Sunday, April 02, 2006


Cardinal Mahoney is not the Church

Today’s Washington Post has an article about Los Angeles’ Cardinal Mahoney: Cardinal Puts Church in Fight for Immigration Rights

….uhh, no, he didn’t. He put Cardinal Mahoney in the fight. But because the issue is not abortion, his views are apparently welcome (in other words, nothing from Barry Lynn over at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who normally is a quote machine on any issue remotely bearing on an organized religion possibly running counter to leftist tendencies).

Of course, when people think of the Catholic Church in America, one subject probably predominates:

Mahony said the scandal involving molestation of children by priests had caused the church to focus on itself. "You have to keep in mind in 2002 the sexual abuse thing arose and that predominated the church . . . and also kept us away from some of our traditional activities," he said.”

When he says it “had caused the church to focus on itself” what he probably should have said was “himself”. After all, it was 2002 when Cardinal Mahoney was sued. The sexual abuse “thing” didn’t arise in 2002; it just became that much more public. It arose over decades of neglect by bishops and cardinals (Mahoney became an archbishop in 2005) who refused to meet the problem head-on.

“Los Angeles, California: Police are investigating more than 50 current and former priests for sexual abuse of minors dating back to the 1960’s. Cardinal Roger Mahoney is under scrutiny for failure to respond to multiple reports of sexual abuse and for transferring priests among parishes to hide abuses and protect the church. An April 30, 2002 lawsuit against Mahoney alleges abuse of two sets of brothers and that Mahoney’s protection of abusive priests constitutes a criminal enterprise.” ICASA 2002 article

In other words, when it counted most, the American Catholic hierarchy, of which Cardinal Mahoney must be counted as a prominent member, proved itself so lacking in moral leadership that it took civil authorities to force the American Church to clean house.

“Mahony has been criticized by parishioners and other Catholics for his stance in the scandal. He directed a tough legal battle against the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, which wants access to the diocese's personnel records to investigate possible felony child-molestation charges against as many as 100 priests.”

As a Catholic, it is my sense that this tough “principled” stance on immigration (as well as the death penalty) is just a way for much of the American Catholic leadership to get back into the good graces of American liberals. Abortion has long been an uncomfortable wedge between the two otherwise-natural allies and these other issues allow them to find common ground.

In a posting critical of Congressman Tancredo, The Liberal Walrus approvingly cited another bloggers use of a Cardinal Mahoney analysis:

“But, as Fred W points out, Tancredo is simply wrong:

“According to Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney, the proposed provision “is so broad that it would criminalize even minor acts of mercy like offering a meal or administering first aid.” Mahoney has instructed the priests of his archdiocese to disobey the law if it is enacted.”

Of course, I have a different take than the Walrus: to me, it just highlights that Cardinal Mahoney either doesn’t know how to read legislation or he is listening to people who cannot read legislation. Or as Fred W. might put it: Mahoney is simply wrong.

As the product of a Catholic education from Grade 1 through College, my respect for priests is borne of a personal and positive experience. As a whole, they are a very educated group…but, in large part because of many of them, so am I. So I’ll grant some deference to the likes of Cardinal Mahoney and others of his ilk if the subject is scripture or Church dogma. That’s their field. However, on most other matters, their status as ordained doesn’t bring any particular expertise to the discussion. As this falls under “most other matters”, I just want to be clear that their rantings on this issue are Not In My Name

I am a cradle Catholic and that Cardinal does not speak for me NOR does any other cleric, nun, deacon. Those people are ILLEGALS. They are taking jobs away from American citizens. They are breaking out laws. Out with them. Don't give me the baloney that they are applying for citizenship, they can do that from the other side. Out with ALL of them and the ones in prison, too. I am sick and tired of paying for cheaters, theives, and lawbreakers.
Excellent essay, MD Conservatarian. I am Catholic, and Cardinal does not speak for me. Mahoney has yet to come clean on his failure to respond to multiple reports of sexual abuse and his practice of transferring preists among parishes where these priests committed sexual abuse acts again. Mahoney simply put has little to no credibility among Los Angeles County Catholics. Mahoney speaks for Mahoney; Mahoney does not speak for Catholics.
AMEN! What does all this Jesus stuff have to do with imigration anyway? When jesus said "feed the hungry, clot5he the naked, welcome the stranger .. depart from me into the fires of hell, you accursed, for as often as you did not do this for the least of these little ones you did not do it for ME," he didn't MEAN it. Bishops should stick to discussions of morality, not things that have to do with actually applying those principles in the real world. If Jesus were still with us today, he'd be all about exterminating those Mexicans...or maybe not, but for Heaven's sake, he was just some crazy religious nut anyway.
Iam a Catholic and Bishop Mahoney speaks for me.To all you "cradle and cafeteria Catholics" wake up you have been morally asleep for too long. The Church has been involved in the area of immigration reform for decades.This is a peace and justice issue. The following is the position taken by the Catholic Bishops in 2003: Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope.As a Catholic Christian I find that the position of the Bishops rests on the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ and I will support that position in every way I can.

The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform

In June 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration and The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, INC. (CLINIC) Board of Directors resolved to make comprehensive immigration reform, with special emphasis on legalization, a major public policy priority within the Church. Many other national Catholic institutions have also made legalization a policy priority.

As part of the Church's response, a diverse group of Catholic organizations with national networks have decided to join the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope campaign designed to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of good faith in support of a broad legalization program and comprehensive immigration reform. Its goal will be to maximize the Church's influence on this issue, consistent with the immigration reform principles enunciated in the bishops' pastoral letter.

The Campaign's primary objectives are:

To educate the public, especially the Catholic community, including Catholic public officials, about Church teaching on migration and immigrants;
To create political will for positive immigration reform;
To enact legislative and administrative reforms based on the principles articulated by the bishops; and
To organize Catholic networks to assist qualified immigrants obtain the benefits of the reforms.

In January 2003, the U.S. and Mexican Catholic bishops issued a joint pastoral letter entitled Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope. The bishops called for a "globalization of solidarity" and an overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.
In the pastoral letter, the U.S. and Mexican bishops outlined several criteria for the reform of the U.S. immigration system, including the following:

A broad based legalization (permanent residency) of the undocumented of all nationalities;

Reform of our family-based immigration system to allow family members to reunite with loved ones in the United States;

Reform of the employment-based immigration system to provide legal pathways for migrants to come and work in a safe, humane, and orderly manner, and;

Abandonment of the border "blockade" enforcement strategy.

Restoration of due process protections for immigrants.

Additionally, the bishops recognize that the conditions that compel people to leave their homes out of desperation and lack of opportunities to provide for themselves and their families, must be addressed if an effective and comprehensive response to migration is to be achieved. Therefore, the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform will work closely with the Catholic Campaign Against Global Poverty , initiated by the USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace and Catholic Relief Services. That Campaign aims to reduce poverty through trade, aid and debt reforms. The Immigration Reform and Global Poverty campaigns are integrally related in that one addresses the rights and needs of migrants in the U.S., while the other addresses the rights and needs of persons living in their native countries.

The Campaign aims to reach beyond the networks of the participating national agencies, and to enlist the support of Catholic individuals and institutions in dioceses throughout the country.
June 09, 2005

Immigration Legal Service Resources
Has anyone considered the fact that the people were talking about haven't done anything to fix the troubles in their own countries, but then again why should they when they can come here and run things . UKN.
I am a catholic , and leaving this immoral den of child molesters let them move to mexico with the wetbacks, our econimy will be better off and our sons will be safer, as I said I was a catholic.
The Catholic church sees the illegal immigrants from Mexico who are mostly all Catholic as an opportunity to increase their numbers and power base. Remember it was the churches that used to govern. They have a big problem seeing the difference these days between church and state.
Mahoney does not speak for me, as the product of a catholic education, (19 years), I can't help but wonder why these priests , bishops, etc. aren't in mexico and other countries assisting the poor and oppressed there. That is where they are needed. The Church's heirarchy never speaks for me. Joan
hey anonymous.

the least you could do would be to post your comments and use a name.

grow some balls.

hiding behind empty words will do no one any good.
speaks for the socialist,masonic
invaded Catholic Church.....right up there with all the homos that invaded it too.
just like all the jerko__f nuns that ran down to el salvador in search of the churchs' social justice shtick which was also marxist....the writings been on the wall for more than 40 years as to the churchs disintegration into marxism,freemasonry etc.
mahoney should shut up and send more monetary aid(like the church did in the past)to help these people help THEMSELVES in THEIR COUNTRY.
and to all the braindead,contracepting catholics-
there is a distinct difference
between LEGAL
ILLegal immigration.
aaaaaaaand hissevenseekers--whats your problem with anonymous ?
your mother named you seven seekers ?
want my name ?
just spell it right.
catroina mathuna
ppeople are posting anon. due to the bs registration.
"No man can separate what God has made whole" Our immigration system needs to be fixed especially in the field of family-based immigration. For example, under the current legislation, spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents have to wait for FIVE years to be reunited with their loved ones. It's not human and according to God's law to deprive children of growing with both parents. And as for illegals, many of them have families here too. It would be fair to give them some kind of legal status. As for me, I entirely support the position on the Catholic Church on this issue
Check out Matthew 17:24-27; Matthew 22:17-21. These verses are all about following earthly laws while serving Jesus. Jesus said, "Render therefore unto Caesar what is Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." Matthew 22:21. Jesus believes breaking the law IS SIN.
Cardinal Mahoney did read the law correctly. It does criminalize helping undocumenteds. As predictable, Mr. Conservatarian did not cite the legislation in his article. And you are wrong, Mr. MD. Jesus cares much more for the rights and needs of people who have little in this life, than about protecting the conveniences and comforts of the middle class. Jesus is quite the leftist. While on earth, he fought against secular and religious authority figures, casting moneychangers out of the temple, instructed his followers not to take up arms, and gathered his apostles from the least respectable sectors of society. If Jesus were here today, and watched our society manhandle people just because they come from another country, what whould he say? Hmmm. . . the term "whitewashed sepulcres" comes to mind. It worked for the Pharasees, and it sure works for you, Mr. MD Conservatarian. It sure works for you.
Thank you so much Winston. Finally somebody with some common sense or just ANY REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE. My God, you people piss me off "Send those illegals back!" "They're taking our jobs!" "Mexican this, Mexican that!"
First off, is it not common fact this country is a land of immigrants? Contrary to popular belief; Right-winged, conservative, high-class Anglos were not here first. *GASP!* No, indeed not, the year 1492 ring a bell to anybody? The California Purchase? Anything to do with how we first created our borders that are here today? Those people didn't cross the border, the border crossed them.
So all you people "this is our land! Get out!" You can just shut the hell up. This was my people's land first, but here my family is stuck on the confines of a virtual concentration camp- also known as a reservation.
It's so easy for you people, isn't it? to whine and whine and whine- only seeing the ecomomics and politics of it when you personally don't know anyone who will be effected by this.You won't ever have to see a child cry when their mother is seperated from them, you won't have to see an intelligent young woman who wants to become a doctor break down because she may get sent back to a country where all those possibilities are stripped away. You will never know the feeling of having to risk prosecution and death to give your families a better life.
But ignorance is bliss, isn't it?
And for all you idiots that say they're taking our jobs- those are the jobs our American people didn't want to do in the first place.
But if you only see it from a taxes stand point or a jobs stand point- i pity you.
This act isn't going to pass and even if it does, it's going to be reformed to the point it is almost about non-existant. A new age is arising, whether you're ready for it to happen or not. You can bitch and moan all you want, but the people: everyone who cares for one another; black, white, arab, chinese, japenese, native, mexican, latino, muslim,etc... The people will get their power back. Tension has been in the air for awhile now and this new immigration act that Congress just passed, H.R.4437 , that is what broke the thread. This is the awakening, and a revolution is about to start. And we will all be part of it, whether we want to or not.
And may Jesus take pity on those who go on the side celebrating death and dehumanization.
Hey There!
I agree with all you brain dead Archie Bunkers out there! Why don't all those Mexicans and immigrants go back where they came from? Like England,Poland,France,Germany,
Russia,Africa(against their will),
and all the rest! Then only the real Americans would be left. Our native "Indians". Yes, take your own advise you heathen rapists, muderers, and thieves! Go back where you came from!
Blessings to you.
Dear L.C.:

Jesus was a social revolutionary and reformist of the Jewish Religion's rules and regulations which depended on "Jewish laws" for Jewish people. Their government, however, was Roman. That is the reason for what Jesus said in Matthew 17 and 22, but then maybe that is not interpreted literally in the Catholic church.
Blessings to all! G. Evans
To all of you defending illegal immigration and amnesty...let me tell you in Michigan the unemployment rate is 6.6% according to the most recent figures. Why do I see 10-15 Mexicans at a time in my neighborhood doing roofing and construction work?????? The illegals are taking work away from our citizens but who cares???
The church does not speak for me either. I do agree, some of the illegal people here(from mexico or where ever else) are here trying to make a living, support family, stay out of trouble,ect. However, for every one of those type is one that is just opposite(stealing, assaulting, basic criminals). I work as a law enforcement officer and see it almost every day. Besides, what is wrong with making someone get citizenship before they are allowed in ? God forbid they are required to have proper documentation, have to pay taxes, and actually contribute like the rest of the legal citizens. I hear the argument of how illegals work for less, ect... but 99% of the time they are paid cash, no taxes, ect. They dont pay taxes, but when they get sick, injured, ect, the people who do pay taxes get stuck with the bill. Not every illegal here is just trying to "get by". Unfortunately the good will have to be punished along with the bad. Bottom line being here illegally it breaking the law. Dont tell me God or Jesus doesnt believe in laws either...isnt the 10 Commandments basically laws ? I think Dennis Miller said it best when he said "its ok if they want to come to the US, just sign the fu*&%$g guest book on the way in"
The church or news media does not speak for me on illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants have broken USA Law and they must go! It blows my mind that some one can work illegally and for some reason that makes it all right. Since when does this country reward someone for breaking our laws with a job, amnesty, social services, free education of their children....what a deal and no taxes. Wake up America and protest to your Senator to act against these illegal immigrants. The word here is ILLEGAL.
It is interesting to note that many of those writing seem to think the Church is a representative democracy. It's not. It's the Church. Pope's, bishop's etc. represent the Church's teachings not its members. You either accept the teachings or you get out. As one who "got out", I don't expect the Church to "represent me". I can only decide if I agree with the Church's or I don't. Simple as that!
I'm a small specialty contractor, repairing foundations for over twenty five years. The simple truth is that no enforcing the immigration laws we have has made law breakers out of many hard working, tax paying, honest employers. When the cheating companies are rewarded by the greedy, penny pinching customers that can't see the need to pay for legal workers. You are faced with grim choices. Do you give up what you put your life savings into to build or give in and try to be competetive and survive. This all really about class struggle. The rich have stolen and lied and looked at everyone outside their circle as subhuman. We are all humans just trying to get by. The real joke is that middle class Americans are the true slaves. Don't let the pocket change fool you. We work more hours away from our families than any other group of workers in the history of our short history. Wake up people! If you have a billion dollars- you are a criminal!!
I was amazed to read some of the comments posted in reply to Maryland Conservatarian's essay. The majority of them saddened me.

First I am enormously saddened by those who have violated their vows and responsibilities in order to fulfill their sexual appetites with their young parishioners.

Secondly, I find it terribly sad that anyone who claims to be a Christian of any denomination can justify any sort of hatred, persecution, or righteous indignation at the illegal immigrant population in the United States. This violates every basic teaching of Christ. Anyone who claims Christ's name and has no compassion for these people is commiting a terrible error of self delusion and misrepresentation and probably has suffered terribly at the hands of others. Only the psychotic and mentally broken have no compassion for others.

The issues and social constructs that bring illegal immigrants into this nation and enable them to earn a better living here than in their own countries are difficult and complex. There are no easy answers like "walls" that effectively address the issue. Anyone who thinks a quick fix will work doesn't know their history. This makes me sad because there is so much ignorance out there.

At least there is some discussion going on and maybe conservatives and liberals and the rest of us who fall in between the two extremes can find a way to treat all human beings with dignity and help Central American nations to provide industry and decent paying jobs to their complete populations.
dear cardenal I am a little short this month to much month left over would it be wrong if i rob a bank?just one i promise to never do it again if we get a free pass to break only one law this would do it for me i.m not a bad person i just need anmisty on one little bank job.i cannot support my family on what i make i belive in god and i have one nice looking son oh yes he needs a job too
I wasn't aware illegals had so much power in this country that we need to feel so threatened by them. They've provided cheap labor to bring down the price of our commodities and improve our economy, in low paying jobs no American with a high school diploma would ever take. Are there really a bunch of out-of-work landscapers out there just stewing over Mexicans taking their jobs, or is it all middle-class white folks with stable, professional careers who just don't like seeing "foreigners" in their country? They don't vote, and they have a very low crime rate (aside from the obvious) since they'd be found out and immediately deported if they were ever arrested. I fail to see the problem here: Has a single one of you ever lost a job to an illegal? I really doubt it, yet that's your whole argument. So what's the real reason? I think the rampant use of the term wetback explains it all, they aren't human beings to you and don't even deserve help when they're dying in the desert. We aren't going to deport 12 million people in a democratic society, and building a fence isn't going to do very much(wire cutters anyone?) so you'd better learn to compromise on this somehow.
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