18
Apr
08

Catholicism and Immigration

As was expected, the Pope, while in the US, weighed in on the debate of immigration as it has direct connection to the Church.  Many illegal immigrants are Catholics, so wherever they are, their plight is recognized by the Catholic Church.  Whether or not it’s a plight is another condition altogether.  Michelle Malkin has been on top of the Pope’s recent comments, and I can’t say I’m too pleased with the Catholic leadership on this issue either.  What’s worse is they practice what the anti-amnesty crowd preaches.

There are two methods to becoming Catholic– being baptized a Catholic when young(being a naturally-born citizen of Catholicism, so to speak), and being baptized a Catholic as an “adult” (or, “immigrating” to the Catholic faith).

When people decide to become a Catholic, they just don’t walk into Church and start taking Eucharist, singing in the choir, and serving as a lay minister.  In fact, to even take Eucharist, they have to go through a formation process that typically runs from the fall all the way up to Easter Vigil, where they are Baptized and Confirmed and welcomed to the faith as converts.  It’s a relatively painless process, where a sponsor helps the initiate along their way, and there’s not much in the way of monetary demands.  It’s like becoming a citizen of the Church– you have to apply, wait, and then go through the acceptance ceremony.

But the Church is now criticizing the US– especially those opposed to open-borders– because we’re asking people to do the same thing the Church does in welcoming new citizens.  The legal process is longer, and it involves paying money, usually a lot of it, to the US and/or an attorney for assistance.  However, these prerequisites are not an excuse for breaking the law, nor is it something that denies human rights, so I don’t see why the Church objects to the US policing of its borders and immigration policy.

In fact, I don’t see the Church objecting to any other country’s immigration laws.  Why pick on the US?  I think the Vatican has a big blind spot here, and it’s a policy that needs to be changed.  Enforcement of border laws is either such a grave violation of basic human rights that every country should be hammered by the Pope on not having open borders laws, or the Church should recognize that every country has a right to police the acceptance of citizens applying for entrance into the country.  I don’t see how stopping people from entering the US illegally is a sin.  Why doesn’t the Pope lay into Mexico for creating the conditions that encourage the emigration of people from their country?  Surely, if people are seeking better livable conditions, it shouldn’t be solely incumbent upon the US to provide for their needs?

The Church needs to take the blinders off and realize the harm they’re doing to the US if they continue to undermine naturalization processes.

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8 Responses to “Catholicism and Immigration”


  1. April 18, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    This is an excellent argument and one that I have not heard yet. However, the Pope did not say that we need to open our borders or give amnesty to illegal aliens. He simply said we need to welcome immigrants and treat them humanely. I think Michelle and others are confusing the Pope’s statements with those of the American Bishops, who have frequently disregarded the Church’s teachings that clearly recognize the right of nations to secure their own borders and regulate immigration and enforce immigration laws, as well as the responsibility of the immigrant to respect the laws of the host country. It’s all in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  2. 2 docattheautopsy
    April 19, 2008 at 8:20 am

    He didn’t say it explicitly, but he didn’t butt-heads with American Bishops on the matter, which he should have. I understand the reasoning the Bishops have had towards the issue of immigration, but I don’t agree with it. And it’s something that needs to be addressed by the Pope.

  3. April 19, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Malkin and Tancredo opine that the USBishops’ “open-borders” yappaflappa has to do with ‘increasing the population of Catholics in the USA,’ which is an utterly disgusting charge.

    I expected that sort of garbage from Tancredo–but not from Malkin.

    As to the Pope’s remarks: he will NOT contradict the teaching of the Church on the matter, which DOES include appropriate recognition of any country’s “process” and “limitations,” so long as they are just and rational.

    And in fact, B-16 explicitly referred to bettering the Mexican economy so that illegal immigration to the US is not needed to support Mexican families. That happens to fit very well into his “support of families” motif–no surprise.

  4. 5 Mike
    May 1, 2008 at 9:39 am

    “But the Church is now criticizing the US– especially those opposed to open-borders– because we’re asking people to do the same thing the Church does in welcoming new citizens”

    This is nowhere stated by the Church.

    All the Church tries to ensure is proper treatment of human beings regardless whether Catholic or otherwise. You see sometimes in being so harsh on people trying to escape poverty and abuse we forget they are human beings. That said, the church has never placed a blind eye on individual countries sovereignty and right to protect their borders.

  5. May 3, 2008 at 6:18 am

    I think your analogy is a little weak.

    Sure, maybe you have to wait if you want to become a member of the Catholic church, but non-members can and do attend Catholic churches all the time. In fact, I know at least one person whose “church home” is Catholic, but she has never converted.

    Yes, like citizenship you’re not fully integrated into the life the church – my understanding is that you can’t take communion and there are some other rites in which you can’t partake (and you probably wouldn’t believe them necessary anyway) – but I’m a confirmed lapsed Protestant and I’ve attended Catholic services on a number of occasions and been a tourist in many Catholic churches in Europe (including the Vatican) and never felt unwelcome.

  6. 7 docattheautopsy
    May 3, 2008 at 7:33 am

    >All the Church tries to ensure is proper treatment of human beings regardless whether Catholic or otherwise.Yes, like citizenship you’re not fully integrated into the life the church – my understanding is that you can’t take communion and there are some other rites in which you can’t partake (and you probably wouldn’t believe them necessary anyway) – but I’m a confirmed lapsed Protestant and I’ve attended Catholic services on a number of occasions and been a tourist in many Catholic churches in Europe (including the Vatican) and never felt unwelcome.<

    And the US does not bar all visitors from its borders. We give visas to those who visit, those who work, and those who study. They don’t get all the benefitis of being an American citizen, but they are welcome to stay in the country.

    The illegal aliens are more like people who sneak into mass, eat Eucharist, send their kids to the Paish school at the parish rate, and still call themselves Hindus.


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My name is Doc. Welcome to my blog. If you're visiting from another blog, add me to your blogroll (and I'll happily reciprocate). I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and live in Wisconsin. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is docattheautopsy at gmail. (No linking to deflate the incredible spam monsters).

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