them busy w/Ferguson. Unfair to legal immigrants. Any mercy for them? How about changing laws to speed up the process for them?

              Go have a revolution to fix things in Latin Am and leave us out of it. These people are opportunists who don’t bring anything to the table. immigrants usually have to show self-sufficiency.

              Mercy is feasible with a few people, but we can’t give this “mass mercy” to so many unknowns who will shift our nation greatly and be a burden on citizens already struggling in this terrible economy..

              • ivan_the_mad

                In none of my replies to you have I addressed immigration.

                • Peggy

                  You’re judging my positions on illegal immigration and its effects on US citizens and legal immigrants as well as on L.Am. economies.

                  But, Francis tells us not to judge you know.

              • HornOrSilk

                Unemployment is too high, not because there has to be, but because the rich are not being forced to use their wealth as it is meant to be used, and instead hoard it up. The poor are not to blame, either our poor nor the poor coming in; it is the rich with the money, who have way more than enough money, finding ways to take more out of the system instead of letting the money be used for what it is meant to be. If you must complain about the poor, whose cries are the cries of Christ, be ware what the just judge will say.

                • Peggy

                  I am not for “forcing” people to spend their income as I see fit. It’s not my call. I don’t think it’s govt’s call either. Yes, we should all listen to God and our preachers, however. Command and control economies w/o freedom don’t work to relieve poverty and destroy the human spirit and trust among citizens.

                  It does a man no good just to hold on to his money. This is a bad economic environment for investing and spending. Wealthy people want to buy stuff and have their wealth grow through good investments.

                  Corporations are being held back by lots of bad economic policies. The (US or any) govt can implement policies that encourage spending and investment by those people with such resources. That helps increase employment and income at all levels. I do subscribe to the “rising tide lifts all boats” concept. The current restrictive and regulatory economy here in the US is bad. I can’t speak authoritatively to all the economic problems in L A. I do think more property and legal rights are needed for native peoples, from what I’ve read. Clearly, there are oligarchs running the nations for themselves. Are Church leaders complicit? Are they too afraid to see justice? There are other ways than communism. What goes on down there is not market economics.

                  • HornOrSilk

                    Communism? Really? Seriously? Communism? What was communist with what I said? And markets without regulation lead to slavery of the people without money. Wealthy people are using their wealth to make sure the not-wealthy can’t get wealth, and that is part of what happens when there is no regulation. Money becomes a weapon, and is a weapon, and contracts end up unjust because the people coming into them are not equals. And yes, it is quite clear, you do not get how money is being hoarded and collected and centralized so the rich get richer while the poor get poorer — not because of “communism” but because of an ideology which has turned avarice into morality and money as the idol.

                    • Peggy

                      I didn’t use the word communism. You did. You are talking about controlling people’s economic decisions. That’s command and control economics. France is dirigiste for example, but not quite communist. Oops, I am sorry, they do have a communist president right now.

                      Free markets are dead, a thing of the past. Wealthy people and business leaders are not all Scrooges and Mr. Potters. That is the childish caricature often seen here. I am sure they’re not all saints, but this constant refrain of rich people spending their time thinking how they can screw the working man and the poor man is just ridiculous. They care about their own interests as we all do. It may be, however, that they are indifferent, but they’re not trying to screw over you and me all day.

                      There is plenty of regulation, too much so these days that our economic growth is stifled.

                      Money is being hoarded b/c of economic policies that are confiscatory and do not encourage growth or profit. That’s human nature. You want them to hire and spend and invest…make it worth their while spiritually and/or financially.

                    • Peggy

                      A couple of sub points:

                      1. Those with inherited wealth living on investments should be viewed differently from those who have high income due to business leadership positions (ie, CEOs). They have different interests and different means of contributing to economic growth.

                      2. Your amnesty allows your evil business leaders to hire cheap immigrants who are happy to work for much less than Americans are used to. That’s not illegal now. Same thing’s been happening in tech world for a decade at least and has adversely affected educated professionals in that field. So, which evil are you preferring here?

                    • HornOrSilk

                      Actually, you did use the word communism. And with that, it’s clear I can’t get an honest discussion with you.

                    • Peggy

                      Ah, in the last line. My use of “communism” was a reference to the Catholic priests’ unfortunate tendency to embrace communism in Latin America. (aka liberation theology) And it got them killed by the oligarchs protecting their power. It was not a reference to what you were proposing.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Well… I don’t know, but it seems that some aspects of liberation theology were not so bad, although I am not really familiar with much of its content. However, it seems that Pope Francis, who saw the south american situation from a different perspective or point of view while he was in Argentina, is taking another look at liberation theology, and he might come up with some interesting insights.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      The thing is, liberation theology is many things, and many in the US never properly read the Vatican’s statements on it. Liberation theology was not univocal, but like scholasticism, was done in many ways, some which were bad, some which were fine with the Church. The Vatican in its official statements made it clear they were talking about “aspects” of some who did liberation theology : “The present Instruction has a much more limited and precise purpose: to draw the attention of pastors, theologians, and all the faithful to the deviations, and risks of deviation, damaging to the faith and to Christian living, that are brought about by certain forms of liberation theology which use, in an insufficiently critical manner, concepts borrowed from various currents of Marxist thought.”

                      http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19840806_theology-liberation_en.html

                      It is interesting that in some circles in the US this was seen as a full condemnation of all liberation theology, which it wasn’t, an indeed in the instruction we find affirmation for the drive that established liberation theology:

                      “This warning should in no way be interpreted as a disavowal of all those who want to respond generously and with an authentic evangelical spirit to the “preferential option for the poor.” It should not at all serve as an excuse for those who maintain the attitude of neutrality and indifference in the face of the tragic and pressing problems of human misery and injustice. It is, on the contrary, dictated by the certitude that the serious ideological deviations which it points out tends inevitably to betray the cause of the poor. More than ever, it is important that numerous Christians, whose faith is clear and who are committed to live the Christian life in its fullness, become involved in the struggle for justice, freedom, and human dignity because of their love for their disinherited, oppressed, and persecuted brothers and sisters. More than ever, the Church intends to condemn abuses, injustices, and attacks against freedom, wherever they occur and whoever commits them. She intends to struggle, by her own means, for the defense and advancement of the rights of mankind, especially of the poor.”

                      So, you are right, some “aspects” for “forms” were fine by the Vatican, and the general principle which led to “liberation theology” itself was accepted. The way some read the Vatican it would be like saying St. Thomas Aquinas was condemned due to Abelard.

                    • Peggy

                      Marthe & HoS,

                      While no expert on liberation theology itself, I would agree that many ideas or basic principles of concern for the rights of the poor that underlie its proposals are common sense and reasonable and consistent with Catholic concern for the poor. But there were Marxist factions in Lat Am and many a clergy aligned with them. (Robert Ellsberg’s “All Saints” cites many such stories).

                      Frankly, while communism is bad and theory and practice, Marx was correct to worry about the rights of the working man in the rise of industrialism in the 19C. I think the 20C labor movement largely corrected those problems, certainly in the U.S. Many things that labor fought for are enshrined in laws to protect all who work.

                      And I would rely on St JP2’s life experience under communism and expertise as a learned Holy Father to explain what aspects of the desire for justice for the poor went too far, motivated by hate and resentment, were punitive and caused racial strife and so forth. Many black churches in the US rely on lib theology, I understand.

                      That can’t help race relations here.

                      HoS, I appreciate your taking a 2nd look at my comments. I apologize for missing my use of communism. As I explained, it was not in reference to your proposals, but an historical reference to Lat Am. Cheers.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      This is a very good comment, and I fully agree.

                    • Peggy

                      Merci.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Thank you. It seems to me, after reading your explanations, that maybe the simple reference to the danger that some people could be inserting some Marxist ideas into liberation theology, as mentioned in the Vatican document you are quoting, might have received so much attention from some people in the US who had what amounts in my view as a phobia against anything with even a distant smell of socialism that they have taken the document as a total condemnation of liberation theology…

                    • HornOrSilk

                      There is that, but also the narrative of the time from the “right” and which continued after is the Vatican condemned Liberation Theology, not just because of the smell of socialism but because they thought all LT=socialism, which it isn’t. Of course, you see how they see anything can be socialism if it is not their capitalist ideology, so there is a sense that you are right in how they read it allowed them to see all LT as condemned.

            • Alex

              Liberal Catholics take pharisaical sanctimony to a whole new level.

  • Andy

    Leviticus 19:34 – The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. Not hard to understand.

    • Donald Richardson

      Andy – bible says Jesus has “brothers,” so Mary must have had other children. Not hard to understand.

      • Andy

        Actually – the word brother that Jesus uses could be comrade, it could represent a possibility that Joseph, as he was older than Mary had children from another marriage, it has also been suggested that brother encompasses male relatives who were of approximately the same age. So no brothers as Jesus uses it does not mean Mary had other children. But nice try as sarcasm.

        • Donald Richardson

          My point is simply that quoting a verse from Scripture and saying “not hard to understand” is Protestant proof testing and not Catholic exegisis.

          • Andy

            Luke 10: 25-37 – the parable of good Samaritan
            goes even further – Jesus describes how we are to treat all – as our neighbors. If we have and they need we are obligated to give it to them. Luke 6:30 – “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30″Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31″Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.…”drives this home. And from Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” These follow from what I cited. So I was not proof-texting I was being a lazy typist.

    • Elaine S.

      It is true that the Old Testament commanded basic respect for foreigners, in contrast to other nations where foreigners were killed or enslaved on sight. However, if you look elsewhere in Scripture it appears that ancient Israelite “immigration law”, such as it was, was actually pretty strict. Foreigners were welcome as long as they respected the laws of Israel and didn’t try to spread their pagan religious practices around. Moreover, they did not enjoy all the same rights as Israelite citizens; for example, they could be kept as slaves indefinitely whereas Israelite slaves had to be freed after 7 years. Israelites were also forbidden or at least strongly discouraged from marrying foreigners, for fear this would lead them away from the true God. Finally, people of certain nationalites that were particularly hostile to Israel, such as the Amalekites, were NOT welcome.

      My point is simply that the command to “welcome the foreigner” exists in a context that must be taken into consideration. To argue that these Bible verses require modern nations to maintain no-questions-asked, open-border immigration policies is like arguing that Christ’s command to “offer no resistance to injury” or “turn the other cheek” means that we should just get rid of the police and court systems.

      • HornOrSilk

        The Church’s interpretation goes further than the strict law of Moses.
        http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/messages/migration/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_25071995_undocumented_migrants_en.html

        “Thus it is important to help illegal migrants to complete the necessary administrative papers to obtain a residence permit. Social and charitable institutions can make contact with the authorities in order to seek appropriate, lawful solutions to various cases. This kind of effort should be made especially on behalf of those who, after a long stay, are so deeply rooted in the local society that returning to their country of origin would be tantamount to a form of reverse emigration, with serious consequences particularly for the children.”

        Sounds like Obama was listening to JPII on this one.

        • Alex

          Assuming JPII’s ‘Message for World Migration Day, 1996’ is indeed the trumpet peal of the Church’s authentic voice, one can legitimately suggest it raises as many questions as it answers.

          After declaring early on that “illegal immigration should be prevented”, he proceeds to talk about integrating “all within a communion that is not based on ethnic, cultural or social membership, but on the common desire to accept God’s word and to seek justice” Whether that undefined “communion” would be the Catholic Church or something more nebulous (a “civilisation of love/life/solidarity” perhaps?), is he thereby saying that ethnicity and culture are trivial things? What would be the correct response if mass immigration reached such a level that a significant number in the host nation had justifiable reason to fear for the stability or even the survival of their ethnicity and culture?

          He further urges us to “guard against the rise of new forms of racism or xenophobic behaviour, which attempt to make these brothers and sisters of ours scapegoats for what may be difficult local situations.” All well and good. What would be the correct response if forms of racism and xenophobia were displayed by the immigrants themselves? Or if they were in fact, all scapegoating aside, largely responsible for “difficult local situations”? Such situations are not unheard of.

          + + +

          Some decades ago Pius XII wrote:

          If the two parties, those who agree to leave their native land and those who agree to admit the newcomers, remain anxious to eliminate as far as possible all obstacles to the birth and growth of real confidence between the country of emigration and that of immigration, all those affected by such transference of people and places will profit by the transaction.

          (Which implicitly acknowledges the possibility that “those who agree to leave their native land” might not “be anxious to eliminate as far as possible all obstacles to the birth and growth of real confidence”.)

          And:

          The natural law itself, no less than devotion to humanity, urges that ways of migration be opened to these people. For the Creator of the universe made all good things primarily for the good of all. Since land everywhere offers the possibility of supporting a large number of people, the sovereignty of the State, although it must be respected, cannot be exaggerated to the point that access to this land is, for inadequate or unjustified reasons, denied to needy and decent people from other nations, provided of course, that the public wealth, considered very carefully, does not forbid this.

          (Which implicitly acknowledges the possibility that there may be adequate and justified reasons for denying access, for example considerations of the public wealth.)

          • HornOrSilk

            The problem with the “considerations of public wealth” is it ignores how the wealth was obtained, who has the control of the wealth, and issues like this. For example, all the complaints about “we can’t afford them” is nonsense when we look at how much wealth is in the US, albeit in a few people who have hoarded it up so that the distribution of goods has been halted by their damned dam. The poor, the migrants, are not the ones who have caused the problem within the nation, but the wealthy elite who find all kinds of reasons to justify ill-proportioned wealth for themselves leaving scraps for everyone else, then telling us that there is not enough scraps.

            Seriously, what I quoted was not the only piece one can have from the church: we have two thousand years of the Church promoting charity to the stranger, welcoming the migrant. Again, the idol of money is what is promoted as a response. I won’t sacrifice the poor at its altar and ignore why there is a mess in the first place (often the same rich here are making a lot of their wealth in the very nations these poor are coming from, with corporate looting even as they continue to loot the US). But of course, we can’t admit where the real problem lies and just blame the poor, the needy, those who are trying to live!

            You can’t serve God and Mammon!

            • Alex

              I wouldn’t quarrel with any of that in principle, HornOrSilk.

              I confess I’m more concerned about ethnicity & culture. So I must ask again:

              Are ethnicity and culture trivial things?

              What would be the correct response if mass immigration reached such a level that a significant number in the host nation had justifiable reason to fear for the stability or even the survival of their ethnicity and culture?

              What would be the correct response if forms of racism and xenophobia were displayed by the immigrants themselves? Or if they were in fact, all scapegoating aside, largely responsible for “difficult local situations”?

              These are currently very pressing questions from a European perspective and will be increasingly so from a US perspective, I believe.

      • Andy

        My concern is not reasonable laws or enforcement of laws – it is is more how we view folks we deem as illegal. We see them as invaders, as people hell-bent on taking advantage of our largess, such as it is. When we see them as less then children of God or as being an enemy we are ignoring what the Bible does say.
        Part of the issue is that we do not have an immigration policy that even makes sense. We have “businesses” that want to use the immigrants who cross illegally as cheap labor so the business can make money. A second issue is that both parties see this as a wedge issue to raise money. Third we ignore the horrific conditions that many of these people come from.

    • Peggy

      Doesn’t Leviticus also specify how to treat slaves and what sort of meats we should not eat? How much of Mosaic law remains operative today?

  • Donald Richardson

    Andy – and not hard to understand all the pro death penalty statements in the OT.

    -JB

    • Andy

      Clever – but as Jesus said to those who were to stone the woman for adultery – let you without sin cast the first stone – and they walked away – Jesus added to the death penalty that to “pull the switch” so to speak that one had to be sinless as well. Haven’t come across a lot of sinless people in my life other than Jesus – and he said to the woman if they won’t condemn neither will I go and sin no more.

      • kirtking

        “Sin no more” Jesus had a sense of humour too!

        • Marthe Lépine

          No, He had a sense of Mercy. It can be hard, and a matter of falling and trying to get up again, to change a lifetime of sin. But what counts is the willingness to change.

        • Andy

          I would guess that Jesus had a sense of humor, as well as enjoyed parties and being human.

    • For the record, Donald, the Catholic Church does not altogether prohibit the death penalty. It merely points out that it ought to be a last resort. Several popes have noted that this last resort is rarely, if ever, necessary in modern industrialized societies.

  • Matthew

    Why is the obvious third option never mentioned? Parents and children can both be re-patriated. This will obviously keep these families together.
    Matthew

    • ivan_the_mad

      Sometimes this is possible, but not when repatriation would subject the family to privation or physical violence (from which they likely fled in the first place). The USCCB issued a report following a fact-finding mission here, which details the myriad causes and solutions involved. You can read even more concerning the USCCB position in Bp. Seitz’ testimony before a House committee. There’s far more than three options 😉 This is unsurprising to the conservative, whom Russell Kirk reminds: “Human society being complex, remedies cannot be simple if they are to be efficacious.”

      • kirtking

        So in other words, no family can be deported, because undoubtedly they (regardless of whether it would be Mexico or England) worse off in their country of origin…or they would be there in the first place.

        • ivan_the_mad

          Don’t be silly. Read the USCCB documents for which I have so helpfully provided hyperlinks.

      • Na

        uhmm…the US already has a program to offer a safe haven for people fleeing political or social oppression.

  • Donald Richardson

    How is allowing millions of nominal Hisapnic Catholics to eventually become voting citizens and who will vote for pro-abortion candidates somehow “pro-life”?

    Oh, and there are as many Hispanics in prison in the US for murder as whites. This is hardly pro-life either.

    • Matthew

      Right, because the wellbeing of millions of other humans should be ignored because they might* not vote for your party. Good excuse. I’m sure Christ feels the same way.

      • Donald Richardson

        Hispanic voting patterns are very clear. Pro-abort and pro-homosexual Obama got 70% of their vote.

        And its not a question of R’s being percieved as anti-immigration. Republicans did worse among Hispanics when Reagan signed an amnesty in 87.

        • Andy

          is it possible – not pro-abort, but anti-republican?

          • Eric

            So is this an issue where they’re justified in laying the unborn at the feet of the injustice of their plight? The GOP doesn’t respect life. The radical left doesn’t respect life. I don’t vote for either.

            • Andy

              No, I was responding to Mr. Richardson’s comment that they were voting for Obama because he was pro-abortion. I don’t vote for either party either, but I am not faced with the problems that many others face and have that “luxury”.

              • Eric

                Thanks for the response. Glad to hear you don’t vote for either radical side. God bless you for that. I realize how discouraging this position can be. I do face many of the problems myself though. So I have an understanding of how easy it is to pick a “side” and ignore the issues that don’t directly apply to my specific issues. This would be wrong despite how understandable it may be.

                Once again, thanks for your response. I hope my initial comment didn’t come off as accusatory.

                God bless you.

                • Andy

                  You initial question was more than appropriate and understandable – I was not offended in the least. Masy God bless you as all

    • “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me, but only if he votes Republican.”

      • Donald Richardson

        I didn’t say people should vote Republicans, I said people shouldn’t vote pro abortion.

        • The point still stands. We are called to help our fellow human beings, regardless of what they believe or how they vote.

          • Pete the Greek

            ” help our fellow human beings”
            – This can actually be done without allowing unlimited immigration. One is not necessarily equal to the other.

            I would point out that we can either have enormous, unchecked immigration OR a comfortable welfare state. You can’t have both.

  • Matthew

    President Obama deserves some credit on this one. Marco Rubio had an immigration plan, and and soon as President Obama said, “Pass it, and I’ll sign it,” Rubio threw it down and backed away like it was contaminated with ebola. The GOP keeps talking about the need for immigration reform, but they won’t. do. anything.

    So, the President is forced to step up and do what he was elected to do: lead.

    Not to mention, allowing immigrants to stay, work, and be with their families is the moral option. Sending them back to a country that is wrought with violence (most of it due to the drug war that WE started), poverty (more drug war), and a corrupt government (more drug war) is not the moral answer. It really should be that black and white. Everything else is arbitrary.

    • Pete the Greek

      “most of it due to the drug war that WE started”
      – Perhaps, if I may hazard a suggestion, part of our solution might be to end the Drug War, or at least stop exporting it to foreign lands.

      • Matthew

        That would be a viable option. Decriminalize drug use. Treat drug users as patients instead of criminals. It’s basic capitalism. Take away the demand for the product, cripple the drug economy.

        Of course, Cartels also specialize in other criminal activities, such as human trafficking.

  • Pete the Greek

    ON EDIT: THIS is a more up to date, and sobering article than the one I originally linked to.

    I don’t participate in discussion about immigration much anymore, because what I think doesn’t matter or influence anything. What all of you think doesn’t matter anyway either, as rational discussion of the topic on a national level is forbidden.

    I’ve written before that my experience of unskilled migrants from central and south America has been, what might surprise everyone, rather positive. I’m in real estate and they are great tenants and make very good, reliable employees. Other’s experiences may vary.

    Regarding the general national debate, I’ve found this article seems to sum up the situation nicely.

    ***
    “To grasp American immigration policy, to the extent that it can be grasped, one need only remember that the United States forbids smoking while subsidizing tobacco growers.

    The amusing thing is the extent to which American policy is not to have a policy. The open floodgates to the south are changing—have changed, will continue to change—the nature of the country forever. You may think this a good thing or a bad thing. It is certainly an important thing—the most important for us in at least a century. Surely (one might think) it deserves careful thought, national debate, prudence, things like that. But no.

    It looks to me as though America thoughtlessly adopted an unwise policy, continued it until reversal became approximately impossible, and now doesn’t like the results. It must be Mexico’s fault.
    ***

    • Andy

      Pete – I agree that we adopted a policy or is a non-policy and no we are pissed because our non-policy doesn’t work.

  • Donald Richardson

    Pete:

    ____________

    I’ve written before that my experience of unskilled migrants from
    central and south America has been, what might surprise everyone, rather
    positive. I’m in real estate and they are great tenants and make very
    good, reliable employees. Other’s experiences may vary.

    ____________

    Of course. But that’s my experience with blacks as well. If I were to hang around in a black or hispanic area in a major city after dark, I would get a different impression.

    I don’t know any Hispanics who are on welfare, but statistics say they are on welfare at a much higher rate than whites.

    I think its called the fallacy of composition, or something like that.

    • Pete the Greek

      ” If I were to hang around in a black or hispanic area in a major city after dark, I would get a different impression.”
      – I deal in C and D class real estate, which means the ‘not so good’ areas of the city. Our city doesn’t have a primarily Latino area, but the blue collar and poorer neighborhoods have a large mix of them. I actually wouldn’t worry too much if I was in an area such as that after sundown (of course I’m also one of those evil Catholics, a gun guy, so I don’t worry too much anyway) albeit I would be very careful.

      You experiences may vary from mine depending on what city you live in, but in mine, according to official state and federal statistics, the Latinos aren’t the ones committing the serious crimes of violence, usually. In my city, if you come out from your business and discover that someone has taken a battery-powered saw and cut off your catalytic converter, it’s anyone’s guess who did it. If you see that a gas station attendant was pistol-whipped into unconsciousness after being robbed or two people were murdered for ‘disrespecting’ the attacker, you can usually guess with about 90% accuracy who it was.

      People may not like to hear that. It may offend some people. I’m offended that some people actually LIKE Nickleback. Doesn’t change what is.

      Oh, and I don’t go into that area of town after dark, period.

  • D.T. McCameron

    Jeeze, I thought you were talking about cluster bombs! Literally shredding families.

    *phew!*

  • jaybird1951

    One simple question: Why should the USA import millions of poor and often illiterate immigrants who do not speak English when we have millions of our own home grown poor who lack jobs? No other industrialized nation deliberately imports poverty. Our first responsibility is to our own. If those families are splintered, is it not because the adults chose to do so? Who sends little children across a dangerous landscape to America so they can establish a beach head for the entire family or leaves their children behind so they can be fetched later? This country takes in over a million legal (LEGAL) immigrants a year. They are not the issue here. It is unfair to those millions waiting legally to enter to give preference to those who chose to break our laws and continue to do so every day they remain here.

    • Pete the Greek

      “Why should the USA import millions of poor and often illiterate immigrants who do not speak English when we have millions of our own home grown poor who lack jobs?”
      – Because Americans don’t want the jobs they do at the wages that employers will pay. Think about it. As another author pointed out: If an impoverished man from El Salvador can travel all the way to Lincoln, Nebraska to take a job working in a slaughter house, why can’t an unemployed man from Detroit? Or from Lincoln for that matter?

      “No other industrialized nation deliberately imports poverty.”

      – Actually, Europe is doing quite a bit of that as well.

      If more places pass enormously stupid high minimum wage laws, look for this trend to drastically increase.

    • ivan_the_mad

      ” import millions of poor and often illiterate immigrants”. People aren’t a commodity or good to be imported.

      I’m wary of such claims in opposition to immigration, that we have enough poor people already, or its corollary, that a larger pool of workers will further depress wages. Proponents of what is euphemistically termed population control, i.e. abortion and BC advocates, make the very same claims.

      • Pete the Greek

        “I’m wary of such claims in opposition to immigration, that we have enough poor people already, or its corollary, that a larger pool of workers will further depress wages.”
        – Understandable. Properly understood, they do express a real concern, however.

        From the article I linked:
        “Tenth, there is grave danger that the newcomers will be corrupted by the American welfare state. Mexicans at least arrive with a strong work ethic. They take any job they can get and maybe a couple of others on the side. When have you seen fifteen members of any other ethnic group waiting outside a Seven-Eleven at five in the morning hoping for work?

        But if they find that they can go on the dole and get things for free, they will. Nobody who doesn’t have to will shovel asphalt under a hot sun or stand in two inches of blood in a slaughterhouse ten hours a day. Would you? They seem to be beginning to demand things on grounds of historical mistreatment. Where have we heard this before? The economy probably cannot stand another large dependent class.”

      • Marthe Lépine

        Well said – poor people are not a commodity… It seems to me that, once a baby is born, he or she no longer counts, unless of course he or she has been acquired as an accessory to the life of a couple, heterosexual or not! It is a shame that economics and life are now so far apart that they appear to be in opposition. And if more workers are the reason for wages to go down, we blame the workers, while the wages just don’t go down on their own: there are people who find out that they can get away with lowering wages, and claim that it is because of the “law” of supply and demand. But of course minimum wages, or any regulation of wages, or unions, are out of the question – that’s “Economics”, which have absolutely nothing to do with the lives of the workers, which are “Social” issues!. Workers who don’t want, or cannot, work at slave-wages are deemed to be lazy and therefore “undeserving” poor…I have a suggestion: There should be a new form of draft, making it mandatory for all workers, from the highest paid CEOs down to the mail clerks and the floor sweepers, to spend one month each year doing those jobs that even the poor are not willing to do, for the wages that the poor are offered, and without being able to claim their regular pay for those months. Their employers should not complain, since this would contribute to increase their profits… And decree that those people would not have the right to accuse the poor of laziness until they have completed a minimum of 5 months doing those jobs.

      • HornOrSilk

        You know, you are right. What is also funny and sad is that the very ones who say we don’t have room at the inn for the strangers in our midst are the ones who, in any other debate, say we have more than enough room for the whole population of the world: in Texas.

    • Kathleen S.

      I don’t see how helping the poor escaping from a bad situation is a bad thing. Maybe it’s because I myself am Lithuanian, and both my grandfathers fled Lithuania because they did not want to be abducted into the Czar’s army for life. Oh, they were very poor when they came here…very poor indeed. The Russians confiscated their family farms and sent those who still remained to Siberia. I have a heart for those seeking a better life. And as a Catholic I feel an obligation to help people who are exploited, especially, here in this country, working illegally and often not receiving a pay check at all. Working under terrible conditions. Lets take South Carolina for one instance. They have the highest rate of death from heat stroke in the country. Guess who is dying? Mexicans working tobacco fields. The growers keep the water way, way down the line . They are given terrible living conditions.

      Also let’s remember that how NAFTA hurt the Mexican farmers trying to make a living. Corn was their biggest crop. With the USA giving subsidies to farmers ( really big factory farms run by big business), the Mexican farmer could not compete. I read more than 2 million Mexican farmers have lost their farms.

      We cannot ignore the cry of the poor.

      • Kathleen S.

        Correction…I should have said North Carolina, not South Carolina, as far as conditions in tobacco fields. RJ Reynolds Tobbacco company thinks they meet the necessary safe working conditions. Children are getting nicotine poisoning from picking the leaves. The poor Mexicans cover themselves in plastic garbage liners to protect themselves from nicotine. You need to put a plastic garbage liner some hot summer day and go work out in the sun all day. I don’t even want to start about Smithfield Pork…

  • Peggy

    The families can go home intact.

    This is insane and frightening. Who will have the courage to stop it?

    • Na

      No! That is inconceivable.

      An additional question someone might ask before starting to demagogue on this issue, how are all of these countries supposed to create thriving economies while dealing with a constant migration of people? Japan was an economic power, now they have endured two lost decades because of terrible demographics. The goal is to create self sufficient, stable thriving economies that protect human rights where families and communities can thrive and prosper right?

      • Peggy

        The leaders of these nations as well as their Catholic bishops have failed miserably.

        It is NOT inconceivable to send these people home, inspire them to pursue justice at home, and get a job perhaps while you’re at it. No thanks. We left DC overrun with illegal and all kinds of immigrants, bunk houses of men in our neighborhood. No thanks.

        These are not all sweet families. There are gangs and all kinds of no goods included in the population. What if a Muslim terrorist gets in? Gosh, what if a white European slips in under this rule? Can’t have that, right?

        Go home. It is not fair to legal immigrants. It is not fair to citizens who are competing for jobs, unskilled labor. I can’t believe black leadership is in support of this.. . Well, that’s why Obama and Holder are keeping blacks busy over Ferguson…I pray our city is not destroyed this weekend. Our middle class can’t afford the lawn guys and housekeepers anymore with their stagnant/decreasing income.

        This is lawlessness.

        • Na

          Peggy, I was actually supporting your point. Lets examine this issue from every direction and make a prudent judgement. Providing millions of illegal immigrants with amnesty is NOT an unmitigated good

          morally equivalent to defending an innocent unborn human life. The short answer, is that they are all politicians and they are lying including the words “and” and “the”.

          When you say yes mean yes, when you say no mean no. You can’t use immoral means to achieve moral ends.

          • Peggy

            I do agree that the situation in these S American countries must change for the betterment of all their citizens. I have a comment lower down here on that point.

            Cheers.

        • Elaine S.

          Not to mention what kind of message does this send to all the LEGAL immigrants who waited years and spent thousands of dollars trying to do everything right because they respected this country’s laws? Did they just waste their time and money?

          I personally think that a simplified LEGAL immigration process, combined with better border security and tougher penalties for illegals and those who hire them, would be a good thing. If you want to encourage respect for the law, then a relatively moderate/lenient law that is consistently enforced is preferable to a strict law that is enforced selectively or not at all.

          • HornOrSilk

            And what does that message tell all the poor who need to migrate but are kicked around because they don’t have thousands to spend? The fact that some could get in under an unjust system does not mean that the others should suffer.

            • Peggy

              What message does amnesty send to legal immigrants who’ve followed the law, waited for years, paid fees to become legal residents and/or citizens?

              By what standard is our “system” unjust? Just because one has to follow the law to get in? Should we have unbridled immigration? Should we favor Latin Am? Why? Should each case be evaluated on the candidate’s merits?

              I have heard reports of increased costs in many cities for schooling, public aid and other services that these people will need to live in our nation. Public coffers are not that full these days. Taxpayers are being strained.

          • Peggy

            Good points. I have been re-thinking what I would want changed, based on my experience with INS (at the time) and what seems to be needed for economic/social benefit to the US.

            Our elected officials are to serve us, not other nations’ citizens.

        • freddy

          “Our middle class can’t afford the lawn guys and housekeepers anymore with their stagnant/decreasing income.”
          .
          This reminds me of a Jeeves and Wooster story in which Bertie Wooster has a sudden pang of pity for all those poor chappies who can’t afford a valet.
          .
          So now I know. We’re poor. Most everyone I know is poor. We’ve never been able to afford a housekeeper or lawn guy!
          .
          There’s a blindness here that doesn’t seem to see others as brothers and sisters in Christ; just “our sort” and “us first” and an attitude of “there won’t be enough for us all if we share.”
          .
          This is selfishness.

          • Peggy

            Well, that was a bit of humor, you know. But, the point is that there is not the economic prosperity in the middle class to employ as many illegal aliens as there once was…except for federal employees in DC area. [It was not an expression of pity for the middle class’ limited resources, but a notation of a lack of economic opportunity for illegal aliens given the lousy economy.]

    • petey

      you can receive the families with christian charity.

      who will have the courage to support them? the USCCB:

      “Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration

      The Catholic Church in the United States is an immigrant Church with a long
      history of embracing diverse newcomers and providing assistance and
      pastoral care to immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the
      move. Our Church has responded to Christ’s call for us to “welcome the
      stranger among us,” for in this encounter with the immigrant, the
      migrant, and the refugee in our midst, we encounter Christ.”

      http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/

      • Peggy

        Yes, it’s possible. But not desirable. I don’t agree w/bishops on this. I don’t agree w/them on Ocare. I don’t agree with many of their economic statements over the past few decades.

  • Marthe Lépine

    If I am to understand the jest of a majority of comments here, Pope Francis and the Bishops are wrong, and could even be blamed for the election of pro-abort politicians, when it comes to immigration policies, since Latino immigrants tend to lay “the unborn at the feet of the injustice of their plight.” through their voting patterns… Impressive! I have always wondered why it was that people who were allowed to be born no longer count for American Catholics, unless, of course, they can prove without a doubt that they are “deserving” poor. Check one more reason for me to never again set foot in the US…

    • Eric

      Do you want to get into this in such a uncharitable manner Marthe? I read your comments often. I usually agree with you. I appreciate your calm, reflective, charitable contributions. There are times though, you get downright disgustingly vicious when you feel it’s warranted.

      I’d much prefer to continue this discussion with Andy. He at least attempted to read my comment in a charitable light (how very catholic of him).

      God Bless you

    • Eric

      I’m sorry. My first response was uncalled for. I’ll take your comment into consideration. It’s my poor wording that resulted in this. Please accept my sincere apology.

      God bless you.

      • Marthe Lépine

        ok No problem. It’s through discussion, often heated, that ideas first appear and grow and deep thinking starts.

      • Marthe Lépine

        I re-read your first response a couple of times, and in fact you don’t really have much to apologize for: It also contains a very nice compliment. Thank you!
        And you are allowed to disagree with me, I am not yet perfect and incapable of mistakes. The comment you were replying for was somewhat influenced by my emotions. I think that anyone should be allowed to show a bit of an “Irish temper” once in a while, not just Mark… But I also think there is nothing wrong with pointing out a perceived excess of temper when considered needed.

    • Peggy

      Dear Marthe,

      In charity, I ask whether Canada’s immigration policies are more generous than the US’s.? Do they go unenforced as the US laws are? How many Latinos have continued on from the US to Canada?

      We have no obligation to “forgive” interlopers. I think this framing it as “families” is probably overstating the issue. Many young adult men come looking for clandestine work, send money home, come and go home themselves. Many are trouble, criminals. Apparently DUI problems are not infrequent. We hear about them often. There will be little or no scrutiny.

      I had need of our immigration agency some years ago. They could not meet the workload of legal immigration candidates. The agency’s going to blow up or just rubber stamp to get through cases.

      This is lawlessness and must be stopped.

      • Dave G.

        Compared to some countries, America’s immigration policies are open door. In school I knew a girl from Russia. She was doing all she could to stay in the US. She also hated the US. I asked her why she wanted to be a citizen if she hates the US so much? Easy, she said. She would be an old woman if she tried to become a citizen in the countries she would rather live in. That’s not uncommon. Much of the world stands around with a cigarette in one hand, a beer in the other, bitching about those drinking, smoking Americans. And, of course, many Americans are more than happy to join the chorus.

      • Marthe Lépine

        From a few cases I have learned from a few of the immigrants I have met, Canada’s immigration laws are very bad, it can take years to be allowed to immigrate. However, it should not stop us to discuss the fate of immigrants, wherever they are coming from or going to. And… If my memory is correct, the laws of God are more important than civil laws, and an it is not clearly forbidden to break an immoral civil law.

        • Peggy

          Thanks Marthe. Have a good weekend.

  • Na

    Isn’t it interesting that the “preferred” bishops and catholic leaders only seem to mention the word pro-life under three scenarios. They are trying to explain that to be pro-life you have support some other cause. They are trying to explain that abortion is merely one issue among many. They are trying to explain that pro-life people are defective and not really Christian. Why a Pro-Lifer would want to be considered Catholic is beyond me.

    I have no problem revising the immigration system but only after evaluating the impact of each of the affected parties and making a prudential judgement. Not by demagoguery, sloganeering and half truths.

    This habit of creating pithy seemingly self evident slogans whose only purpose is to obscure nuance, close debate and advance a political agenda…without as the Pope would say the person being the center of method…is no way to run a democracy. And will always end in tyranny once the most powerful person adopts it means.

  • Johnny Vo

    The faithful are a great comfort and support to this poor sinner. Bath house bishops, not so much. Our family works for us. We live. We are pro life.

  • Marthe Lépine

    It seems that Obama has just announced a decision, but it sounds more like a political “promise” than a long-term solution. However I have only read about it in a Canadian news site, and there were not many details.

  • Elaine S.

    The real issue with the Obama executive amnesty is not so much WHAT he is doing, as HOW he is doing it — in a direct attempt to avoid getting a MAJOR change in the law (not just a clarification or tweaking of a law that Congress has approved) passed “fair and square” through Congress.

    I work for an IL state agency whose function is to review proposed state regulations before they take effect; our #1 question is always “Does the agency have statutory authority to make this rule?” If we find that it doesn’t, then our agency has the authority to stop the rule from taking effect or to insist that changes be made. The idea is to make sure that the executive branch — agencies under the governor — don’t go off making new laws contrary to what the legislative branch approved. It’s all about separation of powers. Many states have similar rules review mechanisms but the federal government does not.

    We have had a number of instances in which an agency proposed a rule that, in and of itself, wasn’t a bad idea, but we had to object to it or prohibit it because the agency simply did not have the authority to make that kind of rule.

    In one of these instances, the agency simply ignored us and started implementing the rule anyway — and that ended up being one of the grounds cited by the Illinois House for impeaching Gov. Blago. The rule in question had to do with expanding eligibility for a child/family health insurance program; the legislature had rejected the idea because it did not believe the state could afford to fund it. The director of my agency was called to testify before the impeachment committee about this episode. One of Blago’s attorneys asked her whether she had a problem with providing healthcare for sick children, or something to that effect. She said no, but that was not the issue, the issue was whether the governor had the authority to go off and do that ON HIS OWN without any legislative or constitutional authority.

    So yes, it is possible to be pro-life and pro-family, and even to think that the policy of not deporting certain illegal immigrants may actually not be such a bad idea, and ALSO believe that what Obama is doing is unconstitutional, immoral and sets an extremely dangerous precedent. What part of “the end doesn’t justify the means” do his defenders not understand?

    • Marthe Lépine

      Thank you for the explanation. Id did seem to me that the announced decision seemed shaky. In addition, the point of “temporary residency” seems to negate the entire decision, since there is no indication of how long “temporary” will cover. Therefore, even for a foreigner like myself, it did sound like empty talk, or political posturing.

      • Willard

        Elaine’s opinion is not shared by all legal scholars on this matter. Even many conservatives have stated that this action is within the authority of the executive. As one who is also concerned about executive authority in general, I actually hope this gets reviewed by the courts.

        • Elaine S.

          I hope so too. I’m not a lawyer and don’t play one on TV, so I suppose there could be valid arguments either way. However, from what I’ve read, it appears that even those who think Obama is within his authority admit he’s pushing the envelope, so to speak.

    • Peggy

      Hi Elaine!

      I worked for the IL state right after college, utility regulation. In the business of fed-state reg for 20 years. You are quire right about rulemakings and their lawfulness.

  • ivan_the_mad

    On a lighter note, an apropos Onion piece.

  • BHG

    Interesting thread. At the risk of being redundant, here’s my two cents. There are two ways to keep families together. One is to grant amnesty and allow the families to stay here when they have arrived in violation of established law. That brings with it certain political, economic, social, ethical, and legal issues especially when done by fiat rather than by kegislation. The other is to reunite them in their country of origin and provide a safe and economically stable and more prosperous way to live there–which is home to them however inhospitable it has become That likewise brings the same kinds of problems though in different ways. One is easier to do in the short run, one takes a longer view and is admittedly far more difficult. But because an individual prefers the second solution to the first does not make him anti-life and I am weary of hearing that equivalence from those who believe there is only one morally acceptable means to the end.

    • ivan_the_mad

      I don’t think you’re being redundant at all when you write: “(a)The other is to reunite them in their country of origin and (b)provide a safe and economically stable and more prosperous way to live there”.

      That is very much in line with *one* of the solutions in the USCCB assessment (see my links to pertinent USCCB documents below). The problem is that many who assert (a) don’t follow with (b), of which you may see evidence in this very thread.

  • Joseph

    As much as I dislike Obama, I can’t really find anything wrong with his proposal… at the moment. I probably need to read the fine print somewhere. But, I actually agree with what I’ve seen so far! I’m actually going to have to take a bath after saying that.

  • HornOrSilk

    Just remember, the Holy Family were illegal immigrants in Egypt. The authorities, there, pursued the Holy Family just like so many so-called Christians still pursue Christ in the poor to kick him out of the new Egypt, the USA.

    • BHG

      I am unaware that Egypt had a laws against migration at the time. The Holy family were Aliens in Egypt, yes. Pursued by Herod, yes. In Egypt illegally (fromEgypt’s perspective), not so sure. Can you point me out a reference? Serious request.

      • HornOrSilk

        http://www.touregypt.net/holyfamily.htm gives a representation of their time in Egypt via Pope Theophilus’ description. You will find they had to hide from the authorities.

        You will also find many of the Vatican’s declarations on migrants as looking at the Holy Family. Again, we must remember, look to the ancient world and you will find Christian missionaries were also unwanted by authorities, and killed for the same reason — because they were seen not only as illegal, but criminals destroying society. We often forget this.

      • Elaine S.

        Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire after the death of Cleopatra in 31 B.C. By the time Christ was born it was no longer a sovereign country — it was part of the same Roman Empire that ruled Judea. The Holy Family could not have been “illegal immigrants” in Egypt any more than, say, someone who moves between U.S. states or countries of the European Union can be deemed an “illegal immigrant”. Egypt also had a significant Jewish community at the time, which was probably why the Holy Family chose to seek refuge there.

        • BHG

          Kinda the sense I had. Being pursued by authorities is not the same as being in a country illegally.

          • HornOrSilk

            Except you still ignore the role of authorities determining who is there legally or not. This is still what you forget. Their presence was seen as criminal, and they were pursued throughout Egypt, hiding out, because the authorities did not want them in Egypt. With authorities determining if your presence is legal or not, yes, they were illegally there. And more important, there is a reason why Pope after Pope have looked to them as the example of suffering migrants!

            • BHG

              From the USCCB position paper on immigration, the following: The Catholic Catechism instructs the faithful that good government has two duties, both of which must be carried out and neither of which can be ignored. The first duty is to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person. Persons have the right to immigrate and thus government must accommodate this right to the greatest extent possible, especially financially blessed nations: “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.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.

              The second duty is to secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good. Sovereign nations have the right to enforce their laws and all persons must respect the legitimate exercise of this right: “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.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.

              Note the duty of a state to make and enforce borders.

              Now think about this: we approach this problem as though all immigrants wish is well–they do not. Suppose, instead of immigrants who more or less support the US culture, including the Christian aspects of it, we were to be overwhelmed by immigrants who seek specifically to overturn our way of life and reduce Christians to servitude or oppression. If we have dismantled the rule of law, how do we stop them? If you want a hint at how this might look, take a look at parts of Europe currently wrestling with this very issue because of Muslim immigration. And recall the stated purpose of radical Islamists to subdue the west and subject it dhimmitude. This is not a theoretical issue. And we are after all called to be both meek and wise.

              Here in the US, laws exist at least in theory for the very purposes of stability and neutrality. It’s fine to put a human face on those we assist–and our assistance may or may not be determined by the contours of law–but the law cannot pick and choose whom to protect except in the most carefully crafted circumstances, and then it is subject to challenge on the basis of discrimination. This is precisely why it is dangerous to circumvent the law, or to order it not to be enforced–for that order extends to those who wish to be here for “good” reasons and those who wish us harm. Yes our immigration laws are broken if for no other reason than those who have chosen to flaunt the established rule of law are granted a free pass while many from the very same countries who wish to come here legally languish and are turned away. Yes, it needs reform. But NOT by fiat. And not ignoring the unintentional ramifications of a porous border.

              I will reiterate: two ways to do this and one of them, harder and more expensive but quite possibly better in the long run is to reunite these families in there home of origin and work very, very hard to make it a hospitable place for them. To argue that this is neither an option or that those who see real problems with an open border/broad based amnesty approach are somehow afoul of Catholic teaching overreaches, I think.

            • Elaine S.

              It doesn’t say anywhere in the canon of Scripture that the Holy Family was “pursued” throughout Egypt. Herod didn’t know the identity of the “newborn King” that the Magi said they had come to see. He knew only that this “king” had been born in Bethlehem sometime after the Magi saw “his star in the east”. When the Magi failed to return and tell Herod who this newborn king was, Herod issued a blanket order to kill ALL baby boys under age 2 in Bethlehem — he had no idea which one it might be, so he chose to kill them all.

              In any event, whatever arguments there may be for or against amnesty/leniency toward illegal immigrants, I personally don’t believe “the Holy Family were illegal aliens in Egypt” is a valid one.

              • HornOrSilk

                So, you think we are limited to the Bible and not early Christian historical records? Got it.

        • HornOrSilk

          You are assuming people were free to immigrate like that, and that there was no restrictions, expectations from authorities if you migrated. However, as I have shown, they were indeed unwanted, that priests and rulers in Egypt still saw strangers (outsiders) as unwanted, especially the Holy Family (for reasons demonstrated from the above site). Just because there was no “borders” or “nation-states” as per modernity does not mean people were just free to move as they wanted and outsiders were welcome by authorities.

          • Elaine S.

            There was a large, well established, and prosperous Jewish community in Alexandria at the time, which enjoyed a significant degree of independence/self-rule, and with Joseph’s skills as a carpenter or craftsman, they would have blended right in. The Greek translation of the Old Testament that Christ Himself quoted in the Gospels and which contains the books specific to Catholic Bibles (the Septuagint or LXX) may have been commissioned specifically for this community. So I dunno that the Holy Family would have been “unwelcome” in Egypt or treated as outsiders.

  • Alex

    Bishop Bergoglio continues his one-man mission to empower the neopagan fascist right. God help us all.

    All men that are ruined, are ruined on the side of their natural propensities. There they are unguarded. Above all, good men do not suspect that their destruction is attempted through their virtues. This their enemies are perfectly aware of: and accordingly, they, the most turbulent of mankind, who never made a scruple to shake the tranquillity of their country to its center, raise a continual cry for peace with France. Peace with Regicide, and war with the rest of the world, is their motto. – Burke

    • HornOrSilk

      Your disregard for the Pope, not willing to call him by his papal name, and your clear racism all make me entirely dismiss you from now on.

      • Alex

        Your disregard for the Pope, not willing to call him by his papal name

        Well, the Bishop of Rome himself set that precedent when — in one of those spectacular displays of humility to which we’ve become accustomed — he had his passport made out to plain old Jorge Bergoglio.

        Do I mean disregard for the papacy? No, I have all due reverence for that office. To the man? Frankly, yes. I admit it sticks in the throat to associate the name of a great saint with a foolish old man and autocratic bully whose abiding impression is one of tremendous vanity. Dante, thou should’st be living at this hour.

        Your clear racism

        Really? If I were a racist I would most likely welcome the rise of fascist neopaganism. In truth, your use of the term “racism” has roughly the same semantic content as “great big poopy-head”. The fact is the word is routinely applied to a range of sentiments, some of which are virtuous, some innocuous, others downright vicious and unchristian. Rather than being used to convey meaning, language has here been weaponised with the aim of obfuscating meaning, often by those pursuing an obnoxious agenda.

        Heresy is rarely a straightforward lie; more commonly it is a truth which has been wrenched out of context and exalted as the only truth, to the detriment of other truths. This is why it is so dangerous — not only does the unnaturally isolated truth assume monstrous and destructive forms in itself, it also invariably provokes an equally unbalanced reaction by the partisans of a balancing truth.

        • Andy

          Since you purport that Pope Francis is leading to a heresy – what has he done – very specifically that is heretical? I don’t mean things that +Burke doesn’t like or that you don’t like.- but what has he done that is completely antithetical to what the church teaches.
          If you cannot cite specifics and then cite exactly what is heretical your opinion is worthless.

          • Alex

            I didn’t mean to imply that the Pope was teaching heresy. I was using the example of heresy to illustrate what seems to me problematic about the Pope’s remarks on immigration and border controls — that by formulating particular truths as if they were the whole Truth, he is being less than just to other equally important particular truths and, in consequence, risks provoking an equally one-sided reaction from those who are keenly aware of those other truths.

            I apologise for not making that clearer.

            • Andy

              Thank you of your apology – I did not view his comments on immigration as a presentation of the whole truth any more than Benedict’s comments sometimes were – as Pope his words carry more weight and can sometimes be mis-construed.

            • Marthe Lépine

              remember this:

              Socrates. Surely then you agree that I am mortal.
              Thermippos. I didn’t say that. You did. Don’t put words in my mouth.

        • Marthe Lépine

          Your last paragraph, which is correct, also seems to illustrate your position. As I said before, if you wish to start another church, you will only be contributing another Protestant church to the long list of those that already exist…

          • Alex

            Your last paragraph, which is correct, also seems to illustrate your position.

            How so?

            • Marthe Lépine

              You are giving a correct description of heresy. And it also describes what you are claiming to believe…

    • Willard

      What flavor of sedevacantist are you? Most sedevacantists I know don’t accept the Paul VI rite of ordination so wouldn’t that be Mr. Bergoglio?

      • Alex

        I’m not a sede although I admit sedevacantism has never seemed so attractive. I envy the serenity and freedom from mental anguish it must bring — but for that very reason it seems too easy, a flight from the Cross and passio Ecclesiae. (It goes without saying that sedes are Roman Catholics.)

        • Willard

          Wait, you think people can believe that we haven’t had a Pope in 56 years and still be Catholic?

          • Alex

            Why not? The following passage by a very highly regarded 19th-century Jesuit priest and theologian is often quoted by sedevacantists; it’s well worth reading and strikes me as eminently sober, reasonable and free of kookiness:

            “The great schism of the West suggests to me a reflection which I take the liberty of expressing here. If this schism had not occurred, the hypothesis of such a thing happening would appear to many chimerical. They would say it could not be; God would not permit the Church to come into so unhappy a situation. Heresies might spring up and spread and last painfully long, through the fault and to the perdition of their authors and abettors, to the great distress too of the faithful, increased by actual persecution in many places where the heretics were dominant. But that the true Church should remain between thirty and forty years without a thoroughly ascertained Head, and representative of Christ on earth, this would not be. Yet it has been; and we have no guarantee that it will not be again, though we may fervently hope otherwise. What I would infer is, that we must not be too ready to pronounce on what God may permit. We know with absolute certainty that He will fulfil His promises; not allow anything to occur at variance with them; that He will sustain His Church and enable her to triumph over all enemies and difficulties; that He will give to each of the faithful those graces which are needed for each one’s service of Him and attainment of salvation, as He did during the great schism we have been considering, and in all the sufferings and trials which the Church has passed through from the beginning. We may also trust He will do a great deal more than what He has bound Himself to by His promises. We may look forward with a cheering probability to exemption for the future from some of the troubles and misfortunes that have befallen in the past. But we, or our successors in future generations of Christians, shall perhaps see stranger evils than have yet been experienced, even before the immediate approach of that great winding up of all things on earth that will precede the day of judgment. I am not setting up for a prophet, nor pretending to see unhappy wonders, of which I have no knowledge whatever. All I mean to convey is that contingencies regarding the Church, not excluded by the Divine promises, cannot be regarded as practically impossible, just because they would be terrible and distressing in a very high degree.”

            • Marthe Lépine

              He may have been a highly regarded theologian, over a century ago, but his opinions don’t appear to have convinced the Magisterium. Therefore they should not be invoked in order to discredit the Church and its Magisterium. Unless you want to start another church to your liking, but then it would only be another of many Protestant churches.

              • Alex

                his opinions don’t appear to have convinced the Magisterium

                Eh? He just said don’t be surprised if weird and scary things happen in Church history. Has the Magisterium anathematised that?

                Therefore they should not be invoked in order to discredit the Church and its Magisterium.

                How does my quoting his words discredit Church and Magisterium? Because I apply them to the sedevacantist thesis? AFAIK the Magisterium hasn’t anathematised the theological hypothesis known as sedevacantism. On the contrary, Cum ex apostolatus officio explicitly allows that a pope could lose his office as a result of heresy

                Unless you want to start another church to your liking

                Who am I, Cardinal O’Malley? (Just kidding.)

                but then it would only be another of many Protestant churches

                Even if I were a sede — which I’m not — that wouldn’t mean I was a Protestant starting another ‘church’. Protestants deny papal authority because they reject the institution of the papacy. Sedevacantism is a completely different kettle of fish. Suppose someone comes to believe in good faith that Elizabeth II is not the rightful Queen of England but a usurper whose claim to the throne is bogus; he might be objectively wrong, but that wouldn’t make him a republican!

                • Marthe Lépine

                  The Queen of England and the Pope have two very different functions. If you accept the claim that the Catholic Church has not had a valid Pope for decades, you are choosing to cease to belong to the Church. that’s all. Who are you to decree that the popes of the last half century of more are not valid popes? Who gave you that authority? And the sedevacantists claims clearly also reject Jesus’ promise to be with His Church until the end of times.

                  • Alex

                    If you accept the claim that the Catholic Church has not had a valid Pope for decades, you are choosing to cease to belong to the Church. that’s all.

                    Until you can point to a magisterial pronouncement that says as much, that’s just your opinion.

                    Who are you to decree that the popes of the last half century of more are not valid popes? Who gave you that authority?

                    (I wish you’d say “sedevacantists” rather than “you”.)

                    I don’t think this is about “decreeing” anything or exercising “authority” in a juridical sense. It’s about applying reason to experience. Is that the dreaded ‘private judgement’? Only in the sense that deciding to become a Catholic in the first place is a private judgement. I didn’t become a Catholic because the Magisterium said I should; I became a Catholic because I applied reason to experience and concluded that the claims of the Magisterium about itself were true — in other words, that it was a genuine authority whose voice I could not in good conscience disregard. Likewise, if ever (God forbid) a future application of reason to experience led me to conclude that Catholicism was not true after all, I could not in good conscience remain a Catholic. In making that decision, I would not be defying or usurping the authority of the Magisterium. I would simply have ceased to believe its claims; in effect, concluded that it did not exist.

                    And the sedevacantists claims clearly also reject Jesus’ promise to be with His Church until the end of times.

                    I don’t see that they “clearly” do anything of the sort. Presumably sedes have faith that Jesus will sort things out in His own good time.

  • Willard

    St. JP2 teaches in Veritatis Splendor paragraph #80 that deportation is one of those acts that are “intrinsically evil”.

    Should Canon 915 be invoked against politicians that support the Republican policy of deportation?

  • BHG

    Oh just for fun, let’s toss out another idea. Imagine how differently this problem would be approached if, instead of the Bishops (and the faithful in varying degrees and combinations) asking in some relatively nebulous (and as we see below, sometimes cantankerous) way that the government “do something,” the Bishops were to announce, each in his own diocese: Here I have 500 (5000, 10,000) families willing to take in some of these folks who have come here illegally, support them with bed and board, assist them in regularizing their status, and they promise to do so for 2 (3, 5, 10, as long as it takes) years. The former is asking that someone else implement your perhaps very good idea. The latter is the people of God stepping personally up to the plate….

    The question then becomes–how many of those willing to ask the government to “do something” are also willing to do something concrete and personal…? And before you say “that won’t work,” ask yourself why not? That question can become a good examination of conscience on the immigration issue.

    A bit like the chicken and the hog when it comes to breakfast….

    • Dave G,

      That’s almost like saying we should do things rather than just complain about others who don’t do them as well as we insist. You forget yourself.

      • BHG

        😉

    • Marthe Lépine

      It is not a bad idea. Maybe something like the efforts that were made several years ago to help some of the “boat people” arriving from Cambodia or Viet Nam. I don’t know if the same thing was done in the US, but here in Canada there were groups of people getting together to help refugees settle. Many were set by Church groups, but there were others as well.