Is America Just a Protestant Botch?

 

This essay is part of today’s symposium of lay Catholic opinion on immigration. For other contributions see this piece by Mark and Louise Zwick, this one by John Zmirak, and this news report from Zenit. For Deal Hudson’s view, see this article in The American Spectator.

In the nineteenth century, German Catholics came to America by the millions, with surges following the revolutionary unrest of 1848 and the unification of Germany in 1871 that brought on Bismarck’s persecution of Catholics during the Kulturkampf. With them came heroic religious orders and devout laymen like those who founded Der Wanderer, a Catholic weekly in Saint Paul, Minnesota that was published in German into the 1950s (and was banned by Hitler, who stopped its distribution to thousands of Germans in the 1930s).

For decades, those German-American Catholics refused to give up their language. In his massive study of American identity, Who Are We, the late Harvard historian Samuel P. Huntington writes that for years, “[a]mong the original British settlers antagonism existed towards [the newly-arrived] German-Americans, focused largely on the efforts of the latter to continue to use their language in churches and schools and other public institutions and events.” By the end of the nineteenth century, James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore and Primate of the Catholic Church in America, confronted the issue and insisted that the German-Americans use no German in homilies.

The German-Americans appealed to Rome, claiming discrimination. They also demanded their own German-speaking bishops. Gibbons countered that their position would invite the charge that “the Catholic Church … exists in America as a foreign institution, and that she is, consequently, a menace to the existence of the nation…. The Germans are shining examples of industry, energy, love of home, conservatism, and attachment to their religion,” Gibbons conceded, but he insisted that they assimilate nonetheless. When the Vatican supported him, the patriotic Gibbons proudly informed President Benjamin Harrison of his triumph. Harrison responded warmly, writing that “Of all men, the Bishops of the Church should be in full harmony with the political institutions and sentiments of the country.”

Well, times have changed—changed utterly. Several prominent Catholic prelates at a conference in Napa, California, last summer, limned their vision of “The Next America,” taking for granted that the old America was… over. Their comments focused on immigration: Cardinal Roger Mahony, the recently retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, reviewed various passages from Scripture and Catholic teaching to advocate amnesty for illegal aliens. Cardinal Mahony has made amnesty his principal political goal for years, to the point that, when he was asked about abortion and health care in 2009, he replied, “This is way beyond my field. My field is immigration.” When Obamacare finally passed in March 2010 (still including abortion) the Cardinal was ecstatic. “Now that a health care bill will help millions of uninsured people receive affordable medical care,” he rejoiced, “it’s time for the government to address the millions of people who are living in the shadows because they lack legal immigration status.”

Cardinal Mahony’s successor at the Napa conference joined him in supporting amnesty, but, curiously, he did so by attacking Huntington’s book. “[Huntington] made a lot of sophisticated-sounding arguments, but his basic argument was that American identity and culture are threatened by Mexican immigration,” the prelate charged. He continued, “[a]uthentic American identity ‘was the product of the distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers of America in the 17th and 18th centuries,’ according to Huntington. By contrast, Mexicans’ values are rooted in a fundamentally incompatible ‘culture of Catholicism’ which, Huntington argued, does not value self-initiative or the work ethic, and instead encourages passivity and an acceptance of poverty. These are old and familiar nativist claims, and they are easy to discredit,” he claimed.

Not easy to discredit, perhaps, but easy to ignore. Unfortunately, the prelate’s caricature of Huntington falls so far from the mark that one hopes his remarks were based, perhaps, on an unfavorable review somewhere. In fact, Huntington’s focus—masterfully presented and exhaustively researched—is not the “Culture of Catholicism” but rather of a single country, Mexico. It is this culture that the overwhelming majority of Hispanic immigrants, legal and illegal, bring with them across the border into the United States. The character of that culture is so important because of the profound reality that Mahony’s successor—an American citizen born in Monterrey, Mexico—delicately avoids: Mexicans in America will not assimilate, and, this time around, America’s Catholic bishops don’t care.

Not only does the attack on Huntington bash a straw man which is “easy to discredit”; it then conjures up an idealized image of Mexican immigrants. Mexican immigrants “will bring a new, youthful, entrepreneurial spirit of hard work to our economy,” the archbishop says. They “are not afraid of hard work or sacrifice [and] the vast majority of them believe in Jesus Christ and love our Catholic Church. They share traditional American values of faith, family and community.”

A brief particular of interest to the faithful: recent in-depth studies by the Pew Charitable Trust indicate that, contrary to the situation decades ago, many Hispanic immigrants today are in fact Protestant or evangelical; moreover, the longer a Catholic Hispanic is in the U.S., the more likely it is that he will leave the Church. More than 80% of Latino evangelicals in the U.S. are former Catholics.

The issue has nothing to do with the personal character of the immigrants: Cardinal Gibbons thought the Germans were fine people, too. They “are shining examples of industry, energy, love of home, conservatism, and attachment to their religion,” he warmly observed, but for the common good of the new country they chose to enter, they must assimilate to it.

And the Germans did. How about the Mexicans? Has any American bishop followed Cardinal Gibbons’ lead, and insisted that Mexicans in America speak English at Mass? That Hispanic Masses be celebrated only in English (or better, Latin), and that all homilies and formation be conducted in English? Quite the contrary. Most bishops are probably looking for more Spanish-speaking priests, just as our own parish has. Today, it is America that is expected to assimilate to its immigrants.

Gibbons cherished America; but some current bishops have their doubts, and with good reason: “Our culture is changing,” the Napa speech says. “We have a legal structure that allows, and even pays for, the killing of babies in the womb. Our courts and legislatures are redefining the natural institutions of marriage and the family. We have an elite culture … that is openly hostile to religious faith.”

All too true. So what is to blame for this travesty? Pope Benedict XVI credits the “Dictatorship of Relativism” that infects the secular societies of the West. Undoubtedly, the American Church’s abandonment of Humanae Vitae has played a central role. The new archbishop, however, aims his arrows at other targets. For him, the culprit is Old America, specifically “the idea that Americans are descended from only white Europeans and that our culture is based only on the individualism, work ethic and rule of law that we inherited from our Anglo-Protestant forebears.” Our national heritage somehow encourages “a wrong-headed notion that ‘real Americans’ are of some particular race, class, religion or ethnic background,” he insists. It smacks of “nativism” and “bigotry.”

Perhaps the prelate’s argument is not with Huntington, but with Tocqueville. He does not hesitate to tell audiences of wealthy Catholics that critics of illegal immigration are “angry and frustrated,” and their views are “not worthy of the Gospel.” However, his animus pales when compared to that of his brother bishops back home. Last week, an editorial in Desde La Fe, the newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico City, lambasted what it called “the arrogant, xenophobic, and racist attitude of the United States.” Of course, this is the same propaganda line that the Mexican corruptos in government, business, and culture have expounded for years—blaming the gringos, and not the criminal cronyism and corruption of Mexico’s elites, for Mexico’s dysfunctional poverty. Alas, when the victims of that propaganda cross the border into the U.S., no bishop greets them to disabuse them of that deep-seated anti-American resentment (or typically, even to catechize them). In Mexico, they had to game the system to survive. In the U.S., they discover that our comparatively extravagant welfare system is a sitting duck, virtually inviting manipulation. Yet they rarely hear the voice of the Church tell them, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Instead, last Monday, the Archbishop of Los Angeles and 32 other Hispanic Bishops in the United States published a letter addressed to “unauthorized” immigrants. In their letter, our beloved shepherds apologize for those Americans who “disdain” illegals, lamenting that many of those who disagree with them are “sowing hatred” instead of supporting amnesty. And what callous souls could possibly disagree with the personal political views of their bishops? “Many of our Catholic brothers and sisters,” that’s who. It’s breathtaking, really: America’s Hispanic bishops have apparently joined their Mexican brothers and declared war on the hating, xenophobic, hard-hearted “Old America,” many Catholics included.

It is worth noting that the Hispanic bishops’ letter condemns anti-amnesty Catholics in language more scathing than our bishops have ever used to condemn pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians who flagrantly perpetuate a grave public scandal by continuing to receive the Eucharist while brazenly championing “abortion rights.” Of course, abortion is an objective evil, a heinous moral crime that all Catholics must condemn, while immigration is an issue on which good Catholics can and do disagree. I wonder, have America’s Hispanic bishops ever published a joint pastoral letter using similarly strong language condemning abortionists and the “Catholic” politicians who enable them? I hope so. After all, Hispanic and black children are in the bull’s eye for those who exterminate the unborn: proportionally they are killed in much larger numbers than are children of other races.

Nonetheless,  the charge leveled at Americans by the Mexico City Archdiocese is refreshing for its candor: Mexican bishops say outright what American bishops and their USCCB staff have darkly intimated for years. In July 2008, Cardinal Mahony blatantly charged that opponents of amnesty are immoral. He told an immigration rally that enforcement of current law was “fanning the flames of intolerance, xenophobia and, at times, bigotry.” His brother bishops usually tend to use a slightly lighter touch.

But Cardinal Mahony is certainly not alone. In their 1979 “Pastoral Letter On Racism,” his brother bishops blamed the evil of racism not on the human heart but on “racial injustices in society and its own structures.” So it is structures, not hearts, that must be changed. In the meantime, we all must be racists if we’re not revolutionaries. Such intoxicating Marxism has pervaded the “social justice” movement in Catholic circles for decades. It might help to explain why our bishops today appear to be so helpless in confronting the blatantly anti-Catholic culture war being waged by the Obama Administration.

Speaking of racism, I can find no record of Cardinal Mahony, his successor, or any other bishop condemning the blatant racism of their pro-amnesty allies like La Raza—“The Race”—a virulent agitation machine that is very powerful right there in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. One wonders, does self-serving moral posturing with such allies serve the Church’s mission to “go and teach all nations” —or does it pervert it?

Robert Royal, who has written on immigration for years and whose wife is an immigrant, notes that

in simple terms, since the beginning of the new millennium alone, about 3.6 percent of 312,596,746 Americans are new arrivals. Almost one in every twenty-five people. And that’s not counting another million plus in 2011 and tens of millions before 2000…. This picture hardly squares with the usual complaints including those from people in the Church, that Americans are xenophobic and do not welcome the ‘stranger and the alien’ among us (cf., Leviticus 19:33-34). Indeed, such Biblical moralizing has been, I believe, a hindrance, more than a help, in the debate about illegal immigration, because most Americans resent such patent untruth.

Let’s get beyond the slander and back to the issue at hand: assimilation. The attack on Huntington said, a tad defensively, “One could point to the glorious legacy of Hispanic literature and art, or to Mexican-Americans’ and Hispanic-Americans’ accomplishments in business, government, medicine and other areas.” It said not a word about the culture of civic corruption that Mexicans have endured for over a century. Nor does it mention, even as serious problems for possible consideration, the murders of a Catholic Cardinal, a major presidential candidate, numerous mayors, prosecutors, and thousands of innocents, reflecting what can only be called a culture of violence. As Thomas Sowell recently observed, “When you import people, you import cultures.” Given that Cardinal Mahony, his successor, and their brother bishops will not encourage Mexicans to assimilate, it’s only fair to ask, what culture are they importing?

Aristotle recognized and underscored the importance of good habits to social survival and prosperity. He gave these habits names: virtues. He delineated certain virtues required of a polis, virtues known to us all, because they have remained virtually unchanged for the past two millennia. The prelate at Napa insisted that Mexicans “share traditional American values of faith, family and community,” and Newt Gingrich agrees. At the recent GOP presidential debate, Gingrich thought it unwise to deport many illegals if “they’ve been law-abiding citizens for 25 years.”

But whose laws have they been obeying? As a volunteer translator for law enforcement here in the Shenandoah Valley, I constantly encounter “law-abiding” immigrants, many of whom have been here for years, who routinely use false identification, multiple aliases, false or borrowed Social Security numbers (a federal felony), and who pay “coyotes” regularly when they come back into the U.S. illegally after returning to Mexico for a visit. “Tell ’em to get their hands out of their pockets,” the sheriff wants me to tell such people, fearful that they are reaching for a weapon. No, I tell him, they are reaching for their wallet, because back in their home country every man in uniform they have ever encountered expected a bribe. Yet our police rarely arrest these immigrant felons: “They’ll just let’em go at ICE,” they complain.

I have never heard a bishop admonish Hispanics to leave behind the corrupt and violent habits that they were forced to adopt in order to survive in their home country. Why is every decent house in Mexico surrounded by a wall topped off with broken glass and barbed wire? Why has Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided, for the first time in Los Angeles history, to build a wall around the mayor’s mansion? Why do illegals in the U.S. complain that they have to send back money not only to their relatives, but to the mayor, the police chief, and the local gang leader so their families will not be assaulted or plundered in their absence?

And why does Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the proto-Communist candidate in Mexico’s presidential next year, come to Chicago to deliver a campaign speech before an auditorium packed with Newt Gingrich’s “law-abiding citizens”? Why? Because they still consider themselves to be citizens of Mexico, not the United States. The laws and social mores they are abiding by are Mexican ones, not ours. And the Mexican government encourages them to participate in Mexican elections by contacting their nearby Mexican consulates that are conveniently located throughout the United States. Why? Because these folks send back some $80-$100 billion a year to their extended families in Mexico.

Univision, a Spanish-language television network headquartered in New York City, owns dozens of broadcast stations alongside its cable and satellite operations. Their programming perpetuates the cultural connection of Mexicans with Mexico. Intermingled with its numerous entertainment shows saturated with sex are newscasts that depict the U.S. as a foreign country in which its millions of Mexican viewers just happen to live. When it covers non-Hispanics at all, it depicts them as “the arrogant, xenophobic, and racist” Americans that the Mexican elites and the Mexican Church have warned them about all their lives. Assimilate? Are you kidding? After such a drenching indoctrination, why on earth would they wish to?

The Catholic Church in the United States undoubtedly has a Hispanic future. Surveys indicate that a majority of today’s Catholic population in America under the age of thirty are Hispanic. Perhaps the bishops are simply acquiescing to what they perceive as inevitable. Moreover, the Dictatorship of Relativism and the collapse of the family have played a role, bringing our culture to the brink of collapse—or perhaps beyond the brink. Ask your pastor how many marriages your parish has performed, compared to ten or twenty years ago. The Napa bishops can certainly find plenty about today’s America that doesn’t measure up to Tocqueville. Imagine a president – or any politician, for that matter – who would echo John Adams, in a letter to his friend Benjamin Rush:

The Bible contains the most profound philosophy, the most perfect morality, and the most refined policy, that was ever conceived upon the earth. It is the most Republican book in the world, and therefore I will still revere it. The curses against fornication and adultery, and the prohibition of fornication or libidinous ogle at a woman, I believe to be the only system that did or ever will preserve a Republic in the world.

Clearly our beloved country has fallen on hard times, and no race or ethnic group has been spared. But even in the midst of such difficulties, there is merit in honestly discussing the question that Huntington asks at the beginning of Who Are We:

The massive Hispanic immigration after 1965 make America increasingly bifurcated in terms of language (English and Spanish) and culture (Anglo and Hispanic), which could supplement or supplant the black—white racial bifurcation as the important division in American society. Substantial parts of America, primarily in southern Florida and the Southwest, would be primarily Hispanic and culture and language, while both cultures and languages would coexist in the rest of America. America, in short, would lose its cultural and linguistic unity and become a bilingual, bicultural society like Canada, Switzerland, or Belgium.

Is this “Next America” inevitable? Are there alternatives? Can Catholics disagree with the views of the Napa bishops without getting called ugly, destructive names? Can anybody?

Only time will tell. But until recently, under the leadership of USCCB President Archbishop Timothy Dolan, our bishops have seldom reminded  us that their political views are their own – that good Catholics can and do differ on the application of Catholic precepts on specific legislative issues; in fact, that the Church calls on the laity to lead on practical legislative issues like immigration and federal spending. The Hispanic bishops’ letter to illegal aliens starkly reflects the sad politicization of some segments of the hierarchy, where favorite private political agendas like the welfare state and amnesty have in some cases virtually crowded out the Magisterium altogether. Perhaps we should pray that our bishops will bring eternal and objective truths like those in Humanae Vitae “out of the shadows,” and let the laity, not the hierarchy, deal with practical legislative particulars that Holy Mother Church calls us to address, in charity and in truth, to pursue the common good for all.

Christopher Manion

By

Christopher Manion served as a staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years. He has taught in the departments of politics, religion, and international relations at Boston University, the Catholic University of America, and Christendom College, and is the director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae™, a project of the Bellarmine Forum Foundation. He is a Knight of Malta.

  • Thomas C. Coleman, Jr.

    Thank you, Christopher Manion, for beinga courageous truth-teller. When I tired to make similar points recently in response to a Crisis article, someone suggested that I had gotten into “some bad holy water.” I have lieved in California almost all of my life, and for years I have marveled over the Church’s ability to ignore the activities of La Raza. Recenly two men in the Monterey area, both assoicated with state colleges, published a cute little book called “The ABC’s of Being Chican.” It’s starts with “A is for Azatlan,” the name given this part of America that the Mexican government tells its people really beongs to Mexico, and then whne it get to K, well “K is for Karl Marx.” Do our US bishops really not realize that many of those promoting this illegal migration and amnesty (citizenship) are hoping to use these people as a permanent majority that will blindly support an anti-Catholic government that promotes abortion, homosexualis, and socialism not only in the US but around the world. How ironic it that our Shepherds our facilitating the very destrcution of what is left of Christain America! I certainly hope that some of those Shephers have the staffs memebers who have the courage and integrity see to that their bosses read your article.

    • Sarto

      Hey, bad holy water guy. You’ve been around Mexicans and I have been around Mexicans. I don’t know where Christopher Manion has been. Maybe to racial purity school, which used to have a branch office in my state until we ran them out.

      Yes, the Mexicans cling to their culture. We had a wonderful Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration at the parish I attend and I cannot imagine gringos expressing themselves with so much loving emotion. But they also love the United States. A US flag was a prominent part of the celebration.

      With thirty percent of Catholics going out the door for whatever reason, the Mexicans are filling in the empty pews. In this parish, I find them hard working, loving, and generous. They are more and more the face of the Catholic in this diocese.

      And Pammie, an odd thing. Offer a Spanish Mass and they come. They were always there, just invisible.

      • Cord Hamrick

        Manion asked,

        Can Catholics disagree with the views of the Napa bishops without getting called ugly, destructive names?

        Sarto answered,

        I don’t know where Christopher Manion has been. Maybe to racial purity school….

        There you are: Asked and answered.

      • pammie

        Hmmm, if you say so. The Hispanics I have invited say the church is not in a good location and the Mass at a bad time. Attendees after several months can be counted on one hand, including an Anglo or two who have just heard about the evening Sunday Mass.

        For the record: I have many family members who came to the US through the slow and tedious system. They had to go through a process where they had to prove their ability to work so as not to be a drain on the American public, conversant in the English language and not a criminal or security risk—way before the days of 9/11. The majority of them were professionals: physicists, engineers, accountants, religious, doctors etc. But all had to go through the same procedure. How is it just to make some people follow the law and not others?

        • Sarto

          Too far away? Just another way to say they don’t feel welcome. Inconvenient time? Now there is truth to that, since most Hispanics work six days a week in their low wage jobs. But I have have seen them travel fifty miles to attend Mass if the priest and parish give them welcome. Even if they always get the most inconvenient hours.

          And my relatives came here (the West) with Brigham Young, fleeing religious persecution by tolerant Americans. Then America stole all that land from Mexico where they were living, sent an army to subjegate them, and eventually they became part of the U.S.. Now, by George, one of them might become president.

          As I said, a kind of Karma…The Mormonsfinding a powerful place and Mexicans returning to the land that was stolen from them by America long ago. It may not fit our punitive local laws, but there is a kind of cosmic justice. And it is kind of fun to see Mexicans slowly replacing the Catholics who do not give them a friendly welcome. The true Christians gradually emerge.

          • pammie

            “Too far away? Just another way to say they don’t feel welcome. Inconvenient time? Now there is truth to that, since most Hispanics work six days a week in their low wage jobs. But I have have seen them travel fifty miles to attend Mass if the priest and parish give them welcome. Even if they always get the most inconvenient hours.”

            Sorry but you crack me up. Americans are always and everywhere bad, xenophobic, lazy and aggressive. Mexicans are always and everywhere good, xenophilous hardworking and nonviolent…and they still get inconvenient Mass times. Awful!

            Except that my parish is attended by many different kinds of people from places other than the US and our pastor comes from Malta. It would seem that you will need to slander other ethnicities as well in their entirety if you want to remain consistent to your theories.

            You didnt answer my question: why doesnt your commitment to justice include my family members who went through the legal process to become citizens of this country?

            Also according to your theories of race relations, why would Mexicans want to work for miserable, land grabbing, lazy gringos anyway when there are so many more wonderfuly kind, industrious, nonviolent, tolerant HIspanics societies to work in throughout the world? Why come to this intolerant hellhole of mean, nasty Americans (your characterisation) when there is a world full of nice people out there to welcome them with open arms? Just a thought.

            • Sarto

              What cracks me up, Pammie, is you put words in my mouth and say I am thinking things that never occured to me.

              Because I have been around Mexicans all my life, I have seen the best and the worst. I can say that, in general, I find them to be a wonderful people.

              I can say the same thing, of course, about Anglos. But the problem right now is a movement that has appeared among some Anglos that seemed to have been introduced by Michael Savage. Interesting that John Z used the same expression somewhere: Language and borders. Does that mean he listens to Savage? Gets his ideas from there? Don’t know.

              Anyway, this becomes an attack on immigrants. Oh, I know, they try to narrow it to “illegal immigrants,” but the brush paints a wider swath than that.

              Mexicans work for the Gringos because that is where the work is. The ancestor of those Gringos were brutal land grabbers and they were guilty of genocide. But that was then and this is now. Most people just try to be decent. And I resent those who try to stir decent people into hatred and resentment against some of the most vulnerable people around.

              I just wish you would put that same energy into demanding justice from the Wall Street crowd who stole half of your wealth and mine.

              • pammie

                Mr Sarto one can only surmise what you are thinking from what you write. And what you have written (from the bits I’ve read) is that Americans are always bad and immigrants always good. A way of thinking that many are guilty of on a variety of issues including foreign policy and who we will bomb next and under what pretense. So it’s not just you and not just this issue where only the natural good of one side is considered.

                “Oh, I know, they try to narrow it to “illegal immigrants,” but the brush paints a wider swath than that. ”

                I dont think so. I find it curious that some RCs want to have a different set of laws for different people. Some must go through the system and some get an automatic “pass”. You know.. sort of a modern day “Different strokes for Different folks” set to a political tune which usually makes for trouble with a capital “T” when played out.

                Believe me I would spend a lot more time wailing over my bank account if I thought it would do one bit of good. I’m not clever enough to offer any solutions except punish the wrong doers and insist they make restitution to those they have wronged. But when you have both parties heavily invested in the same corruption I might as well be whistling “Dixie” for all the good it will accomplish. I leave that terrible situation to people more learned than myself to discuss.

                Finally : I dont know who or what Dr. Z listens to and I dont know who Michael Savage is. I assume he is a media pundit of some sort -a type of humanity that I avoid like a summer cold in the deep south.

      • Alecto Papadakoleitis

        Whatever reason? Are you serious? It’s called child rape and it’s punishable by life in prison.

        I’ve heard of apologists before, but dude, you’ve got a whole new approach to denial!

  • pammie

    The over all thickness of our Bishops both here and in Europe over this topic (and others) is really inexplicable. One may not count on them for much of anything except the yearly Bishop’s appeal for funds–very faithful to that aspect of their vocations I must say. The new pastor to our old parish insists on having a new spanish Mass when there are NO hispanics in that part of town and very, very few (if any) in our congregation.It hasnt come to much but will look nice on his resume, surely.

  • digdigby

    Sarto:
    “….the Mexicans are filling in the empty pews.”

    Through your human arithmetic these ‘shepherds’ want to ‘fill the pews’ with ‘colorful’, barely catechized (often charismatic heretic) Mexican so-called ‘Catholics’ with even higher abortion rates, divorce rates, dysfunction rates, crime rates than poor white American Protestants. They who have made Our Lady of Guadelupe a ‘flag of conquest’ and ‘self-pride’ which is the ultimate obscenity.

    • Sarto

      Not a very good job description of the Mexicans I know. And if they are barely catechized, that is because pastor barely give them notice. In the parishes in my state, the most active religious education programs, including the best youth programs, are in the majority Mexican parishes where the priests give them a high priority. The Mexican people respond with amazing gratitude and energy.

      But, keep on thinking your happy thoughts and stay in the dark.

      • digdigby

        Keep thinking YOUR happy thoughts. The numbers, Sarto, the numbers.

  • Fred

    Mr. Manion, your article is spot on!
    These Bishops should review the teachings of Our Church that immigrations laws MUST be obeyed, not ignored.
    My guess is that they are looking for illegal immigrants to fill churches because they have failed so miserably in evangelizing and catechising for so many years.

    I have yet to hear any of them encouraging the faithful to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. It not only provides authentic Church teaching, but directly contradicts their positions.

    Thank you again.

  • EDWARD

    I am tired of this anti-American discrimination shown by several Bishops. They are heads of Dioceses in the USA and they should write to everyone in their Diocese in English with only a copy possibly in other languages if they deem necessary. Their discrimination destroys Unity in the Body of Christ, breeds mistrust, and causes division amongst Americans.
    St. James was very clear that there should be no partiality shown (Jas 2:1).

    None of these Bishops actively promote reading of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” which requires: immigrants to obey our laws, and that our government has the right to make laws for the common good of US citizens (for those which they are responsible) CCC #2241.
    These Bishops never tell illegal aliens to obey US law (including immigration law); they never ask the US Government to enforce our borders to slow drugs, sexual slavery, breaking of US laws, etc.
    Instead through the USCCB, they promote lessor and incomplete catechisms. (Read the “Ratzinger Report on exclusive interview on the State of the Church” paragraphs on a “shattered catechesis”).

  • EssEm

    I heartily agree with your sentiments but am puzzled by the title. America could only have been started by Protestants. If it’s a “botch” it’s their failure to stand up for themselves.

  • EssEm

    I regard the American bishops as functional traitors, proving well-grounded the fears of “nativists” about Catholics.

    Seven reasons why contemporary Hispanic immigration to America is bad.

    Illegality: How can it be a good thing for us if your first literal contact with us is breaking our laws? It is an aggressive act of disrespect. It is home invasion on a national scale. Left unpunished, it promotes contempt for us and makes our sovereignty a joke.

    Enormity: tens of millions of illegals gives the problem serious demographic magnitude, as well as having huge costs in money, crime, social dislocation, etc.

    Homogeneity: the single linguistic bloc makes them very powerful and influential, allowing both a split of the US into a bilingual country and continuous resident populations who speak an alien language.

    Proximity: for Mexican illegals especially, the great majority, the closeness of the home country prevents assimilation and allows diffident connection to America.

    “Balkanicity”: with the history of race-conscious ill-will between the USA and Mexico, this massive group of illegal Hispanics superheats the Balkanizing of our country into inimical ethnic tribes.

    Insecurity: Post-MLK America has lost its moral self-confidence and any hope of the decreasing White majority asserting itself to foreign immigrants. Multiculturalism has eroded a common Anglo culture that once might have required adaptation from these invaders, if not supported their expulsion.

    Futurity: Although many first-generation illegals may be more focused on work and money, with clear experience that a hard life in America is way better than the insecure dead-end hovels they fled, their children born here, who will mostly not excel, will see what they don’t have and how they don’t belong in either place. Nothing good comes of this new alienated underclass.

    Put ‘em all together. It’s not pretty.

  • Tony Esolen

    When my grandfathers came here from Italy, dirt poor, both of them, they knew what they were leaving behind, and they didn’t look back. Did they encounter discrimination? Absolutely. The Irish boys used to fight the Italian boys to see who could walk on the sidewalk. Then, after a while, the Irish boys started to notice that the Italian girls were really good looking, and before you knew it they were getting married. The same thing happened, the other way around — the Irish girls saw that the Italian boys were really good looking :).

    In any case, the men worked very hard down in the coal mines. Both of them suffered for it. My mother’s father, after fifteen years underground, had a nervous breakdown, and could never hold a job again. My father’s father had an accident and broke his neck. He didn’t die, but he could never go down the mines again, because one slip could kill him. Instead he worked at odd jobs, and would take his sons with some wheelbarrows up to the mine entrances, to glean fallen coals and take them to town to sell at a discount.

    Both grandfathers insisted that their children speak English. They didn’t care that half the English-speakers hated their guts. They were out to show that they were loyal Americans, like everyone else (my father’s father fought on the American side in World War I). So they said, “If anybody asks you what you are, you say, I am an American!” Their children were successful in the blue-collar world, and their grandchildren began to go to college.

    But then, they had the family, and clear discipline, and no cultural rot coming from the television and the newspapers and magazines….

    • digdigby

      Tony, the world of which you speak and Jersey Shore cannot ‘co-exist’. Each of us must make very hard choices.

  • Alecto Papadakoleitis

    Thank you, thank you and again, thank you. For the first time since I began attending mass after a long sojourn, someone has written exactly what I believe (and have written) about the Catholic clergy. Face it, this is a widespread problem not just with bishops, but with priests.

    On All Saint’s Day my parish priest decided (because he’s a blowhard and a narcissistic showoff) to say a “bilingual” mass for “our friends who don’t speak English too well”. Several weeks later in his annual financial statement he mentioned more thugs would be “reaching out” to the parish for funds with which to build the new church. Apparently, charity is only intended for Hispanics. I can no longer be part of a religion based on hatred, bigotry and greed. I left and haven’t been back since, nor do I intend to give a red cent to the corrupt Catholic church! Put a sock in it amigos!

    • John Zmirak

      Don’t let the Devil use his dupes to drive you out of the one true Church! Remember that virtually every Protestant church, including the Southern Baptists, has now fallen for multicultural, open-borders ideology–seemingly unaware that its intellectual pretexts are Marxist, its goals are tribalist, and its end result will be anarchy.

      None of those things is of God! If you let dopes like your pastor destroy your Faith you’re caving in to the same devil he (unknowingly) serves through his dopiness. Keep showing up and getting the sacraments–and send your money to Catholic Relief Services, an apolitical, honest charity.

      • Beth

        Nothing can drive me away from the Holy Eucharist, and only the Catholic Church can provide this.

        “The Ratzinger Report” an exclusive interview on the State of the Church is very clear, with the problems created by a lack of proper catechesis.

        We must get the CCC in the hands of as many Americans as possible, since most Bishops refuse to do so and instead give us watered down and incomplete catechisms.
        We have to do the Bishops jobs when they will not do it themselves.

        If we stick with the Magisterium rather than some Bishops, we will be able to form a good and accurate conscience.
        The USCCB, State Conferences, and individual Bishops are not the Magisterium, and we do not need to follow them when they deviate from Magisterium teachings which are contained in the CCC.

      • John

        That is an incredibly broad statement sir. Most
        gross over-generalizations tend to be false. Please
        give us facts to support your statement that now
        virtually every Protestant church is Marxist leaning.

        • John Zmirak

          I’m talking about the political activism of mainline Protestant churches on immigration and affirmative action, which is even worse than that of the USCC. The Southern Baptists last year came out pro-amnesty in one of their general conventions. A survey at Wheaton in Illinois showed that 80% of faculty admitted to voting for Obama. The Social Gospel is rising from its unquiet grave….

      • Sarto

        Ahh, now it comes out in the open. John Z, for all his clever humor, is a hard guy inside with no room for brown brothers and sisters. So much antihispanic rage in this thread. Pero El Senor surfriendo en la cruz conoce bien nuestros corozones. En el juzgado final, separare las ovejas de los cabrillos.

        • John Zmirak

          I never said a thing about race. If big corporations were importing illegal Irish or Croats to undermine our laws, and vote in socialist policies, I’d be equally upset. Careful about slinging slanderous charges Sarto–try it again and you’ll have find some other website to read obsessively, “grading” every post because you apparently have… nothing else to do.

      • Alecto Papadakoleitis

        John and Beth, yes, you’re right. Of course you’re right. I need to be able to express to these priests my honest opinions but I will not financially support this rot gut imitation of Catholicism. I have had hit!

  • Anne P.

    You can tell if there are abuses at your Mass if you read GIRM (General Instruction for the Roman Missal on the USCCB web site); the laity as well as some Priests abuse the Mass.

    You can tell if any Bishop, Priest or Deacon teaches wrongly or get your own questions answered about all Church teaching by reading the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” which all Catholics are required to adhere to.
    You can also find the Code of Canon law on the Vatican web site.

    Report all abuses to your Parish Pastor. If that does not work to your Diocese Bishop. If that does not work to the Vatican with a copy to the US Papal Nuncio.

    No Bishop, Priest or Lay person has the authority to violate any of the documents in this post.

  • MinneCatholic

    You really should take the down the offensive picture of the our flag burning. Its disrespectful.

    • John Zmirak

      It’s meant to illustrate the message of the Napa bishops’ statement. We didn’t burn a flag, and never would. We took an existing picture that summed up (potently, I see) what many U.S. bishops seem to think of our country. Sorry if it offends. I’m more offended by the assault on our sovereignty and citizenship, our freedom as laymen to pursue the Common Good of our country.

      • MinneCatholic

        Very vaild points. The lack of concern by the bishops concerning the sovereignity of our borders is indeed deplorable.

  • G.

    If the harm done to the U.S. is a non-starter to some, the problem of illegal immigration is also harming Mexico. We’re playing the enabler to Mexico’s dysfunction.

    I never hear of Mexico City being held accountable for the conditions that cause people to leave. People are leaving because Mexico can’t/won’t create a safe, livable country with a modicum of transparency and good government, especially on the local level. Corruption is a parasite on the economy and rewards connections and bribes over hard work. Those who want an alternative can find a way over the border, so there is less of a sense of urgency to make the reforms needed for economic growth.

    Mexico could be a powerhouse. Imagine if economic giants like Texas and California had stayed part of Mexico. Sorry to say, it wouldn’t be pretty. There would be no glassy, brassy (sometimes classy) Dallas, and Austin would not be weird. As the American Southwest has thrived, so could Mexico, but complacency rules. The only solution up for discussion is unrestrained migration.

    Why not? They’ve got a good thing going. In 2005, money sent from the U.S. was set to surpass oil revenue. That, above all, shows the need for Mexico to set its own house in order and live up to the potential in the resources its land has been blessed with.

  • http://elblogdelpelon.wordpress.com/ El Pelón

    As a perfectly bilingual, “assimilated”, Univision-watching Mexican (I prefer Telemundo, but that is neither here nor there), this piece struck me as a lament for a fallen civilization, perhaps echoing the laments of the last pagan Romans against the decadence of the empire. Like St. Augustine, however, I would contest whether or not the myth of “America as it once was” is worth genuflecting to. Perhaps greater sociological and historical study would lead one to conclude that Catholicism is indeed a “foreign” faith, and the 1950’s, that era of Catholic Americanism with its Bing-Crosby like priests, its stalwart nuns, and its puritanical morality, was the eye of the storm between two ethnic waves that have formed Catholic identity in this country. It is telling that the 1950’s style Catholicism did not last, and many of the trends that came after it (the article thumps 1968’s Humanae Vitae) were an inevitable result of its decline.

    That being said, no one has ever come out and stated that crossing a border to get a better job is a sin simply put. One at best can resort to issues of legality, but not all laws are moral, and the Catholic natural law tradition has always been about measuring human law against divine law. Christianity has always been uncomfortable using morality to punish the have-nots for the benefit of the haves. Often this will occur, but voices within the tradition always well up and state that this is simply not right. To vilify the poor for making others poor seems to be the weakest form of moral argument, especially when sites like this one bend over backwards to justify why the rich have nothing to fear: there is always a company out there ready to make a needle so big that a camel can pass through its eye without much difficulty.

    Personally, I am disappointed that the libertarian voices who write for this blog don’t say anything about this. How do they feel when people advocate a police state to ensure that “unauthorized” workers aren’t allowed to work, even though the market clearly demands that their labor crosses a rather ridiculous line in the sand? How do they feel about the heightened police powers to detain suspicious brown people who don’t carry their passport around with them wherever they go? What do they say regarding building a large wall to keep labor out , patrolled by drones? What would Rothbard think, and why are they silent? Do they only speak up on this site on issues where the xenophobic peanut gallery nods politely in agreement?

    (Oh, and I thought the gratuitous swipe at the smutty nature of Mexican television was rich. It’s clear that the author doesn’t watch much television, either in English or in Spanish. Tu quoque.)

    • Montfort

      El Pelon,
      Read your post – checked out your blog – please turn off Telemundo and look up assimilation. Nowhere will you find that assimilation includes taking an arrogant prideful and hateful attitude toward your adopted nation. While you are at it please look up envy – perhaps then you will understand the nature of your anger.

    • John Zmirak

      Rothbard favored anarchy. He did not believe human beings had any obligations toward each other–not even parents toward infants they’d brought into the world. He wrote explicitly that he not only favored legal abortion, but believed that parents could not be compelled to care for their children. That is precisely the kind of autistic, Hobbesean world-view which favors open borders. As it is, mass, uncontrolled immigration is profoundly threatening not just to our civic order but to democracy. We democratically passed our immigration laws. And our labor laws, wage laws, and the laws that allowed for workplace safety regulations. All of those things are completely undermined by illegal immigration. As for mass legal immigration of the unskilled into a country with a vanishing industrial base, it makes completely impossible anything like a family wage. It means all mothers, even of small children, will have to work. That will suppress their child-bearing–for obvious reasons. Who WILL have the leisure to have children? Women on welfare (supported by the taxes paid by those families toiling with two incomes). Now, I’m not saying that any of this is a conscious conspiracy to depopulate the country of natives and replace those people with foreigners. But how would it look any different if it were?

      • http://elblogdelpelon.wordpress.com/ El Pelón

        I am not a libertarian, and while I find Rothbard a good speaker and writer, I obviously don’t agree with his position. However, I find the cognitive dissonance of right-wing Catholics towards government interesting, and purely a product of what bedfellows they decide to choose before the debate even starts. For supposedly we are to trust government bureaucrats to stop random brown people in the street asking for their papers, but make any laws to take away guns from “law abiding citizens”, and there are cries of fascist socialist dictatorship. The government can and must police a woman’s womb, but it can’t raise taxes to feed that same woman if she doesn’t have a job, for whatever reason. It cannot determine whether your child can pray in school or not, but it somehow has the expertise to determine what countries it can bomb back to the Stone Age thousands of miles away in our name. Yet all of this is just a product of the “general will” of Rousseau. Of course, like good Jesuits, you can parse all of these things all you want, and say why all of this is the case. But in the end, I find the libertarian voices on this question far more refreshing, and less prone to ideological posturing.

        As for the rest, I will just point out again how absurd it is to blame the poor and the powerless for the poverty and powerlessness of others. I smell a hack job, pure and simple. If at the very least you were fundamentally opposed to capital crossing borders, and not just labor, then I might see some validity in your point. Whether or not a factory can get up and leave to places where there is cheaper labor, whether the workers get a living wage or not, whether or not Mexican subsistence farmers can keep out the cheap, US government-subsidized corn that NAFTA brought in, SHOULD be a determination of the democratic process of local communities most affected by those decisions. But somehow, I don’t think that is what you are getting at. It’s easier to scare and scapegoat in the name of the bosses, and it is the oldest nativist trick in the book.

        • John Zmirak

          Your reply assumes that everyone in favor of limiting immigration supports EVERY measure, however extreme, proposed to that end. I’ve heard abortion advocates make similar reductios: “Oh, and I suppose you’ll want the Government to give every woman of fertile age an MRI once a month, to make sure that if she DOES get pregnant, she keeps it.” (Something similar, using x-rays, WAS employed in China–but that was to FORCE women to abort.)

          Local governments have proposed some extreme measures to deal with the results of the federal government’s abdication of responsibility. The way to stop the extreme measures from gaining support, I suggest, is NOT to argue that Americans:
          * Unlike Mexicans, have no right to a country of their own, with a single dominant language of public life, and control of its international borders.
          * Had better shut up and get used to their colonization by Mexican settlers, or they will be labeled “racist” and hounded out of public life.
          * Are somehow so decadent and lazy that they deserve to be replaced by noble, hard-working foreigners.

          Because every one of these arguments could equally apply to MUCH needier, poorer immigrants from Africa (let’s say, Somalia) who might wish to settle in Mexico.

          So I propose this: For every Mexican illegal migrant to whom the U.S. grants amnesty, Mexico should accept one Muslim from Somalia, with full eligibility for all Mexican social programs. Also, Mexican schools must provide him bilingual education, and must show full respect for his culture of origin. Furthermore, Mexico must give him affirmative action privileges, to protect him from discrimination.

          Tell me honestly, Pelon, how would the people of Mexico react to such a proposal? I know how savagely Mexico patrols its own southern border–imprisoning illegal migrants for long periods of time. I also know that it’s virtually illegal for foreign companies to own land or enterprises in Mexico. In fact, the kind of nationalism we see in Mexico is much more potent than anything we’ve seen in America or Europe for decades. I certainly wouldn’t want to see that level of xenophobia take root in America.

          Nor do I want to see Mexico do to the U.S. what Texan settlers did to what was then northern Mexico in the 1830s. The Mexican government of that day had a perfect right NOT to accept those land-hungry Tejanos. We have the same right today. If (like the weak Mexican government of that day) we are too weak or cowardly to exercise it, then we deserve the same consequences.

    • Alecto Papadakoleitis

      That being said, no one has ever come out and stated that crossing a border to get a better job is a sin simply put.

      And you forgot the corollary, no one has ever come out and stated that crossing a border to get a better job isn’t a sin. Especially when that puts citizens out of work.

      You might want to look at (if you can) the WSJ and it’s lamentable article on over 55 workers unemployment rates. However, I’m certain you’ll find a way to weasle out of any responsibility for any negative consquences for your countrymen invading my country.

      I also believe it was Thomas Szasz who said, “If I kill you what rights do you have?”

  • Chris S.

    I believe that by their partiality (in violation of the Bible Jas 2:19), and their discrimination against Catholic Americans in their own Diocese by reaching out only to Hispanics, and their refusal to put forth decent catechesis such as requiring use of the CCC by most adults in their Dioceses, they owe Amercian Catholics an apology.
    Their judgment day will come for treating literate Americans like imbeciles and providing their own catechisms that are incomplete.

    ” Through the harmonious and complementary efforts of all the ranks of the People of God, may this Catechism be known and shared by everyone, so that the unity in faith whose supreme model and origin is found in the Unity of the Trinity may be strengthened and extended to the ends of the earth.” Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xv)

    ” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (CCC pg 5)

    (This is by no means intended to address ALL US Bishops.)

  • Dan

    Mr Manion, an excellent writer, has made the statement that in the good old days of Cardinal Gibbons the Germans were forced to “assimilate” and, with the blessings of the US President, to become good Americans. Mr Manion then points out that now things have changed.

    Actually, they haven’t changed at all. It is precisely this assimilation to the values of the USA that is strangling Catholicism in this country and dashing any and all hopes of conversions to the true Faith. Catholics aren’t converting America; America is converting Catholics. The Catholics have swallowed whole the Enlightenment values of the American system including all the evils that go with it. Thus, you see good Catholics supporting the monstrous wars of aggression this country has been waging lately, the chipping away of our rights (this week the government essentially revoked the Fifth Ammendment, in case anyone missed it), the candidacies of such Israelicentric ignoramuses as Gingrich, Perry, Bachman, etc., etc., etc. They overlook the fact that none of the Republican candidates will do anything serious to stop abortion, or fight against the growing tyranny of the government and the sodomites (or do I repeat myself?). They buy into all this patriotic rubbish that has been spoon-fed them since childhood and are unwilling to face reality.

    The Church in the US is in a mess, as it is elsewhere, because Rome, too, has accepted American principles, those same principles condemned by Leo XIII as “Americanism”. Rome, fenced in by American ideals of plurality and “tolerance” refuses to govern, to discipline, even to teach.

    As for immigration of Mexicans into this country…at least many of them are Catholics, and while I agree we should have sensible immigration policies the more Catholics who enter this God-forsaken country the better.

    • Michael PS

      I sometimes wonder whether American (and British) Catholics are as aware as they should be of the dangers of a sort of “political Catholicism,” like that that bedevilled France from1870 to 1959 and that reached its zenith in Action Française and the Catholic atheism of Charles Maurras; this was “civic religion” with a vengeance.

      Nor is the danger only on the Right; Le Sillon’s attempt to align Catholic Action with the labour movement was equally dangerous and was also roundly condemned by the Holy See in Notre Charge Apostolique ; a document that could be read with profit by some (politically) progressive Anglophone Catholics, as well as more recent condemnations of Liberation Theology.

      The philosopher, Maurice Blondel spoke of its results: “A Catholicism without Christianity, submissiveness without thought, an authority without love, a Church that would rejoice at the insulting tributes paid to the virtuosity of her interpretative and repressive system… To accept all from God except God, all from Christ except His Spirit, to preserve in Catholicism only a residue that is aristocratic and soothing for the privileged and beguiling or threatening for the lower classes—is not all this, under the pretext perhaps of thinking only about religion, really a matter of pursuing only politics?”

    • G.

      Dan says, “the more Catholics who enter this God-forsaken country the better,” and I can’t argue with that.

      However, I think we can also over-estimate the solidity of the catechesis received by incoming Mexicans. I am in the Southwest, and I see three trends that concern me:

      1. Nationalism: Catholic affiliation that is a facet of a politicized identity and a social gathering point, but not necessarily a moral code. This is often suffused with liberation theology and associated issues.

      Of course, you will encounter Catholics of all ethnicities who are as ferociously dedicated to their Catholic identity as a good Chicagoan loves Da Bears, but want to do what they please and think God will “understand” because they’re “good people.”

      2. These aren’t my words, so you can’t call me a racist or bigot. I’ve heard a South American Catholic complain that Mexicans can fall into twisting Our Lady of Guadalupe into a goddess, and the image into a totem.

      That’s the product of lame or non-existent catechesis.
      These are the people who become easy targets to be picked off by Evangelical groups who can try to tell them their Catholic faith is not “Biblical.”

      3. Syncretism and new paganism: The most shocking recent example is the horrifying Santa Muerte cult.

      But even the Rosary has been defiled and expropriated: Google “gang school Texas Rosary” for some sad news stories (and sad reactions by school districts).

      Catholicism from south of the border may lean more traditional, and there is a better social and familial culture to encourage fidelity to it, but it is not without its own challenges.

  • pb

    “The Catholics have swallowed whole the Enlightenment values of the American system including all the evils that go with it. Thus, you see good Catholics supporting the monstrous wars of aggression this country has been waging lately, the chipping away of our rights (this week the government essentially revoked the Fifth Ammendment, in case anyone missed it), the candidacies of such Israelicentric ignoramuses as Gingrich, Perry, Bachman, etc., etc., etc. They overlook the fact that none of the Republican candidates will do anything serious to stop abortion, or fight against the growing tyranny of the government and the sodomites (or do I repeat myself?). They buy into all this patriotic rubbish that has been spoon-fed them since childhood and are unwilling to face reality.”

    Catholics have become Yankees and Republicans, not “Americans.”

    • John

      Your anger is winning the war inside you. I don’t think
      Perry or Bachman have ever been linked to the
      “Enlightenment” before. That comparsion is nonsensical.
      Then you imply these same extremely hard right
      candidates will support the homosexual (sodomite)
      agenda. I suggest you take a deep breath and maybe
      check your blood pressure, its probably sky high.

    • ANNE

      I can see that the CCC is needed on this forum since some posters do not know what the Catholic Church teaches.

      1 – Dan. The Catholic Church does not teach ‘tolerance” nor does the Pope. It is not in the CCC.

      2. – Dan. The reason the Catholic Church is a mess in the USA is because most Catholics do not know their Faith due to lousy catechesis, and they have not bothered to take responsibility for their own ignorance by reading the CCC.

      3. – pb, the killing of innocent babies and euthanasia is a mortal sin. All Catholics are obliged to vote. See the CCC.
      Catholics can not vote for immoral baby killers, like Obama and his Party of Death – see the National Democratic Platform.
      On the internet see “Worthiness to Recieve Holy Communion, General Principles” by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).

      With Obama and his Democratic Congress we were in 3 wars, not 2. As of yesterday this County was over $15 Trillion in debt. And his Administration violates the Constitution more than any other administration since Hoover.
      The CCC #2411 teaches that without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible. Governments and Individuals must pay their debts, and respect private property.

      Most Catholics truly do not know their Faith. It’s in the CCC, with footnotes to the Bible and appropriate Church Documents.
      Just for once, please read the CCC instead of books by some Theologians or some Priests or some Bishops who are not the Magisterium and many times are pushing their own agendas.
      Instead of reading personal opinions, read the real deal – the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” (dark green cover, first published in the USA in March 2000.)

      This does not group all Bishops, Priests or Theologians into one category. Some are very good. But you need to know your CCC to understand the difference.

      • pb

        “3. – pb, the killing of innocent babies and euthanasia is a mortal sin. All Catholics are obliged to vote. See the CCC.
        Catholics can not vote for immoral baby killers, like Obama and his Party of Death – see the National Democratic Platform.
        On the internet see “Worthiness to Recieve Holy Communion, General Principles” by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).”

        I only made a single point in response to a version of the traditionalist critique of the U.S. Never claimed that abortion or euthansia weren’t mortal sins. As for voting, maybe someone should tell that to Alasdair MacIntyre. When the system is rigged against real reform and social justice, voting is meaningless — it’s there to perpetuate itself, regardless of the party involved.

        • Beth

          pb, plz check the internet. “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles” by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).

          The murder of approximately one million innocent babies each year in the USA is the biggest HUMAN RIGHTS violation in the history of the world. There is nothing proportionate.

          Since Obama took office, not only has he strongly supported abortion in this Country he wants our tax dollars to pay for abortion under the false guise of women’s health, and he uses our US tax dollars in the form of aid to force poor countries to change their laws to support the murder of their babies. His administration actively promotes abortion in the United Nations.

          In addition Obama’s support of homosexual marriage is damaging to real families. Laws will change to support this sinful lifestyle, and children through adoption etc will be affected. Our religious freedom will even be attacked due to Obama’s and most Democrats legal support for sodomy.

          These are more serious than any social justice to which you seem to be referring.

          Quote the CCC, rather than a British philosopher. If the CCC is followed by all Catholics our society will change for the better in every area.

          • pb

            Looks like the Catholic Republicans are out in force – what have the Republicans really done in the past 30 years? Nothing. Some American Catholics apparently don’t mind being strung along by the Grand Oligarchy Party. Take a cue from George W., “Fool me once…”

          • pb

            The Democrats weren’t the first party to subvert the family and support feminism. The Republican Party hasn’t left its roots; it’s just playing social conservatives (and Catholics) for fools.

    • Oscar

      “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” (dark green cover, first printed in the USA in March 2000, copyright held by the Holy See.)

      CCC “1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”

      CCC ” 1885 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.”

      CCC ” 1894 In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.”

      CCC ” 2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted.
      Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.
      One distinguishes commutative justice from legal justice which concerns what the citizen owes in fairness to the community, and from distributive justice which regulates what the community owes its citizens in proportion to their contributions and needs.”

  • digdigby

    Dan -
    I see you and George Soros share the same revulsion against Israel. Funny. Some of your sentiments would also fit in a Chick pamphlet. Islam’s billion+ heretics who believe in mass murder and brute subjugation of ALL unbelievers on earth as the highest possible ‘good’ to be rewarded with an eternal whorehouse in the sky have formed a bizarre alliance with the secularist ‘progressive’ elite and they have exactly TWO targets for destruction. Two.
    The Catholic Church and the the minuscule state of Israel.

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