Saturday, August 09, 2014

Bishops on Immigrants: Missing Something

There are some considerations which the US Bishops and Mr. Huebscher (Wisconsin Catholic Conference) seem to have missed in their essays and statements on caring for illegal immigrants.  Since Huebscher is a Madison resident, it's not surprising that he chooses his citations very carefully.  The USCC doesn't have that excuse, but their Central Apparatchik Office is located in D.C..  Maybe that's their problem.

By all means, read the citations of Pope Leo XIII below.  Perhaps our Bishops and their functionaries forgot about his Rerum Novarum.  But asking them to integrate HIS teaching with their......umnnhhhh.....rhetorical claim to the moral 'high ground' may have taxed their abilities.  Or something.  (HT:  BlackHat)

...The USCCB document defines the illegal immigration problem exactly as the Obama administration does—as a “humanitarian crisis” requiring US government cooperation and funding, specifically for “child welfare services, legal assistance, and access to immigration protection.” Although it speaks of finding “root causes” in the countries of origin and discusses what the countries themselves and “other regional partners” can do to solve the underlying problems, the emphasis is on the US role in these matters.

...Perhaps the most revealing characteristic of the USCCB document is that it speaks almost exclusively about the response of governments and the Catholic Church to the “humanitarian crisis,” but says virtually nothing about the response of American citizens, taxpayers, or even Catholic parishioners. For example, it declares that “the institutional Catholic Church in the United States has played a critical role in the care of unaccompanied children.” That wording is highly misleading. In reality, everything the “institutional Catholic Church” does is financed by citizen’s taxes (awarded in the form of federal grants), by the generosity of Catholic parishioners, or by both. The focus on institutional efforts is therefore an insult to the millions of Americans who actually fund the works of charity and mercy. It is also, in effect if not intent, a subtle denial that legal US residents also possess God-given dignity and rights....

Ah, yes, the matter of taxpayer money....which will be dispensed to Dioceses and Catholic Social Services who care for these unfortunate children.  Somehow, that was not mentioned by Mr. Huebscher.  Hmmmm?

Now for Leo XIII:

[Socialists] hold that by . . . transferring property from private individuals to the community, the present mischievous state of things will be set to rights [sic], inasmuch as each citizen will then get his fair share of whatever there is to enjoy . . . [This transfer is] emphatically unjust, for [it] would rob the lawful possessor, distort the functions of the State, and create utter confusion in the community . . . Every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own.

The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.

[Although sharing one’s wealth and other temporal blessings is a requirement of Divine Law], it is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity—a duty not enforced by human law.

 Among the many and grave duties of rulers who would do their best for the people, the first and chief is to act with strict justice . . . toward each and every class alike.
Neither justice nor the common good allows any individual to seize upon that which belongs to another . . . The State would therefore be unjust and cruel if under the name of taxation it were to deprive the private owner of more than is fair.


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