Apr 6, 2006

What the Catechism says

"When all else fails, check the owner's manual," some wit said about how when we actually try obeying the Ten Commandments we find peace of soul.

Well, the same saying applies to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Naturally, we should each keep a copy of it handy (it is now in paperback), become familiar with it and use it as our guide.

Does the Catechism say anything about immigration? A commenter on the "Praying and Fasting" post this week kindly supplied the following passage from the Catechism:

"2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

"Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."

Do Cardinal Mahony's statements reflect this passage?


Blogger Totus Tuus said...

The wit who said to read the owner's manual is Fr. Dave Heney author of "Don't Tell Me What to Do" A Catholic Understanding of Modern Moral Issues. Very simply put, pick to either embrace the Catechism and tenets of the Catholic Church or choose to not be called Catholic.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Kuzma said...

From what I have read in different news sources there is an important principle at stake, which is the government potentially requiring Church organizations to report the immigration status of people who receive charitable services. If this is true, it would be a serious intrusion of the State into the Church's affairs, as are those cases where states or municipalities have tried to force the Church to participate in homosexual adoptions (though one is not equivalent to the other). While I may always not agree with the Cardinal's way of doing things, I give him the benefit of the doubt as a successor of the apostles on things that don't break communion with the Holy See.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

This section of the catechism basically nullfies Mahony's and other cardinals' activism. First, when have these cardinals encouraged immigrants to respect and obey the host nation's laws? If they did, they wouldn't take a de facto stance advocating open borders. (Of course, the fact that many of these same cardinals evade the law when it comes to shielding clerical predators reflects that same arrogant contempt). Second, when have these cardinals encouraged immigrants to "respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage" of the host nation?

The episcopal concern about immigrants isn't based so much on the CCC as much as it's based on this bit of conventional wisdom among religious elites: The poor are terminal wards, responsible for nothing, deserving of all charity they receive. I'm sorry but that's an attitude that will lead to corruption among the providers of social services and ingratitude on the part of the poor being helped.

Besides, the cardinals deliberately blind themselves to the fact that many necessary civic services (such as hospital emergency rooms) are closing because of the flood of illegal immigrants who can't afford medical insurance. With such places closed, people from various economic backrounds will not get the care they need -- and may even die. This is a situation that benefits the community?

I am sick and tired of the pompous, sanctimonious drivel being spounted by the bishops on this issue. They are ignoramouses whose policy is, in effect, to play off one group of poor and vulnerable people off against another, just to further their own secular ambitions.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous MVH said...

In taking sides, and his entering the political debate in such and overt manner, Cardinal Mahoney has put the Roman Catholic Church right in the middle of the fray. He now has the moral obligation and duty to say when enough is enough. Legal and illegal immigration are, after all, temporal matters that must be addressed, and with God's help, a just end can be reached. Whether we like it or not, there a members of his flock that do not agree with Hiz Eminence.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

It is rather bizarre that Mahony places such a huge emphasis on this issue considering his silence on other (more important, far more clear-cut) issues.

12:54 AM  
Anonymous theoriginaldave said...

Mahony is focussing on this issue BECAUSE of his reluctance to address more clear-cut issues... such as how the people of the L.A. diocese are going to have to shell out a BILLION dollars because of what happened on his watch...

Frankly Mahony's political activism deserves in my book a warning/reminder that churches are NOT to be taking political stances or risk losing their tax-exempt status, like All Saints' did in Pasadena.

Who besides perverts, heretics and criminals really LIKE Mahony???

9:01 AM  
Blogger Matthew J. McKinley said...

For a man who is supposedly so intelligent, it amazes me that some of the main points of simple economics elude him.
By flooding a market with cheap labor three things happen: (1) the wages received by workers drops (as does the average living standard for said workers) since the elasticity of demand is not too great. Thus, the poor get poorer and more of them are created; (2) The rich get richer. In effect, the wealth transfer created makes the employers richer since they will have to pay less to secure employees; and (3) the strain on public services (education, health, police etc.) grows (in addition to more pollution, trash issues, etc.) which will cost all people more in the long run.
Mahony obviously has no compassion for the poor citizens of this country since he is advocating a system that will make their economic conditions worse. Couple this with his abhorent behavior in the pedophilia scandal and the only conclusion that can be reached is that his ego is running the show.
It's past the time for him to go.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Jared said...

Well, not only do the policies he advocates not help the poor in this country, they also do tremendous damage to the poor of Mexico. Why are they willing to go through so much to come here? It is obvious that the alternative (staying put and trying to improve their lot in their home country) would be much worse. And leaving that country doesn't help since the only thing that would help would be calling that government to task to improve its own situation.

In other words, by advocating poor immigrants to break the law to cross the border in vast numbers, Mahony advocates the continuation (even the worsening) of the situation in Mexico.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Clayton said...

Every guilty conscience needs a good distraction.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Judd&MaggieFan said...


In a few words, you said it all.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Kuzma,

Yes, it would be a serious intrusion into the Church's affairs if the federal government were to order the Church to report immigration status. But experts say that is extremely unlikely; and a sponsor of the original bill said that was never the intent.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Davewhocares said...

From what I've read the majority of those being pushed out of Mexico into the U.S. are the indigenous...
Mahony is SO in over his head...

9:34 PM  
Blogger Kenneth Fisher, Founder & CRCOA said...


Outside the Congress, we had a woman swear to us that homosexuals were born that way and she said sex outside of marriage is not a sin!

When I pulled out the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and asked her to go over it with me to see what it says about these subjects, she ran like a scared rat!

We are now planning to prayerfully demonstrate at the upcoming Bishop's Conference in the City of Lost Angels, stay tuned!

By the way, I understand that Mahony was a strong supporter of Communists Saul Alynski and Armand Hammer!

Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

5:58 PM  

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