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    A Practicing Catholic: Why the Church is Wrong on Immigration
    Immigration; Posted on: 2008-04-24 10:44:16 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    When Pope Speaks to U.S. About Humanity, is Mexico Listening?

    By Chilton Williamson Jr.

    Pope Benedict XVI is back in Rome after his first papal visit to the United States. Before leaving, he had a private meeting with his American bishops in which—according to Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles who was there—he expressed the thought that "newcomers" to the U.S. are "people of faith and we [Americans] are here to welcome them."

    Previously, aboard Shepherd One en route to the United States, Pope Benedict had announced to the media his intention to raise the issue of immigration with President Bush. His Holiness claimed special concern for the "grave problem of separation of families", which he described as "really dangerous to the fabric—social, moral, human—of these [sending] countries".

    Wherever and whenever possible, Benedict added, family reunification should be effected—by the receiving countries.

    These and other remarks by the Pope prompted Rep. Tom Tancredo (a former Catholic who worships today at an evangelical Christian church) to accuse the Pope of "faith-based marketing" and to suggest that the Pope’s support for immigrants "may have less to do with spreading the Gospel than they do about recruiting new members of the church".

    Of course, Catholic immigrants, on their arrival in the U.S., do not become "new" members of the Roman Church, but are simply old members moved to a new place. Moreover, Benedict, on his visit here, scrupulously avoided comment on specific issues relating to the American immigration debate, but confined his remarks to broader issues relevant to international migration on a global scale.

    Like every Catholic who argues for patriotic immigration reform, I am frequently subjected to digs from my secularist allies, reproaching me for my affiliation with a universal Church—and also to insults from my co-religionists, right and left, who accuse me of infidelity to the universal humanitarian teachings of the Founder and the See of St. Peter.

    I, and others like me, have no choice except to protest to those outside the Roman Catholic Church that the option for open borders is not, and never has been, a logical extension of Catholic doctrine—while insisting to our fellow Catholics that they are very much mistaken in their understanding of Church teaching if they think that it is.

    Hence this essay.

    News Source: vdare


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