Francis Cardinal George, archbishop of Chicago and former president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently announced a new effort to “nurture the faith and intellectual and moral development of our youth.” Cardinal George says that young people “encourage us with their passion to learn and their desire to create a better world.”
Yet the particular way the cardinal is calling attention to the development of young people is for the Catholic community to “support and promote the passage of the DREAM Act and the eventual goal of the passage of compassionate comprehensive immigration reform legislation.”
One reading of all this is that the Church is grasping at straws. It’s desperate. It sees its fragmented influence in the public square, and it jumps into the political ring swinging, albeit inappropriately. In a conversation with RealClearReligion.org, Cardinal George insisted the bishops “aren’t going to give you specific answers” to public policy questions, but “they give you principles.”
Wouldn’t a particular piece of legislation be a specific answer to the question of how to deal with undocumented immigrants? Isn’t Justice for Immigrants behaving more like a political action committee than an educational resource?
– Nicholas G. Hahn III, from Crisis Magazine (“The Bishops’ Immigration Obsession”)
Dear Mr. Hahn,
There is not much I can add to your excellent article, except that Cardinal George, who I like and respect, is just plain wrong about this issue and so as a faithful son of the church, I need to pray for him and hope that smart folks close to the Cardinal help him learn about the injustice of illegal immigration and the fundamental right of Americans to control our borders and who becomes a citizen of this great country. You attracted some great comments to your online article and I can only hope you continue to write about the scandal of the Catholic church’s position on immigration and as Tony Esolen says, “The Cardinal is far out of line, asking people to pray for the enactment of a particular law which does not involve matters that are good or evil in themselves (such as abortion), but prudential matters, wherein the lawmaker must weigh the benefit to the immigrant child against the flouting of the law of the land, and the (relative) disadvantage that accrues to the children of citizens, including legal immigrants.” God bless!