The Catholic Bishops Aren’t ‘In Bed’ with President Obama. They’re In Court with Him.

The Catholic Bishops Aren’t ‘In Bed’ with President Obama. They’re In Court with Him. July 21, 2014



I hate it when I have to spend my good time sweeping up the refuse from idiotic, politically-motivated attacks on our Catholic religious leaders.

Today, I’m going to address attacks from the right side of unreason, and to be honest, I’d rather not. Have to, that is. I’d much rather I didn’t have to keep doing this.

I’m not so pleased when I have to do the same thing for with the left side of unreason, either.

But … duty calls.

There have been a smattering of articles and combox vitriol floating around the internet accusing the Catholic bishops of all sorts of nasty things because they don’t/won’t/aren’t-going-to hate on Mexicans. After all, we’re deep into our bi-election brown-skin hate-off right now and every red blooded American is called to abandon all reason and blindly join in.

The cable news networks are discussing (they never report, they only discuss) the issue of large numbers of children coming over the Rio Grande. I watched a brief thingy on one of them Saturday night. They were proclaiming that one in four of these kids are “criminals” and that “gangs” are meeting them at the border to recruit them.

I know lots of people who’ve come over that border. Some of them are bad dudes. True. But most of them fall into the salt of the earth category of family-loving, deeply-religious goodness. You can hate me for saying it, but it’s just a fact.

To get back to the talking heads and their endless talk-talk on this border situation, I have one main point, and that point is …

They do this every single bi-election year.

I’m not saying that the problem with people flooding our Southern borders isn’t real. I am also not saying that this country should not control its borders. Far from it. A country that can’t control its borders is in big trouble.

What I am saying is that the this wall to wall reporting that has you so whipped up and miserable right now is politically-motivated. The cable news does this every bi-election The constant drumbeat of hysterical talk-talk-talking about “illegals” will stop like turning off a tap as soon as the votes are counted in November.

In the meantime, the good people of this country will have been ripped around and worked up into an emotional pitch for nothing. Again.

Because, you see, nothing is going to happen that will stop the flood of illegal immigrants coming over the border. Think about it. This big outrage has been whipped up every bi-election since the turn of the century. What good has come of it? Republican President/Democratic President/Republican Congress/Democratic Congress it doesn’t matter. Nothing changes.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops are doing their Jesus thing and insisting that these children are people and must be treated as people. If you will read the Bishops’ statements on this issue, they plainly support efforts to control the country’s borders. But they can’t very well drop kick the Gospels just to make the right wing side of unreason like them.

So … they get hit with the usual claptrap from the vicious pharisees to the right. I won’t go through the whole tired litany of hate talk. I’m going to focus on one bizarro statement that I’ve seen repeated enough to know it has traction in certain internet nut bins. That statement is the ludicrous claim that the Catholic bishops are “in bed” with President Obama.

That is so stupid that it deserves a trophy of some sort or other.

Have any of the little hive minds that are passing that around totally forgotten the dozens upon dozens of lawsuits filed against the HHS Mandate? How about the bishops’ requests for religious exemptions to ENDA and the fight brewing there? Who do you think was working against the Hobby Lobby vote last week?

The bishops are in bed with President Obama? Puleez.

What the bishops are doing with their support of the human rights of immigrants and their refusal to join in with the great bi-election immigration hate-off, is following Jesus.

You know, the Jesus Simeon said would be a “sign of contradiction.”

What Simeon didn’t prophesy, but which Christ the Lord promised when he said If they persecute me, they will persecute you, is that people who follow the Gospels, especially in a a post-Christian society such as ours, are also going to be signs of contradiction. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that our vocation as Christians in this post-Christian culture is to be signs of contradictions.

The bishops are succeeding in that vocation in a grand fashion. They are, for instance, being sued directly for their teaching that abortion is wrong. That’s from the left side of unreason.

Now, they’re being accused of pandering to our anti-Catholic president by insisting that people are people, no matter their legal status. That’s from the right side of of unreason.

What we are dealing with here is two sides of the same God-is-Made-in-My-Image coin. When people cut the Gospels down to fit their politics, they stop being a sign of contradiction to the sins of the world and become the sin’s enablers. They are salt that has lost its savor.

The followers of the politically-trimmed Gospel that does not allow for the sanctity of human life or marriage on the one side, and that tries to enforce economics as a morality-free zone on the other, are both examples of fallen and useless Christians. When I say “useless” I mean they are useless to God in His great work of Kingdom building.

Is there anything worse I can say about a Christian than that they are useless to God?

Jesus told us cannot follow two masters, and I think He meant it. When we trim our faith to suit our politics, we are running away from the cross, just like Peter, Andrew, James, James, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, Nathaniel, Simon the Zealot and Thaddaeus.

The Apostles repented of their shameful running away. They gave their lives for the same Jesus they had abandoned.

We can too.

I am not saying that we should not be concerned about the flood of illegal immigrants that have been coming over our borders for the past decades. This country needs to secure its borders. Period.

I am saying that we should stop letting ourselves be jerked around by the bi-election carrying on that happens so predictably that you could set your calendar by it.

This isn’t about shutting down our borders. In fact, the same corporatists who own the news outlets that are pushing this hysteria are themselves ardently opposed to shutting down the borders. They like and employ the cheap, off-the-books labor. I’ll write more on that in a day or so.

What this reporting and whipping Americans into a xenophobic hysteria are about is the universal goal of power politics: Getting power and keeping power.

Nobody is going to fix this problem, come November. The day after the elections, the talking heads will start talking about something else. Just like they do every bi-election.

In the meantime, the right-wing-of-unreason crowd will have scarred and defamed the name of Christ with their claims to be Christian while they say things that come straight from the pit.

The bishops are right about this, just as they are right about marriage and abortion and human trafficking and a whole host of other things.

They are being attacked because they are the sign of contradiction in American public discourse.

They get attacked from the left and right because they are not acolytes to either the right or left. Their job isn’t to give moral support to the immorality of power politics. Their job is to proclaim the Gospels and teach us what living for Christ means in this world.

When they tell us to treat immigrants as people, they are teaching us how the Gospels apply directly to us, in our current world. They are setting the cross before us and asking us to take up the unpopular position and lift the cross onto our shoulders and follow Him.

The Catholic bishops are in bed with President Obama? The plain facts of recent history make that charge ridiculous.

The fact that otherwise intelligent folks are bandying it about simply points to how nutty following the gods of this world can make people.

I am writing this with one goal, and it’s not to call in the lightning on my own head, although I will probably get a bit of that. I am writing it to urge you to regain your reason.

Think straight. Look at the simple fact that this happens every bi-election. Consider what that means in real life.

Look also at the fact that the bishops are hated on by both the right and left of the political spectrum. Consider for a moment that perhaps this is because they are actually being the “sign of contradiction” that we all should be.

If you follow Jesus, you’ll be treated the same way He was. That’s what’s happening to the bishops. It’s also what should be happening to you and me.

Use your minds and think people. Do not be whipped around by talking heads with a political agenda. Think. Connect the dots.

And support our bishops.

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67 responses to “The Catholic Bishops Aren’t ‘In Bed’ with President Obama. They’re In Court with Him.”

  1. Excellent post. The media is indeed whipping up a tide of absolutely senseless xenophobia– of course the borders should be secure. I don’t think anyone can argue against that–it’s the Republicans straw man. Ironically, the people coming here are driven by market forces, and they are providing a labor force for a country which has already lost 50 million people. And you are right about the “morality free” capitalism which is defended at all costs. If the bishops are doing something right, which they are, it should be evaluated on its own merits.

  2. Thanks for writing this. You’re a voice of reason. Has it always been this way or have Catholics become more invested in their political party then the church or is this a recent development? Conservative Catholics seem to be under the mistaken belief that the Church is in perfect lock step with the Republican Party. They’ve gone so far as to denounce the Pope and verbally assault not only the kids coming over here but the Bishops who are trying to help them. Why would anyone think it’s a bad idea to help people regardless of who’s asking. Are we supposed to hate Obama so much that we wouldn’t serve the most poor? How odd of a concept for anyone but especially Catholics. It’s impossible to reconcile.

  3. Let’s bring the wife and kids, too. It was the Hispanic population of my parish in Texas who reached out to and accepted me when I showed up and didn’t know a soul within 500 miles.
    I trust the bishops on this far more than Obama. I trust their motives, while I am suspect of his (and pretty much all politicians’–our hostess here excepted).

  4. I have been reading immigration law, because so many on the conservative side (which I usually identify with) keep saying, “have them come legally”. Nobody ever says HOW people are supposed to immigrate legally. So far, I can’t find how someone who doesn’t have either a relative who is a legal resident here or an employer here who is relocating them can legally immigrate, except as a refugee or with a student visa. Even to get a work visa requires a relative or employer here. There are some narrow exceptions, but a family in Argentina or China or Norway with no relatives here, who wants to immigrate? I can’t find how they would even apply. I’m going to keep looking, but it seems like telling many of these people to immigrate legally is pretty much saying, “Don’t come at all.”
    That isn’t the attitude my great-grandparents encountered at Ellis Island.

  5. The media love to whip things up and then present a false dichotomy like “treating immigrants humanly means your not interested in a strong border” Nonsense! I feel very strongly about securing the border and updating immigration laws. My heart goes out to those kids, and I am embarrassed by the folks in Oracle AZ. Really? They act like the mob chasing Frankenstein with torches and pitch forks. I am very proud of all the volunteers from Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Nogales, for ministering to the children being held here in Nogales. I cannot imagine the stress they’re going through. Thank God for His Church and our Bishops. His church is a WORLD WIDE CHURCH not just an American church. I think we forget, its not about us.

  6. “The Catholic bishops are in bed with President Obama? The plain facts of recent history make that charge ridiculous.”

    Rep. Hamilton, other than the recent topics of ACA and gay marriage, the plain facts of history are clear that your assertion is false.

    The simple and encompassing fact is since Vatican II the leadership of the Catholic Church in America, and in particular the Jesuit influence on the Democratic Party through Georgetown University, has actively supported ALL [sorry, not yelling, no ability to underline] “Social Justice” activities being led by the government. Effectively ignoring the Subsidiarity aspect of the doctrine; without which the doctrine become Socialism/Communism.

    Christ never sat with political leaders and never even hinted at unity in effort with any political power in living Christian Charity.

    The Bishops choose to walk away from placing the saving of souls and the Sacraments as primary to become, and lead their priests to become, social workers with a “collar”. Many so much so they only wore the collar on Sunday’s after taking off the Chasuble.

    They may not have been in bed, but they dinned and laughed together and worked on political solutions.

    All things Christ never did, and never spoke of doing when explaining what it means to follow Him.

  7. Rebecca, you do know the USCCB used to be called the Democratic Party at prayer, right? I don’t think that applies any more, although some of the bishops are very nostalgic.
    I have driven the whole border a number of times, lived on it and in border states, both , so I have experience. “Securing the border” is a little hard considering there has been commerce bank and forth for centuries. That is not the problem right now.
    The “non-intact families,” “unaccompanied OTM minors,” and others presenting themselves at the border right now think if they arrive with children they will be able to stay, given “permisos.” I’m worried because the coyotes are taking money and abusing these kids. They have families in Honduras, Guatemala, Salvador, and need to go home.
    Regularizing people who are here, like those you mention, needs to be done.
    These are not Mexicans. Mexican kids who show up in the US are repatriated. That’s what needs to happen with these kids.

    FW Ken, I know a lot of people like those you mention who work hard. I want them regularized, too. My biggest complaint about the narcos is that they are extremely violent and dangerous and they are not gonna get nicer. They are organized crime and we have to fight them.

  8. I agree that our many of our Catholic universities have lost their Catholic identity. I also think that “star” priests such as John Corapi have proven a disaster.

    There is a danger anytime clergy of any sort becomes over-familiar with the lords of this world. I’ve seen protestant clergy sell out just about everything, including pro life, in order to be able to have “access” to powerful people.

    I’ve thought quite a bit about priests who are university presidents, earn large salaries and hobnob with the hoi pa loi end up identifying with the people they are around instead of the people as a whole.

    I believe that many of the criticisms Pope Francis has leveled at his brother bishops, and his brother priests are a reaction to this.

    On the other hand, to assert that the bishops have not, as a group, stood up against this anti-Catholic administration is simply not true.

    The fact that a good number of priests have sat on their hands and not helped in this fight, and that some of the Catholic universities have even gone the other way, is a scandal. But even there, I don’t think these priests and university presidents are “in bed” with President Obama as that they simply do not have the faith and commitment to do what they should.

    As for the two items you mention, they certainly are not the whole list of areas in which the bishops have taken a stand that was at odds with this administration. The attempt to go to war in Syria, the funding for Planned Parenthood, human trafficking, abortion (which crosses a lot of lines), ENDA, the administration’s position at the UN on a number of issues, come to mind immediately. I have no doubt I could fill a long column with examples.

    As for saying that the bishops should not take positions on matter of political concern, that is exactly what those who are trying to drive Christianity out of the public square maintain.

    The bishops are right about the immigrant situation in Texas. I don’t know if President Obama agrees with them or not. But they have taken essentially this same position on similar questions since at least the 1920s.

  9. Ken, the Catholics I know in real life aren’t doing and saying these things — either on the left or right. These are activists with an agenda, and that agenda does not appear to be following Christ. I mean both left and right wingers, not one or the other.

  10. I’ve heard that Anne, but I don’t pay any attention to that sort of thing. I’ve been called too many things by too many people to believe it when someone else gets the same treatment.

    The only way to actually “fix” this problem is to address the underlying causes. Anything else is just politics.

  11. Rebecca, I don’t disagree. Just that the situation in their home countries is not ours to fix, nor should we be shaken down. We need to provide for the kids now, but they need to go home.

  12. No kidding! To get a visa without a first degree relative, you get on a list and wait, sometimes decades. Each country has a quota for non-relative visas. I think that’s what they are called. It’s awful. They used to have occasional lotteries, too, but I don’t know if they are still doing that. It is an awful system.

  13. Your own article sounds similar to the news talking heads since you appear to have made the same quantum leap..that people (such as myself) who wish to have our government immediately return these children to their own countries somehow “hate ” them. It is entirely possible to want to humanely gather them up, place them on airplanes, feed them and return them to their homelands.

    Wanting this to happen is NOT because I hate anyone who is not my identical twin per se, but because our government of entitlement has gotten out of hand for years and it must stop.. What other country in the world permits thousands…thousands of aliens across it’s borders and then support them indefintely via taxes from it’s citizenry?

    I agree with the bishops that we need to treat these people as people…and then disagree with them regarding keeping them here…let them go home.

  14. Rebecca. Are you “Brown skinned”? No?
    Are you an immigrant? No?
    Well, I’m a LEGAL IMMIGRANT myself, and I disagree with the lawlessness of mass illegal immigration at the border.
    Does that make me “Mexican hating” as your ad hominem asserts.

    I really hope you don’t squash this comment, because a response to your nonsense is only fair, especially since you set up a clear straw man, that a legal immigrant like myself must be racist because I believe in a sovereign nations study to defend its border from illegal immigrants that won’t fill the coffers as the bishops hope to regrow the Church of nice.
    Data is clear these illegals are democrat drains on society before they are Catholics.

    This is a typical “patheos neocatholic” rambling and puts you in the same bucket as Mark Shea and his nonsequiturs against anyone who correctly points out that the USCCB is in need with the democratic party.

    All one needs to do is look at the track history of the USCCB to know they are liberal democrats at heart, varying more about earthly concerns than shepherding their flock.

    The scandals of the USCCB (Catholic campaign for human development and Marxist proabortion groups under the banner of social justice, CRS giving money to the Obama administration and population control groups, their “crushing” hatred and repression of tradition while not saying a word about heretical “women’s ordination” and gay friendly parishes, not to mention their purposely vague “faithful citizenship” voters guide) it’s clear the USCCB is in need with progressive democrats.

    Even their “fortnight for freedom” was weak enough to be laughed of the stage by bishops of the past.

    The USCCB is a democratic arm and totally useless for getting people to heaven… which should be a bishops job.

  15. The Holy Father wrote a directive to the Mexican Bishops one of the directions was to created holding areas for the Migrants. He also said Vanity all is Vanity. I took that to mean people flooding to the US, without restraints are running to an illusion a vain imagination that all will be better.. Our meager measures will never change this. The problem is in the home country

  16. Loving the rule of law is a moral position. The breaking of the rule of law is the cause of Central America’s problems. The bishops received millions of dollars from the Obama Administration in preparation for the current border problem while posing in front of the fence as if it’s the Berlin Wall. The bishops continually present the border as an evil to be torn down, while the USCCB blog (and yours) refers to opposition to their view as racism. Opposition to their view is actually based on support for………….the rule of law. I won’t be scolded for objecting to that.

  17. You don’t hate the most pro-baby-murder president in history who is responsible for intensifying the genocide of his own race?

  18. Rebecca,

    Another outstanding posting. Congratulations and thank you.

    You made three points that I found particularly noteworthy:

    1. The cable news “outrage” driven by the election cycle and the narrative that attracts attention, viewers, etc. “What I am saying is that the this wall to wall reporting that has you so whipped up and miserable right now is politically-motivated. The cable news does this every bi-election The constant drumbeat of hysterical talk-talk-talking about “illegals” will stop like turning off a tap as soon as the votes are counted in November.”

    2. The problem of “God-Is-Made-In-My-Image” and supports my politics that you effectively skewer: “The followers of the politically-trimmed Gospel that does not allow for the sanctity of human life or marriage on the one side, and that tries to enforce economics as a morality-free zone on the other, are both examples of fallen and useless Christians. When I say “useless” I mean they are useless to God in His great work of Kingdom building. Is there anything worse I can say about a Christian than that they are useless to God?”

    3. Third, and in my mind most important, is your call for us to “…regain your reason.” One of the great strengths of our Catholic faith is that is is founded on both faith and reason. This excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (158-159) is directly relevant: In the words of St. Augustine, “I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe.” “Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.”

    Yes, the Bishops are attacked by the left and the right. The attacks from the left are most often from the “godless” or secular left. The ones from the right, as you correctly note can be more pernicious and damaging because, as you correctly emphasize, “the right-wing-of-unreason crowd will have scarred and defamed the name of Christ with their claims to be Christian while they say things that come straight from the pit.”

    Thanks again. (Sorry this got so long. You had a lot to say and it was worthy of comment.)

  19. Hi Lisa! Welcome to Public Catholic.

    I have read the documents the bishops wrote on this issue a few years back. They explicitly state that this nation must be able to secure its borders. To my knowledge they have never said that the border “should be torn down.” The commentary I have seen, referring to these people as “cockroaches,” and the video coverage, which shows them in sepia, after dark, being arrested, is clearly racist.

    The claims that one in four of these children commit crimes, implying that they are violent felons is obvious hyperbole designed to make people crazy.

  20. Note: I’m receiving one totally bizarre comment after the other, calling the bishops names, calling me names, and making over the top statements about both of us. A few of these comments also have actual arguments opposed to what I’m saying that I would like to allow, but I have to delete them because they are buried in long strings of verbally abusive nut talk. If you want to have your comments show up in the com boxes of this blog, you will have to stop the name-calling and invective.

  21. I didn’t say anything one way or the other about returning these children. I have, in a different post, advocated for the funding to speed this process.

    I was speaking specifically of the downright demonic hatred I see and the attacks on the bishops for simply following the Gospels.

    I know that following Jesus when He disagrees with your politics is tough. But it is what we are called to do.

  22. Ms. Hamilton:

    Recently Jesuit Boston College honored Catholic Secretary of State Kerry at its commencement exercises. Cardinal O’Malley, the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston and leader of the Bishops’ Immigration efforts, was present and warmly applauded Secretary Kerry. However Secretary Kerry is a fanatical suppoter of the Culture of Death, as has been EVERY Boston College commencement honoree since ROE v Wade. It should also be noted that the majority of the Catholic Bishops’ operating budget, to imncluide paying for their 1-million employees, comes from the American taxpayer via the government – legislation for which was strongly supported by the then Senator Kerry in the U.S. Senate (See: Only a handfull of Bishops have been actiely opposing the HHS contraceptive mandate. And since the publication of Pope Paul’s prophetic Humanae Vitae in 1968 only ONE Bishop has deigned to actually teach his flock that artificial contraception is an intrinsic evil.

    This is nothing new. In 1899 Pope Leo XIII warned the American Bishops of a herasey he titled “Americanism” wherein American Catholics surrendered their faith in order to better fit in with an anti-Catholic American culture. THe question is not whether the Bishops are “in bed” with our President; but whether they will act as Shepherds of Christ of Ministers of the State?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  23. As a Catholic I try not to hate anyone. What good does it make me to hate someone? Does it change him in anyway? Is he going to stop all of his abortion policies if I hate him? What difference in anyway does it make if I hated him? Is it a badge of honor to walk around as the person who hates Obama more than anyone else? Does it make me more Pro-life to hate him? I pray that him and everyone else that is pushing his abortion policies to repent and to change.

    The concept that we would not help a group of people that are in desperate need of help because I don’t like someone is selfish and self serving. All it would do is make the Catholic Church look petty and would prevent us from serving the poor. What would the Bishops tell Jesus when they meet him face to face? We avoided an act of charity because they didn’t like the person who asked them to do it? Do you honestly think Obama would change all his policies if we refused to help these people? It’s such a bizarre and sinful concept that
    I can’t imagine it.

  24. You’re right. Thanks for the reply. I’m only hearing the loudest yelling. I should have more faith in the church.

  25. I don’t think all of these claims are accurate.

    First, the United States Catholic Bishops voted unanimously to oppose the HHS Mandate. I repeat: UNANIMOUSLY.

    Their fight on this has been magnificent and I am proud to follow their leadership in it.

    You may live in an area with a weak bishop and that has given you a false idea.

    Second, I question that the bishops have 1 million employees. I think that number is wildly out of line.

    Third, I question that the bishop’s budget is paid for by the federal government. My archdiocese does not take any government monies.

    I would guess you’ve read some anti-Catholic something or other that attempts to get these numbers by conflating all employees at every university, hospital, etc, that calls itself catholic and then adding in every dollar from student loans and such to get that figure. None of these things are part of the bishops budget and their monies do not run the Church or its ministries. This is just political statistical gamesmanship used to confuse and outrage people.

    Fourth and finally, standing next to someone on a podium does not mean you agree with them about things that aren’t being discussed that day. In my time in office, I’ve shared podiums with all sorts of people. If the bishops stood up with Secretary of State Kerry while he made a speech supporting abortion and smiled and applauded, you’d certainly have a point.

    But if it was a speech about fishing rights in New England or something, not so much.

    I don’t know anything about the event you are describing. But I will say that just standing beside someone at a public event does not, in and of itself, mean anything at all.

  26. I’m going to butt in and then butt back out. Without due process, they could deport anybody at all, including you and me. We need to be sure these aren’t citizens or people who are here legally, at the very least.

  27. Thanks Ken. That’s what I mean when I say the media talking heads are making people irrational.

  28. Nobody seems to have noticed that Obama wants to send these children back to certain death in their home countries to “Send a message that the Border isn’t Open”. Which the Bishops are also against.

  29. “Third, I question that the bishop’s budget is paid for by the federal
    government. My archdiocese does not take any government monies.”
    I was really surprised to find out that the USCCB receives a lot of money from the Feds for their refugee/resettlement initiatives. Enough that they can be considered a Federal contractor. I would suspect anyone’s motives who had such a significant financial stake in something that they were promoting.

  30. Don’t hate the sinner. Hate the sin. And make sure everyone in your parish knows what those sins are. He is a merchant of death (abortion), sins of the flesh (contraception, homosexual acts, abstinence plus education), theft (wealth redistribution) and despair (to those trapped by entitlements). May God have mercy on him.

  31. They also opposed passage of Obamacare because it funds abortion. Now they are urging people like me, under the poverty line, to sign up for it. I refuse because of the abortion. I deal with chronic disease, in constant pain, and have no health insurance because I refuse to participate with Obamacare. Medicaid is under the Obamacare umbrella here in Kentucky. The bishops have no spine. They will not stick up for what is right when the going gets tough. They fold….and people suffer as a result of their folding. The train keeps rolling on and they say not to support the train, until they lose and then they tell us to jump on board. If we don’t, we’re the problem, not the train.

  32. It is not “certain death.” Their home countries have high murder rates but they are coming here for economic reasons. There is no question about that, Theodore.

  33. Gary, a lot of the programs the Church runs are social programs. They provide essential services. The government decided to help pay for them years ago. The Church programs were and are very successful at helping those who need it. I don’t really like seeing the govt have their hands in Church programs but it is our tax money being spent. In some cases the Church is the very best at these programs, for example the Human Trafficking programs that help women and girls get away from traffickers. In that case, however, the Obama administration stopped the contract because Church offices would not refer for birth control and abortion.
    If we paid for the programs out of our pockets I believe we would avoid this entanglement. The Church is not a contractor, but a provider of services that the government came into and wanted to pay for. Then, they try to take over, tell the Church what to do and who to hire.

  34. Ew. I don’t know why but these people must be ingesting something mood altering, or maybe they need to.

  35. Ken, there is a Mexican-Honduran-American comic who said we just needed to put a huge statue of the Blessed Virgin on the border, shaking her finger, saying, “No, No, No!”
    I think guys with guns serve the same purpose. Plus, there has been an increase of cross-border heavy arms fire from the south.

  36. So the way you hate the sin is by doing nothing and never speaking out against Obama? I bet you support the pope, who “leads the Church forward” by persecuting the orthodox and encouraging his fellow heretics and apostates.

  37. Um, no. At the border, you have not been admitted and can be turned away. You can be put on a plane in Brownsville, Laredo, Tucson, or anywhere and repatriated.
    One difficulty in all this is that Mexican nationals, even minors are immediately repatriated. To combat human trafficking, there is a law that OTMs may first be given a hearing. These kids are being trafficked to get them here, not trafficked for uses intended under the law. That’s why they need to go home. So people will quit paying the coyotes.
    Btw, Rebecca, some of these children are 14 or 15 and have drug records here or in their home countries.

  38. Ken, please see the LATimes ongoing report about the narcotraficantes in Mexico. Signs saying “Plata o Plomo” are showing up in El Paso. I don’t want them coming on this side of the border beheading and hanging people and I especially don’t want them using these kids as mules. They aren’t common criminals, they are bad guys. There are lots of things we need to do in the drug situation, but I don’t want these kids used in that.

  39. Maybe. The only problem I see with guest worker programs is that there is never a path to citizenship if we follow the German model. They have 3rd generation kids who are German as can be who will never get a German passport unless they marry a German because they are ethnic Turkish. I can think of some ways to deal with that. For crying out loud, we let German POWs from WWII immigrate. We can certainly deal with this.
    Oh, it was defeated, btw. There are a lot of corporate interests pushing for guest worker visas in Agriculture, construction and, notably the Nevada casinos organizations.

  40. Ms. Hamilton:

    Thank you for your reply. 1. Non-binding voting and devoting assets to fighting an evil are two very different things and (by my count) only 5-Bishops are supporting law suits; and NOT ONE Bishop is currently and publicly teaching his flock that artificial contraception is an intrinsic evil. 2. The article in the prestigious “Economist” magazine, cited above, estimates 1 – million other sources place the number of full and part time Church employees at 2-3 million. 3. If your Archdiocese has within its boundaries a Catholic College, Hospital or social program then not only does it take state money but the majority of its budget is funded by the taxpayer (see graphic models in above cited article). 4. If Jesuit Boston College awarded an honorary degree to lets say Adolf Hitler and Cardinal O’Malley stood up in his red robes and warmly applauded would you be so pleased? Yet then Senator Kerry voted for the murder of far
    more innocents (@ 60-million) than Hitler murdered (@ 13-million).

    Pope B XVI asked the Bishops to stop taking government money. They ignored the Vicar of Christ. When was the last time you heard a Bishop teach his flock that contraception, abortion, euthanasia, sodomy, divorce and remarriage, adultery, fornication, pornography or masturbation are intrinsic evils? Is there a link?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  41. Hi Rebecca,
    How about you come live in Texas in a border town and then see how willing you are to stand by what you have written? Because you see, this isn’t some imaginary crisis here whipped up by the politicians or the media. This is OUR daily lives. Illegal immigrants do not pay taxes, but they do use the resources. Give us some credit. We are taking care of those already here, but our ability to do so cannot expand further. And if you think these are mostly minors crossing over, check the numbers. You do realize that we have gang members who are saying they are minors because they know they will not be repatriated? As to your “brown-skin hate-off” accusation, just who are you to throw the race card down on the table? Is this your straw man of last resort? Let me know how many illegal aliens you are willing to personally take into your home. In fact, post a picture when they get there. In the meantime, I don’t have to regain my reason, as I never abandoned it. Fides ET ratio. I understand that, in addition to TEMPORARILY caring for those who have broken our laws and crossed our borders we also need to secure our borders and to have controlled LEGAL immigration. This is the post-911 world we are living in. And the bishops lost the goodwill of their constituencies when they decided to pose for photo ops with politicians and accept federal dollars, which means they will be playing by the rules of the same government that is trying to crush our ability to live our faith.

  42. I didn’t say the crisis was imaginary. I said the current hyped-up press coverage is politically motivated and will go away the day after the votes are counted in November. It’s a real problem, being used a a vote-getter by demagogues. No one is going to fix anything Jude. They don’t intend to.

  43. It sounds as if I was right, they are counting things like student loans to people attending Catholic universities in this number. Also, the figure of millions of Catholic employees is inflated or statistical gamesmanship or both. I’d bet quite a bit on that. Do you have any idea how many 2-3 million is?

    Here’s my question Richard, if you are Catholic, why are you so dedicated to hating our bishops? When they do something really and uncontrovertibly wrong, I don’t mind disagreeing. However, what I’m seeing is people who are gathering up hate-stuff from everywhere to build a case for some odd reason.

    As for only three bishop’s dioceses (is that the plural of diocese or is it diocesi or some such???) filing suit, I haven’t correlated the lawsuits by diocese, but I really doubt that figure, too. It’s a long list from lots of places.

    My Archbishop has spoken out repeatedly about this, as well as contraception. I could, if I wanted to take the time — pull up documents from all over on this subject.

    As for your guilt by association thing, I think you’re reaching way too far. I’ll bet you work with people who aren’t as pure as you evidently are. You maybe have a few relatives who don’t quite fit your standards.

    For that matter, I don’t fit your standards. I deal with people all the time who do all sorts of things that violate Church teaching. I call them friends and enjoy their company.

    Jesus ate with sinners and prostitutes. Remember that?

    You can not convert people if you won’t talk to them, and you cannot convert people if all you do is denounce them.

    So now, you can lay into me if you feel like it. I’m a sinner. And I actually like and spend time with people who violate Church teachings. I was even pro choice myself once.

    People who called me names and denounced me back then made it terrifying to change. In fact, quite a number of them continued to denounce me even after I changed. They called priests and even the Archbishop denouncing the priests for letting me into the Church.

    You’re not perfect Richard. You’re a sinner, too. There is no righteousness in hatred. Hatred comes from the pit.

    As for the Cardinal, are you seriously saying that he’s not pro life? If not, what ARE you saying?

  44. I’m going to allow this once to make a point. DO NOT ATTACK THE POPE ON THIS BLOG.



    You weren’t talking to me, but yes, I support the Pope. I’m Catholic.

  45. Lisa, the Church is a highway to heaven. Follow it, believe it and you will see Jesus, face to to face.

  46. Ms. Hamilton:

    Thank you for your reply.

    You posted in part: “they are counting things like student loans to people attending Catholic universities in this number.” Exactly. And student loans are nothing more than a modern form of slavery not only for the naive students who sell their lives for said loans but for the generations to come who will end up paying the interest.

    “the figure of millions of Catholic employees is inflated or statistical gamesmanship or both” Perhaps but “The Economist” has quite the reputation in these matters. They cite 1-million and stand by it.

    “why are you so dedicated to hating our bishops?” You have used the word “hate” about 15-times in your article and commentary. Maybe you are overdoing it just a bit?

    “As for only three bishop’s dioceses” I have counted only 5-Bishops committing assets to support legal action out of 195 Ordinaries.

    “My Archbishop has spoken out repeatedly about this, as well as contraception” That would be a first since Humanae Vitae was published in 1968. Who is this Archbishop?

    “And I actually like and spend time with people who violate Church teachings.” And this has what to do with immigration?

    “There is no righteousness in hatred.” There you go using the “H” word again.

    “As for the Cardinal, are you seriously saying that he’s not pro life?” The day Cardinal O’Malley, dressed in his Cardinal’s regalia, stood and warmly applauded as Jesuit Boston College awarded abortion fanatic John Kerry an honorary degree; 50 – 100 babies (40% African American) were murdered in their mothers; wombs in the Archdiocese of Boston. Do you think it may be more appropriate to ask one of the murdered babies if Cardinal O’Malley is pro-life?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  47. And this is different from life in Chicago and Detroit exactly how? Hard to resist is not the same as impossible to resist, and does not mean you get to break the laws of a sovereign nation.

  48. Frankly, after reading you description of the John Kerry thing, I find it disturbing too. However, no, I don’t have trouble thinking Cardinal O’Malley is pro life. I believe it.

    I agree that student loans have become a big problem. However, they are not government monies that are going to the Catholic Church, which is the original claim.

    I don’t know the number of employees the Church has in America, but the difference between 1 m and 2-3m is, well 2-3m. I don’t read the Economist, but they also published a raggedy piece just a week or so ago claiming that Pope Francis was “following Lenin.” Minus a retraction, that pretty much takes them off the reliable list for me.

    As for the use of the word hate, it fits.

  49. Ms. Hamilton:

    Thank you for your reply.

    You posted in part: “As for the use of the word hate, it fits.”

    The Great Commandment boils down to “Love God. Love Neighbor.” Love is an act of the will. We do not have to “like” anyone; but we must love our neighbor. Our neighbor is anyone (with the obvious exception of the New York Yankees) we come into contact with. Love means treating our neighbor as we ourselves would want to be treated. All of this we do for the love of God.

    Accusing someone of hate, the opposite of love, is a claim that the person is living in serious or mortal sin. We cannot look into another person’s soul. Although we may say that an act, objectively speaking is hateful, we would be wrong to say another person “hates”. The accusation of hate also stifles dialogue, the exact opposite of what Holy Father Francis wants of us.

    You are a public official I believe? I hereby offer you a bribe. I will make a pilgrimage to Our Lady of LaSalette if you in return will reflect on the use of the word “hate” in your commentary. Would your published works be more effective, more hard hitting and save more souls if you did not use the “H” word?

    As for the money trail (and I speak as an old gumshoe) it is clearly laid down and it leads right to the Bishops’ door. As long as our Shepherds ignore the advice of B XVI and continue to take government money they will be vulnerable to the accusation of acting like Ministers of State rather than Apostles of Christ.

    Keep up the good work and thank you for the effort to spread the Gospel via the internet.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  50. Richard I misspoke when I said that you “hate” the bishops. However, the word is sooo accurate that it aches for the nonsense people have tried to post on this blog because of this post. As for the “money trail” all I see is indirect government monies for things. I certainly do not see that the government is funding the USCCB or the bishops.

    Having said that, I have advised friends of mine sit on the boards of ministries to never take government money. You are right that it is a trap. No question about that.

    However, the bishop’s position on the treatment of immigrants is consistent with the Gospels.

    I don’t understand the hatred (there is no better word for it Richard) that these commenters direct at the bishops — and at me for defending them. It reeks.

  51. You’re the problem. Heretic infiltrators. You have absolutely brought the Church to its knees. (Don’t worry. I won’t be back.)

  52. Agree re ND and Cardinal Dolan, but don’t follow your “If we use political ideology to leave then without aid”

    Re “Well, Jesus did eat with Pharisees … clearly hooked into the power structure in Judea.”
    + The fact Jesus dined with religious leaders but never political leaders makes my point.

    Re “Jesus didn’t say much about a lot of things, including same sex acts.”
    + Those who point to Jesus “never specifically said” type points immediately belie a deep ignorance to the language and cultures of the time. The language at the time, due in large part to the pagan world dominating cultures and the structure of the languages, didn’t have many words to differentiating the types of sexual act. Hence why the bible uses “laying with” language. Also, e.g., the word “homosexual” didn’t exist until the ~1880s.

  53. Ms. Hamilton:

    Thank you for your reply.

    Our Bishops are successors to the Apostles. Without them there is simply no sacraments and no Church. We owe them respect and due obedience.

    However there are three areas IMO which have caused a ground swell of resentment against the Bishops: 1. For a half century our Bishops enabled, protected and then lied about sexual predators. There is no getting around this horror. 2. The closing of parishes with the subsequent disappearance of the protective “Catholic ghettos”. Some closings were undoubtedly unavoidable; but almost all the executions were at best ham-fisted. 3. Many of the post Vatican II reforms which were presented to us as “mandated” by the Council and which drove so many out of the pews turn out to have been either not mentioned, not mandated or actually forbidden in the Conciliar documents.

    IMO the only sure answer to these resentments are saintly Bishops.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  54. Actually, based on the testimony of many of these refugees from Central America, there is GOOD reason to question the “economic reasons” story.

    There’s a battle going on in Central America right now, one that we’re ignoring, one that could be ended if rich Americans would stop taking illegal drugs.

  55. Mr. FW Ken:

    Thank you for your reply And thank you for the correction. So that is 15 Ordinaries out of 198 who have chosen to serve Christ rather than Caesar on this matter.

    You also posted in part: “How do you know that no bishops teach on those issues? How do you know that no bishop has addressed HV over the past 46 years?”

    My answer: The evidence that our Bishops have for a half century failed to teach their flocks sexual morality can be found: 1. The failure of Catholic marriages 2. The breakcown of Catholic families. 3. The paucity of Catholic children (and the subsequent closure of parishes and school for want of Catholics. 4. The Papal exhortations of Paul VI, JP II, B XVI and our Holy Father Francis. 5. The public admissions of Prelates such Cardinal Dolan that these matters are simply rarely if ever taught to the faithful. 6. And the observations of this old man.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  56. This has been an interesting discussion to follow. I wonder, Mr. Comerford are you talking about all government monies used by any Catholic entity? Because, yes, we do accept government monies when we can. For instance, my local parish school gets some money to help pay for tutoring children who are failing academically and have a certain income bracket. I think they used to call it title 13 money, but maybe not. But I do doubt govt. money is used to actually fund the entity that is the USCCB.

  57. Rebecca, did you know that most Catholic Charities organization take money from our government? I can’t speak for every dioceses in our nation, but I know what mine does. They show people how to hook up to the government entitlement programs. That’s pretty much all they do. We have generations of families living in despair on the wealth redistribution offered by our politicians. Just enough to keep them from seeking gainful employment. Who is morally responsible for this despair?

    Do you doubt that our diocesan CC orgs took money over the last 3 or 4 years in preparation for the influx of illegal immigrants that we are seeing today? Do you doubt that our current administration is responsible for encouraging this illegal migration? Do you doubt that our government is working with the Mexican government and cartels to funnel these illegal immigrants? Do you doubt that women and children are being raped, beaten, enslaved (sex slavery) and murdered on the route through Mexico? Who has the moral responsibility for this? What about the moral responsibility for stopping it?

    You say that both political parties have neglected immigration since the turn of the century. Who says that our laws are broken? I submit that our law enforcement is broken. You can disagree, but you shouldn’t assume any moral high ground. Who are you to decide that your way is best and others are wrong or possibly even immoral? In the end, immigration law is a matter of prudential judgment. We can disagree. Any bishop that comes out and says differently (and there have been some) are in serious error.

    As Catholics, we must help our neighbor and we must welcome immigrants, especially women and children. But we must do it with our own treasure and not with government grants. That money is tainted and comes with strings. When you take it for routine or normative purposes, you are in essence climbing “in bed” with our government. If it is an emergency situation, then there can be some legitimate cooperation. In this case, however, the evidence shows that it was planned long ago.

    This latest immigration wave is also a distraction from the true evil that is rotting our country. And I think that this is why so many seem to be frustrated with our leaders. Do you stop and fix a leaky faucet when your house is on fire? Immigration is the leak while the house is burning down fueled by: the removal of God from public life, abortion, contraception, freedom of conscience and religion, homo unions, divorce, pornography, IVF, abstinence plus sex education, and euthanasia. All of these are intrinsically evil. All of these issues are promoted and or funded by our government. Any support whatsoever of even just one of these issues places your soul in mortal jeopardy. Don’t believe me. Bishop Paprocki stated, “I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”

    In the end, do you want to be judged a sheep or a goat? I would think most (if not all) want to be judged as a sheep. So how do you explain the fact that 53% of “catholics” voted for the party of death, immorality, theft and despair? Or that 90% are using or have used contraception or have been sterilized? Or that < 20% attend Mass any given Sunday? Pray for our country’s deliverance and pray for courage and clarity from our bishops.

  58. Mr. Seeber:

    The good Archbishop has certainly discussed in interviews that artificial contraception is a factor in our shrinking Church; but to my knowledge he has not taught hos flock that artificial contraception is a serious or mortal sin and that a soul that dies unrepentant of even one mortal sin, objectively speaking, is damned to the fires of hell (And Vatican II confirmed that hell exists and is a place of firey torment) for all eternity. Why would not a Shepherd warn his flock of mortal danger?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  59. TexasKnight, there would be no pro life movement in this country if it was not for the Catholic Church and the leadership of the bishops.

    What you’re espousing is just the right side of the wing nut dichotomy. The left wants the Church to forget the sanctity of life and marriage. The right demands we forget the poor and disadvantaged.

    As an individual, you may have to choose where you put your volunteer time. But the bishops have to speak for the whole Gospel of Christ.

    The bishops have taken and continue to take constant guff because they stand for the very issues you name here. They also take guff from the other side of the political spectrum for standing with the poor and disadvantaged, including immigrants.

    Now … Who can you think of Who told us to do that?

  60. Richard what you seem to want is to be an archbishop yourself. Based on your comments here, I don’t think any bishop could please you unless he did exactly what you think you would do.