• YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Podcast

Kresta Commentary from May of 2010 – Do You Know the Mind of Christ on Immigration?

Do you know the mind of Christ on immigration?
 
Christians are disciples of Christ. The word “disciple” means  literally, “learner” i.e., a follower, pupil, or adherent of a teacher or religious leader. Claiming to be a disciple when you think you’ve got nothing more to learn is just plain dumb and shows you’ve got a lot to learn.  Scripture teaches that when a disciple is fully trained he will be like his Teacher. Catholic disciples, i.e., learners, are followers of Christwho teaches them through His Body, the Church.  So what has Christtaught on immigration? Do you know the mind of Christon immigration? 
 
I think the first response might be “Can I even know the mind of Christon immigration?” If you mean you know what piece of legislation Jesus would pen to solve our immigration crisis, then “No”. 
 
If you mean, however, having a knowledge of the priorities of the Kingdom and how the laity should function in ordering the temporal affairs of the state, then, “Yes”. By purifying our hearts and motives in prayer, allowing divine revelation to clarify the natural law that we know through right reason, civil debate, and by exercising the virtue of prudence, we can produce legislation that is more rather than less likely to reflect the Mind of Christ. 
 
This scares some people and ends the discussion. They fear theocracy and mullahs and burning stakes, etc. The images are all wrong. This is not, first of all, a matter of divine revelation. For those who accept a divine revelation, God has spoken! Yes, this would a conversation stopper in political debate.  How do argue with God?
 
But in the integration of faith and public life, political argument, not divine revelation, is foremost. Civil debate and discovery are central. The method is more that of trial and error than application of a divinely ordained policy. Consequently, we never have the certainty in prudential political matters that we have in revealed dogmas like the Trinity. Nevertheless, in reading through comments and commentary sparked by Arizona’s immigration debate, I’ve been so disappointed. So much of what I’ve read by Catholics seems to think that the teaching of the Church has no role to play in forming our minds on prudential political matters. As though there is no mind of Christon the issue. As though the plight of immigrants or the safety of the host nation are matters of complete indifference to God. 
 
For instance, in some circles, the Old Testament phrase “Welcome the stranger” (Lv 19:34; Dt 10:17-19)) is mocked as though it is sentimental whitewash concealing a left wing political agenda. Well, the devil can quote Scripture but, in fact, a quick look at some standard reference work like the Anchor Bible Dictionary would show lots of ink about the foreigner, the stranger, and the alien. Care for foreigners is central to ancient Israel’s self understanding since they were once strangers in a foreign land. 
 
A related theme is picked up in the New Testament under the notion of “hospitality.” Strangely, it’s usually political conservatives that  parody the “welcome the stranger” or “hospitality” motifs. Nevertheless, their importance as a mark of the faithful Church can be confirmed by any of the standard Bible dictionaries. 
 
On the other hand, political liberals invite ridicule by acting as though a simple quote or practice from ancient Israel(whose borders were porous and often changing) can somehow be directly invoked to declare current immigration law unjust. 
 
Shameful and silly arguments are advanced by both sides. From the left: that those concerned for border security are really racists and xenophobes in disguise. Just look in their car’s trunk and you’ll find a hood or a swastika flag. From the right: that Catholic ministry to migrant workers is a calculated and sinister church growth strategy. 
 
All of this neglect and nonsense shout that most Catholics are unfamiliar with, for instance, the Pope’s annual message on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees easily available with a few keystrokes at http://www.usccb.org/mrs/papalstatements.shtml. I confess that on Kresta in the Afternoon I have rarely even mentioned these particular papal addresses never mind use them as the spur to commentary. 
 
Or that John Paul IIwho hailed from a nation perpetually concerned about her borders could write that “the Church in Americamust be a vigilant advocate, defending against any unjust restriction on the natural right of individual persons to move freely within their own nation and from one nation to another. Attention must be called to the rights of migrants and their families and to respect for their human dignity, even in cases of non-legal immigration.  Migrants should be met with a hospitable and welcoming attitude which can encourage them to become part of the Church’s life.” (John Paul II, Ecclesia in America, 236, 237). 
 
John Paul II sounds like he’s familiar with the civil law of ancient Israelwhich had a different understanding of borders. Foreigner or sojourners had certain rights but also certain limitations while in Israel. Civil rights were provided for foreigners by the Law of Moses (Ex 12:49; Lv 24:22), and they came under the same legal processes and penalties (Lv 20:2; 24:16, 22; Dr 1:16). They were to be treated politely (Ex 22:21; 23:9) , loved and treated generously if poor and receive the fruits of the harvest (Lv 19:10;23:22; Dt 24;19-22). They could receive sanctuary in times of trouble (Nm 35:15; Jos 20:9). A foreigner could not take part in tribal deliberations or become a king (17:15) The prophet Ezekiel looked forward to the messianic age when the foreigner would share all the blessings of the land with God’s own people (Ez 47:22,23). He envisioned a coming Kingdom without borders. The Church is, today, that emerging, visible society in sacramental form.
 
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also gives us as citizens of America, the lead nation of the world, reason to remember that to whom much is given, much will be demanded and that enforcement of our laws is a matter of the common good.

CCC 2240 “Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country…

CCC 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.” 
 
Now this teaching doesn’t translate very easily into public policy. Among Catholics, however, it should set the tone and establish some parameters.
 
Of course, the Church also teaches the importance of the rule of law. St. Thomas Aquinas regarded it as the “primary proper means of coordinating civil society.” As the Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaputwrote “Illegal immigration is wrong and dangerous for everyone involved. There’s nothing ‘good’ about people risking their lives for the mere purpose of entering the United States. There’s nothing ‘good’ about our nation not knowing who crosses our borders and why they’re here, especially in an age of terrorism, drugs and organized violent crime.  There’s nothing ‘good’ about people living in the shadows; or families being separated, or decent people being deported and having to start their lives all over again, sometimes in a country that they no longer- or never did-know.”
 
I am convinced that our southern borders will not suddenly be closed off.  I am similarly convinced that 11-18 million illegal immigrants won’t be deported. With those assumptions in place, what do you want to do?
 
Indignation is understandable and natural since grave injustice has been committed. Indignation, however, is no exemption from dealing with reality. And the reality is that neither Democrats nor Republicans will close the borders nor will they deport the majority of illegal aliens.
 
Further, the American people will not support comprehensive immigration reform without a believable commitment to secure the border. We went through that in the last Bush administration.
 
So, in the meantime, how is the Church to treat illegal immigrants who are frequently already Catholic?
 
1. Welcome them so they will come out of the shadows. The Church is not an arm of law enforcement. When Jewish religio-civil authorities tried to lure Jesus into enforcing a particular legal penalty, he argued for discretion rather than strict retribution and said, “Go and sin no more.”
2. Minister the sacraments including penance.
3. Exhort them to pay back taxes, get to the back of the immigration line and pay a necessary financial penalty.
4. Give them sanctuary and promise to stand with them through the process of naturalization. Make disciples of them.

5. Where appropriate encourage them to turn state’s evidence against factories or agribusiness which lured them over here and held them in a form of indentured servanthood.

6. Insist that Federal and State authorities cease trivializing the law by lack of enforcement. Their failure discredits the law in the eyes of the citizens, invites violation, and wreaks havoc on the common good.

7. If the state interferes with the legitimate ministry of the Church, we must obey God rather than man.

What do you think?

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – November 13, 2013

Talking About the “Things that Matter Most” on Nov. 13, 2013

LIVE FROM THE USCCB FALL ASSEMBLY IN BALTIMORE, MD

4:00 – Assisting Victims of Typhoon Haiyan / How to Help the Poor This Christmas
Desperation gripped Philippine islands devastated by Typhoon Haiyan as looting turned deadly today and survivors panicked over shortages of food, water and medicine, some digging up underground water pipes and smashing them open. Five days after one of the strongest storms ever recorded slammed into cities and towns in the central Philippines, anger and frustration boiled over as essential supplies dwindled. Some survivors scrawled signs reading “Help us”. We talk to Jim Cavnar of Cross Catholic International about the recovery effort and we also look at one easy way you can help the poor this Christmas season.

4:40 – Kresta Comments

5:00 – Immigration and Our Nation’s Future
Immigration is a phenomenon America has experienced countless times over the centuries and with each wave of new arrivals to our shores comes a discussion of how we should react. Because what is decided about our immigration laws will have long-lasting material and spiritual consequences, the Bishops of the state of CO decided to write a pastoral letter to emphasize some of the moral principles that should be considered in the discussion. Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver is here with us.

5:40 – Lessons for Catholics From Last Week’s Elections
The 2016 overtones were clear in this year’s two most high-profile elections. Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s resounding re-election victory in Democratic-leaning New Jersey sets the opening argument for a possible White House run while Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial victory gives fellow Democrats — if not his confidante Hillary Rodham Clinton, herself — a road map for success in the pivotal presidential swing-voting state. Christie became the first Republican to earn more than 50 percent of the New Jersey vote in a quarter-century. McAuliffe is the first member of the party occupying the White House to become Virginia governor since 1977. Catholic columnist Paul Kengorreads the tealeaves.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – November 12, 2013

Talking About the “Things that Matter Most” on Nov. 12, 2013

LIVE FROM THE USCCB FALL ASSEMBLY IN BALTIMORE, MD

4:00 – USCCB Conference Elects New Leaders – An Overview of the Week
The annual fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is meeting here in Baltimore this week hearing reports from the committees on The New Evangelization: Faith, Worship, Witness, the Committee on Catholic Education, , the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Catholic Relief Services and more. The outgoing President of the body, Cardinal Dolan gave and opening address that stirred some media outlets and a new President and Vice-President have been elected. We talk to Russell Shaw, journalist and former spokesman for the USCCB.

4:20 – Kresta Comments

4:40 – Papal Teaching Warns Against Excessive Government
As we continue to see the disturbing roll-out of Obamacare, Stephen Krasonis here to give us an overview of papal teaching on bloated government. He argues that faithful Catholics should be careful about falling into the trap that government action and new public policies are the ready solution to all social problems. The Church’s social reaching suggests otherwise and, contrary to the prevailing view, in the nature of things government is often not capable of handling them. Dr. Krason makes his case.

5:00 – An Overview of Challenges to Religious Liberty in America
Three chairmen of U.S. bishops’ committees expressed their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) as passed last week by the U.S. Senate. Not because they are for discrimination against gays in the workplace, but because of the many religious liberty problems it creates. They are asking for further language in the bill, but the Senate denied that. We talk with Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore who is head of the USCCB committee on religious liberty.

5:20 – Kresta Comments

5:40 – Vatican outlines plans for ‘urgent’ Synod discussion of family
Pope Francis has decided to devote the next Synod of Bishops to family pastoral issues, setting the stage for a far-ranging discussion that is likely to touch on questions concerning divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitation and annulments. The synod will take place in October of 2014. Last week the Vatican unveiled the preparatory document for the synod which created a lot of misreporting. The document included a series of questions sent to bishops’ conferences throughout the world aimed to solicit information about pastoral practices and public attitudes in different societies. Media outlets reported that the Pope is asking all Catholics to weigh in on whether they want gay “marriage,” the end of annulments, etc. Dr Greg Popcakis here to help us with this story and to answer the questions posed in the preparatory document.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – November 11, 2013

Talking About the “Things that Matter Most” on Nov. 11, 2013
 
LIVE FROM THE USCCB FALL ASSEMBLY IN BALTIMORE, MD
 
4:00 – An Overview of Challenges to Religious Liberty in America
Three chairmen of U.S. bishops’ committees expressed their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) as passed last week by the U.S. Senate. Not because they are for discrimination against gays in the workplace, but because of the many religious liberty problems it creates. They are asking for further language in the bill, but the Senate denied that. We talk with Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore who is head of the USCCB committee on religious liberty.
 
4:20 – Kresta Comments
 
4:40 – Lessons for Catholics From Last Week’s Elections
The 2016 overtones were clear in this year’s two most high-profile elections. Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s resounding re-election victory in Democratic-leaning New Jersey sets the opening argument for a possible White House run while Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial victory gives fellow Democrats — if not his confidante Hillary Rodham Clinton, herself — a road map for success in the pivotal presidential swing-voting state. Christie became the first Republican to earn more than 50 percent of the New Jersey vote in a quarter-century. McAuliffe is the first member of the party occupying the White House to become Virginia governor since 1977. Catholic columnist Paul Kengor reads the tealeaves.
 
5:00 – Immigration and Our Nation’s Future
Immigration is a phenomenon America has experienced countless times over the centuries and with each wave of new arrivals to our shores comes a discussion of how we should react. Because what is decided about our immigration laws will have long-lasting material and spiritual consequences, the Bishops of the state of CO decided to write a pastoral letter to emphasize some of the moral principles that should be considered in the discussion. Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver is here with us.
 
5:20 – Kresta Comments
 
5:40 – Papal Teaching Warns Against Excessive Government
As we continue to see the disturbing roll-out of Obamacare, Stephen Krason is here to give us an overview of papal teaching on bloated government. He argues that faithful Catholics should be careful about falling into the trap that government action and new public policies are the ready solution to all social problems. The Church’s social reaching suggests otherwise and, contrary to the prevailing view, in the nature of things government is often not capable of handling them. Dr. Krason makes his case.

Typhoon Haiyan: at least 10,000 reported dead in Philippine province

Estimated death toll soars as path of destruction leaves many parts of Philippines inaccessible to government and aid officials
 
in Manila, and agencies
The Observer,

Typhoon Aftermath: A mother weeps beside her son's body
A mother weeps beside the body of her son at a chapel in the aftermath of Haiyan, in Tacloban, on the eastern island of LeytePhotograph:
 

At least 10,000 people are thought to have died in the central Philippine province of Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, lashed the area, swallowing coastal towns, a senior police official said early on Sunday morning.

About 70-80% of the buildings in the area in the path of Haiyan in Leyte province was destroyed, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria. “We had a meeting last night with the governor and the other officials. The governor said based on their estimate, 10,000 died,” he said.

Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in that city alone “could go up to 10,000″. Tacloban is the provincial capital of Leyte, with a population of more than 200,000. The Philippine Red Cross said in Tacloban bodies had been found “piled up around the roads” and in churches. Between 300 and 400 bodies had been recovered, Lim said.

On Samar island, which faces Tacloban, Leo Dacaynos of the provincial disaster office told Associated Press on Sunday 300 people were confirmed dead in Basey town and another 2,000 were missing.

He said the storm surge caused sea waters to rise 20 feet when the typhoon hit. There were still towns on Samar that had not been reached, he said, and appealed for food and water. Power was knocked out and there was no mobile signal, making communication possible only by radio.

Many corpses hung on tree branches, buildings and sidewalks, Associated Press reported.

Read the rest here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2013/nov/09/super-typhoon-haiyan-philippines-destruction-in-pictures#/?picture=422066277&index=1

The Future of Catholicism

 
By Michael Coren
Saturday, 09 November 2013
Epiphanies aren’t supposed to occur in Chicago hotel rooms. Desert roads, foxholes, emergency wards, yes, but not Chicago hotel rooms. But it was in the Windy City that a different wind blew three years ago, in the form of a telephone call from a senior editor at Random House. I was on a publicity tour for my book Why Catholics Are Right. “Some news about your book,” explained the vehemently non-Catholic publisher, “We’ve had to reprint immediately, it’s on the best-seller list, and could you write another book on the same subject?”
 
Of course I agreed, but the epiphany was the realization that if a book about the Church is approachable and not too pompous, legions of people will be eager to read it. 50,000 so far with the last book, and I can only hope and pray – I’ve four hungry kids! – that the new one does as well.
 
The Future of Catholicism was commissioned specifically to respond to the hysteria that greeted the election of Pope Francis. The moment the conclave ended, numerous journalists approached me for interviews – desperately so, since there are so few Catholics in media in Canada. The questions repeated themselves with a dulling predictability: will the new pope change Church teaching on same-sex marriage; will he ordain women; will he allow abortion and birth control? After the fourth or fifth such interview I responded with, “Yes, and he’s going to become a Muslim too!”
 
A bit of advice: Don’t use satire or sarcasm on a journalist.
 
The premise of the new book is simple: to explain to Catholics and non-Catholics alike where the Church may and perhaps should change, and where it cannot and will not do so. After an introductory essay outlining absolute truth, permanent things, the deposit of faith, and fundamental beliefs and teachings, I devote the first full chapter to same-sex marriage. The reason, of course, is that this is so frequently the subject that is used to attack the Church.

Conservative U.S. Catholics Feel Left Out of the Pope’s Embrace

Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times
Debating a New Pope, Faith and Doctrine: Some American Catholics in the church’s conservative wing say Pope Francis has left them feeling abandoned and deeply unsettled.
 
SMYRNA, Ga. — When Pope Francis was elected in March, Bridget Kurt received a small prayer card with his picture at her church and put it up on her refrigerator at home, next to pictures of her friends and her favorite saints. 
Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.
                          
She is a regular attender of Mass, a longtime stalwart in her church’s anti-abortion movement and a believer that all the church’s doctrines are true and beautiful and should be obeyed. She loved the last two popes, and keeps a scrapbook with memorabilia from her road trip to Denver in 1993 to see Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day.
      
But Ms. Kurt recently took the Pope Francis prayer card down and threw it away.
“It seems he’s focusing on bringing back the left that’s fallen away, but what about the conservatives?” said Ms. Kurt, a hospice community educator. “Even when it was discouraging working in pro-life, you always felt like Mother Teresa was on your side and the popes were encouraging you. Now I feel kind of thrown under the bus.”
      
In the eight months since he became pope, Francis has won affection worldwide for his humble mien and common touch. His approval numbers are skyrocketing. Even atheists are applauding.
But not everyone is so enchanted. Some Catholics in the church’s conservative wing in the United States say Francis has left them feeling abandoned and deeply unsettled. On the Internet and in conversations among themselves, they despair that after 35 years in which the previous popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, drew clear boundaries between right and wrong, Francis is muddying Catholic doctrine to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

Read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/us/conservative-us-catholics-feel-left-out-of-the-popes-embrace.html?hp&_r=1&

What Dido did, Satan saw & O’Keeffe painted

How the humanities can come out on top in the education debate

November 2013
The New Criterion

 
 …. When a panelist promised a feminist reading of Wordsworth’s Lucy poems and another raised the common-sense question, “But do those poems really have feminist content?” the speaker could reply, “Your question assumes that the poems are fixed objects to which we must respond ‘properly,’ but as Derrida and Rorty have shown, that is a mystification, and it restricts us from doing the labor of social change.” Whatever change the speaker proceeded to envisage, the disciplinary adjustment was plain: The field had to stand on us, the professors, not on them, the poems, plays, novels.
 
It couldn’t work, of course……
 
A June 22 statement in The New York Times by Vernon Klinkenborg bore the title “The Decline and Fall of the English Major,” while Leon Wieseltier’s 2013 Commencement Address at Brandeis opened, “Has there ever been a moment in American life when the humanities were cherished less, and has there ever been a moment in American life when the humanities were needed more?”
 
The evidence they and others invoked was material, not ideological……
 
These statements and others on how the humanities foster critical thinking, cultivate Information Economy skills, help enact social change, resist utilitarianism in human affairs, etc., may be challenged in one aspect or another, but they are all reasonable and they pop up in education discussions all the time. Their commonplace status, however, shouldn’t obscure the fact that they share an extraordinary characteristic. It is a trait so simple and obvious, and so paradoxical, that one easily overlooks it, especially as these voices so earnestly endorse the humanities. The paradox is this: They affirm, extol, and sanctify the humanities, but they hardly ever mention any specific humanities content. The American Academy report terms the humanities “the keeper of the republic,” but the names Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Bernini, Leonardo, Gibbon, Austen, Beethoven, Monet, Twain, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Martha Graham never surface….
 

Critical schools rise and fall, academic trends shuffle at an accelerating pace, celebrities are made and forgotten, but Hegel’s master-slave sequence, Wordsworth’s “and, oh,/ The difference to me!” O’Keeffe’s blossoms, Parker’s riffs . . . they endure and they impress no matter how much the professors unmask, demystify, politicize, and otherwise play with them. We are far enough removed and in bad enough shape to judge the denial of the greatness and priority of High Art a terrible miscalculation.

Unless the professorate reasserts its subservient role and foregrounds actual genius, all the solemn committee reports and importunate op-eds in the world won’t slow the steady deterioration of the fields.

Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, Aeneas tells Dido the misfortunes of the Trojan city, 1815 


Read the full article here: http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/What-Dido-did–Satan-saw—O-Keeffe-painted—7728

Senior Leader in Legionaries of Christ Resigns

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 5:55 PM


Legionaries of Christ
Fr. Deomar De Guedes.
– Legionaries of Christ

One of the most senior leaders of the Legionaries of Christ has resigned from the order, saying he “did not have the necessary energy to confront the challenges” of his position.
Fr. Deomar De Guedes LC, second general counsellor of the order, submitted his resignation to Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, pontifical delegate of the Legionaries of Christ.

Cardinal De Paolis has been leading a reform of the Legion since revelations of grave abuse and corruption by its founder, Father Marcial Maciel, came to light.

In a statement, the order said Fr. De Guedes “had asked the pontifical delegate to be exclaustrated from the Legion, but Cardinal De Paolis granted him permission to resign “extra domum,” meaning Fr. De Guedes may reside outside of the religious community for one year.”

“The cardinal asked Fr. De Guedes to reevaluate his situation during that year in light of the new superiors who will be elected in the next General Chapter,” the statement added.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/senior-leader-in-legion-of-christ-resigns#ixzz2k70UmIGl

EXCLUSIVE: National Catholic Education Association Gets Gates Foundation Grant to Promote ‘Common Core’ in Catholic Schools

Catholic Education Daily

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) more than $100,000 to support teacher training and materials on implementing the Common Core school standards, The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered.

The $100,007 grant made in September will only fuel division over the NCEA’s public encouragement for Catholic schools to adopt the Common Core standards, despite serious concerns about the standards’ academic quality and impact on schools’ Catholic identity.

The revelation comes even as The Cardinal Newman Society and other Catholic groups and dioceses—led by the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS)—are co-sponsoring a meeting in New Jersey with Catholic school superintendents, principals and educators to discuss concerns about the Common Core, a controversial education reform movement funded largely by the Gates Foundation.

 

- See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2661/EXCLUSIVE-National-Catholic-Education-Association-Gets-Gates-Foundation-Grant-to-Promote-%E2%80%98Common-Core%E2%80%99-in-Catholic-Schools.aspx#sthash.yoCUInaO.dpuf

Page 16 of 52« First...10...1415161718...304050...Last »
YouTube Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Podcast