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.