Wednesday, May 11


First off, I'm Catholic, just so my readers are clear on that. I was a devout practitioner in my youth, was an altar boy, and, as is the case with many altar boys, gave serious thought at one time to becoming a priest (discovering girls altered that "calling"). I've not been nearly as devout as an adult, but for reasons that are very personal. But I ardently believe in Catholicism and worked hard when my wife and I were raising a family to give my sons Catholic educations. And, for what it's worth, my wife converted to Catholicism to become my wife.

With that as a backdrop, do know that I am extremely irritated over the news that the Catholic Church, led by its bishops, is undertaking a "Justice For Immigrants" campaign in the United States -- a campaign squarely aimed at the legalization of millions of illegal aliens. To accomplish this ultimate goal, the Church feels it must first change "the tone" of the debate in this country.

In sermons from the pulpit, pamphlets sent to U.S. dioceses and speeches to lay groups, the bishops hope to galvanize the nation's 67 million Catholics and reframe a debate that has focused heavily on security since the Sept. 11 attacks.
So it appears that this campaign and what motivates it have parallels to the reasons why both political parties have failed to deal with our porous borders' issue and failed immigration policies, and why businesses turn a deaf ear to the need for national security.

Politicians want more voters; businesses want cheap labor; and the Catholic Church in America wants more parishioners. Simple as that. Each wants to grow its base.

The church has long been a frontline provider to impoverished immigrants, providing social services and legal help through Catholic Charities and other Catholic organizations. And nearly 40 percent of Catholics living in the United States are Hispanic, making the constituency a highly important one for the church.
What the politicians who favor "open borders" are doing is hardly a surprise. After all, the Democrats, as but one example, have long been proponents of liberalizing voting rights for convicted felons. Lawlessness is not a preclusion to voting in their minds.

What many sectors of private industry (paced by the steadfast lobbying of the "Wall Street Journal" editorial board) are doing in leveraging "undocumented immigrant labor" is appalling from a national security perspective, but hardly a surprise given the Clinton Administration's and Bush Administration's patent indifference to such law-breaking in the interests of economic growth and filling campaign coffers.

What the Catholic Church in the United States is doing in the wake of declining attendance doesn't come as much of a surprise either and, besides, looking out for the so-called downtrodden entering this country from Mexico isn't a bad gambit in diverting attention from its egregious scandal.

But, first things first: the president's primary responsibility (as he likes to remind us) is the security of the United States, and fighting a war in Iraq, while ignoring our own porous borders and the security risks they create, is hardly fulfilling that constitutional obligation; businesses, either headquarted in the United States or simply with operations here, must obey the law, regardless, or have the U.S. Justice Department to deal with (I haven't ever read a company "Mission Statement" that extols law-breaking as a core competency); and, the Catholic Church in the United States would be much better served by tending to its own need for redemption, owing to the pedophilia scandal and its parishioners' widespread refusal to follow Church doctrine -- than in encouraging further lawlessness in America and its continued colonization by illegal aliens.

I'd sure like to know if the conservative Pope Benedict XVI has endorsed this campaign, and particularly given his previous run-ins with the liberal Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick (Washington), who appears to be spearheading it. Can any Catholic-bloggers shed some light on this for me?