The Refuge Crisis
“Who am I to judge?”
Jorge Bergoglio is the Real Problem
in the Refugee Crisis
is, we think, noteworthy
that Francis who famously replied to a question about the morality
of a homosexual person by answering “Who am I to judge?” — does
not hesitate to judge not just the morality of a presidential
candidate, but to go so far as to pronounce him “not a Christian”
despite his professing to be so. This was a clear reference, of
course, to Donald Trump — but could equally be applied to Marco Rubio
Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie, all of whom are unabashedly Catholic.
in light of their common concern for securing the porous borders of
America, are, for that reason, “not
then, eo ipso, they are excommunicates — outside of Christ
and therefore outside the Church
— to say nothing of the other
Christian candidates as well (Cruz, Carson, Kasich) who support
the same issue of securing America’s border with Mexico —
which is the point of influx of virtually
all the drugs that poison the youth across the country and are
indisputably the cause of so much crime — and murder — in America.
Who will contest that?
is more, will Catholics who support securing our borders no longer
be “Catholics”? To be unable or unwilling to make a
judgment on matters moral despite clear Catholic teaching on homosexuality,
how can Pope Francis make so audacious a
on the faith in God Himself in others? It is a very troubling
and deeply divisive precedent. Despite the pope's claim, we
can think of no reference in any Gospel that teaches us to “build
bridges instead of walls” — yes, we must love our enemies — but
not enable them nor encourage them in wrong-doing —
even if it is rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But in rendering
to God what is God’s, can anyone make that damning
claim of even the least of His brothers?
may argue that the pope gave these candidates — and those who support
them — “the benefit of the doubt” but the condemnation stands,
does it not, if they do not share his own views on matters
over which he has no legitimate authority and no ecclesiastical mandate?
How do we reconcile Pope Francis's readiness to make such unsparing
judgments — to declare a defined body of people in matters political
as being separated from God — with the unfathomable perplexity
he demurs from making on a defined body of people in matters moral
— which Scripture itself and Church teaching condemns?
We are confused. We are dismayed. But now, and much more to the point,
in light of your pronouncement, we are divided. Or more frightening
still, separated in our common faith by uncommon politics.
a word, is Pope Francis prepared to anathematize the faithful, not through
any odor of heresy ... but through the banality of politics? How did
it come to this?
Quo vadae, Francis? Quo vade? Et quare
A Painful Perspective
on the “ Illegal Immigrant”
Issue and the Refugee Crisis
this article focuses on one aspect of securing borders against the poisonous
influx of drugs into America through Mexico, another dimension remains
— and both concern people: people as immigrants
desperate to flee the violence of a narco-economy that spawns murders
and violence on the south side of the border, and people as
victims in families who suffer from the ravage of drugs
north of the border. The focus is the same: people. Which
is the greatest tragedy? Both are. And the common cause of tragedy on
both sides of the border is the same also: drugs.
matter of economic opportunity is a complex one that will not be settled
by sound-bites. As Catholics we must remember the real Scriptural
mandates concerning who is our brother and our obligation to help
him in his need (Specifically the Parable of the Good Samaritan
in St. Luke 10. 25-37 Also see St. Matthew 25.35-40, Romans 12.23, Hebrews
13.1, Deut. 10.19 and Leviticus 19.34) — and our obligation
to welcome strangers.
as Francis deeply erred in making pronouncements on the faith in God
of others and declaring them “not Christians”, it nevertheless remains
our obligation to welcome strangers and foreigners — and this, we argue,
is the intended thrust of Francis’s message, however awkwardly
delivered. We cannot contest this as Catholics (indeed, as Christians
and Jews alike). We were all once foreigners in a strange land, or at
least our forbears were. Which, then, is the most vital issue? Welcoming
the stranger or securing our borders against drugs and illegal
immigrants? The answer is not as clear as some would make it to be.
Consider the following:
Are you prepared to open your
own home to strangers?
Can you realistically afford
to feed and clothe another family?
Can you provide them with
medical care in the event of institutional limitations?
you give them transportation to jobs and other appointments
(they will not have cars and many will be unable to obtain a driver's
Are you willing and able to provide
Day Care for
their children as parents pursue numerous appointments to acquire
citizenship, enroll in classes to learn English, and more classes
to obtain job skills — all of which you will likely be required
to provide transportation?
Will your home insurance cover liabilities
that may be incurred by residents not on your plan, and if not,
are you in a position to pay for them out of pocket?
what programs on your television set, and when?
Who will have access
to your computer (which most of us rely upon) and how often?
Can you readily bridge language and cultural differences?
prepared to relinquish your privacy?
Is your spouse equally
committed to these necessities or are they likely to strain your
marriage? These are just a few of many other questions likely to
arise should you decide to host an immigrant (or illegal immigrant)
family or individual.
These are terribly practical considerations,
no matter how deep your faith. Are we suggesting that you
do not host a family? No. If you can afford it and can accommodate
all the obligations and liabilities that come with it, we encourage
you to. However, we strongly suspect that the great majority of
those who agitate for immigration (legal and illegal) would be unwilling
to put their outspoken views into practice by hosting immigrant
families. The concept of unregulated and unmitigated immigration
(from Central America or Syria, to name only a few) is only that
— a concept — until real and practical issues are not simply addressed,
but capable of being put into practice.
What is more, with most
families requiring both spouses and parents to work simply to afford
a dwelling (this is the great unaddressed scandal
that is the direct result of the triumph of Feminism which enslaved
male and female alike to a workplace and equal opportunity for drudgery)
who will be home to provide the transportation and linguistic mediation
needed by a hosted family? A much clearer picture emerges when we
take practicalities into consideration, despite the depth of our
faith. God does not call us to do what is impossible to us. He sees
our yearning to help and He sees our very real limitations.
A country may make the very humane
— and Christian — effort to accept and accommodate as many immigrants
as possible. The key word here is possible. What constitutes
Can a country conscionably accept more refugees
that it can provide for in the way of housing, welfare, medical
care, and education?
Must it accept some from another country by
depriving others within its own?
Can the influx be of such magnitude
that the very national and cultural fabric that determines
it as a country distinct from another (in the way of language, politics,
ethos, ethics, and conflicting religions) is subverted and ultimately
superseded by the very immigrants it made such great efforts to
assist — and who have no cultural affinity with the host country,
and no intention of being adapted to or inculturated by it?
entirely possible to abolish any country as we now recognize it
by outnumbering its native citizens with foreign inhabitants of
sufficient number to define it in such a way that it no longer bears
the cultural — and national — identity it had historically possessed.
We need only look to Turkey as an example of the transition from
a once Christian country (the Byzantine Empire) to a Muslim nation,
to name just one formerly Christian country that fell to the violent
spread of Islam. It is a modern iteration of what is called Theseus’
Paradox: at what point does a raft, each of whose planks are
gradually replaced, become another raft altogether different
from the original?
In a democratic country it is entirely
possible to use the very means of the democratic institution to
vote to abolish democracy and institute Sharia law.
There is nothing illogical in this argument. We can vote to abolish
the very institution used to establish its antithesis. This has
always been a problem inherent in democracy: a plebiscite vote to
abolish it. What then constitutes “the possible” as more expedient
to the “preferable” in the way of determining the possible allowance
of immigrants into a country that wishes to preserve its cultural
and national identity?
National identities are human institutions
articulated through cultural affinities. Is the possible dissolution
of a country and a culture more acceptable to those within it or
to those outside it? Which segment of humanity has the right to
exist, and how do you morally determine that? This is especially
true of incompatible cultures and religions that cannot coherently
— or ideologically — co-exist. There must be a point of saturation
beyond which the one or the other predominates: what calculus, then,
shall we use to determine the number of refugees/immigrants acceptable,
sustainable, in any given country?
are we, as Catholics, to implement what comes to us as a moral obligation
— while sustaining the very Christian mandate that could lead to its
the question is not as clear-cut as it reflexively appears to be purely
on a Christian ethos — does it?
yes — we have no answers. We only wish you to share in our perplexity
... however doctrinaire your own opinion is.
Boston Catholic Journal
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