New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan Speaks on US Social Issues

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week, the cardinal also sat down for an interview with MSNBC, and spoke candidly on the Church’s stance on several U.S. policy issues.

He spoke first about the need for immigration reform in the United States. “The Catholic Church is -- we call her Mother Church -- and she's traditionally welcomed the immigrant. We are a Church of immigrants, so we're particularly sensitive to the rights of immigrants," he said.

The cardinal went on to say that a policy that divides families, that drives people underground, and that requests soup kitchens to ask for documentation before providing food, shelter, and medical care is an unjust policy. "That's not right, that’s not Catholic, that's not Christian, that's not religious, and it's not American. The bishops are adamant on that," the cardinal said.

Read it all.

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9 Comments
Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:00 am

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1. Ian+ wrote:

Bless him!

May 10, 11:36 am | [comment link]
2. Paula Loughlin wrote:

I agree Ian+

May 10, 6:32 pm | [comment link]
3. Teatime2 wrote:

Well, there’s a surprise—that the RCC favors illegal immigrants. If it weren’t for the influx from Latin America, that church would see little, if any, growth. And the immigrants are conservative/traditional when it comes to the social issues. Let’s just say it’s counter-intuitive for them to use birth control.

Perhaps this bishop should be plunked down on the Border, have to get a regular job, live in a modest home and have to pay taxes. If he was honest, he’d get tired of seeing wages and jobs depressed for blue collar workers because the illegal immigrants will work for very low wages in construction, automotive, landscaping, etc. At the same time, legal residents have to pay higher taxes to fund all of the services (especially education) for the illegal immigrants.

But leave it to out-of-touch clerics to champion illegal behavior when it suits them.

May 10, 6:48 pm | [comment link]
4. Already Gone wrote:

Catholic Catechism on Immigrants - Sec. 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.

May 10, 7:11 pm | [comment link]
5. Sarah wrote:

Thank you, Already Gone, for pointing out that the Catholic Catechism teaches opposition to illegal immigration, contrary apparently to what one of that church’s Cardinals teaches.

May 13, 1:27 pm | [comment link]
6. Already Gone wrote:

I’m confident that Archbishop Dolan’s teachings on this subject are fully in accord with the Catechism and the other teachings of the Church.

May 13, 2:16 pm | [comment link]
7. Sarah wrote:

RE: “I’m confident that Archbishop Dolan’s teachings on this subject are fully in accord with the Catechism . . . “

Ah, I see.  So when the catechism says “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” and when Cardinal Dolan says “that a policy that divides families, that drives people underground, and that requests soup kitchens to ask for documentation before providing food, shelter, and medical care is an unjust policy” what he means by that is that 1) immigrants should obey immigration laws, and 2) he does not want any laws that aid in *enforcement* of those immigration laws.

How . . . clever . . . of the Cardinal.  And how very . . . Schoriesque.

May 13, 4:45 pm | [comment link]
8. Charles52 wrote:

Cardinal Dolan calls the law unjust. I don’t see that he advocates breaking it.

May 13, 11:52 pm | [comment link]
9. Already Gone wrote:

Sarah- Cardinal Dolan did not say that all laws meant to enforce immigration laws are unjust nor did he say that the prohibition on illegal immigration is unjust in and of itself.  He said there are enforcement laws and policies that are unjust and gives three examples—those that:
-divide families
-drive people underground
-request soup kitchens to to ask for documentation before providing food, shelter, and medical care.

As Pope Bendedict noted in his recent encyclical, CARITAS IN VERITATE, section 62 “Every migrant is a human person who, as such, possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance.” (see http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html)

Cardinal Dolan is arguing that denial of ACCESS to the necessities of life and disruption of family life is unjust and a violation of these human rights.  Catholic moral theology posits that “A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances together… One may not do evil so that good may result from it.”  (Catholic Catechism 1755-56.  “Let us not do evil that there may come good’ (Rom. 3:8)).  Therefore, Cardinal Dolan is arguing that these particular methods of enforcing immigration law should not be used even though their ends (enforcement of a just law) are good.

For those who are interested in this topic, the Diocese of Omaha, probably the most traditional Catholic diocese in the United States, has an excellent resource page—http://www.archomaha.org/newsevents/immigration.html

Bernie

May 14, 10:00 am | [comment link]


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