By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Amid growing political ferment over immigration policy in the United States and other parts of the world, Pope Benedict XVI today urged “brotherly love to the full” for migrants and refugees, calling them “the weakest and most defenseless … marginalized and often excluded by society.”
The pope issued the call in the form of a message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, marked by the Catholic church on January 18. The message was presented today in a Vatican press conference by Italian Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Refugees, and Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the same council.
By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
asylum and refugees are treated very generously by the US.
one of the many, many problems with illegals is that they don’t want to work and go home, they want permanent residence. the government has the right to decide temporary and permanent immigration issues, not the vatican, not the illegals, not the UN.
Of course, the Vatican is not asserting the right to decide anything. The Vatican is just asserting that as Christians we have an obligation towards the least.
Hmm, nowhere did I read the Pope also stating these ILLEGAL immigrants must go back when their time is up because they should respect OUR LAWS. I also didnt read him telling them they also have an obligation to ASSIMILATE into our society once here.
I’ll just keep ignoring what the Pope says on this issue until he decides stop being disingenious and adds those clarifiers to his immigrant speeches.
I don’t think you’re being fair. I’m sure there are many illegal immigrants in the Vatican doing the work the Italians don’t want to do. I’m sure they get good medical care and a good secular education, too. Now don’t you feel bad?
Nope, not at all. Based your comment of something you merely THINK and have no proff, I am supposed to feel bad?
and even if it were true, I dont care. We have laws here and arent under Vatican rule.
Sorry, Thinks, I was trying to be funny. I fail a lot at that.
No problemo…sometimes I fail to pick up on stuff.
We can give the Holy Father the benefit of the doubt and assume he means “legal” immigrants, since John Paul II even said that illegal immigration had to stop, because of the dangers it poses to the illegal immigrants themselves as well as the vioaltion of national sovereignty.
The US has very generous immigration policies to other countries. We make the mistake in America of assuming that anything from Rome applies to “us.” Popes don’t like to single out countries unless they absolutely have to (look at Pius XII). It’s not like he can say, “Hey, you countries that shoot anyone that comes within 10 miles of your border, why don’t you start an F1 VIsa program like the US has?”
That said, the US is very unjust in its asylum/refugee policy. The US will only grant refugee status to people from countries it considers unfriendly. If the US is on good terms with a country, it will not allow that country’s citizens to claim refugee status. This was the problem in the 70s and 80s with Latin Americans coming in from countries that were horrible dictatorships but the US supported.
Brotherly love includes fraternal correction, and it works both ways. I compare amnesty for illegal immigrants to a college giving “amnesty” to students who plagiarize for 4 years so they can graduate along with the ones who worked hard to earn their grades for 4 years. That is unjust to the ones who put the hard work in, and amnesty for illegals is unjust to legal immigrants.
These issues are none of the Church’s business. Laws are only binding when they are just. The Church would be doing a grave wrong to declare without qualification that people ought to respect laws whose justice may be dubious. And cultural assimilation is not something the Church has any interest in pushing, as far as I know.
The Church lays out moral principles. And that’s what the Pope is doing. You don’t like it–well, maybe the problem is with you?
(And yes, that is what I ask myself when I disagree with the Pope on issues such as women’s ordination.)
Just read some of the posts on here, thank goodness for your voice of reason, for one God awful moment i thought people were actually going to listen and take on board what that nasty foreign/German Pope at the vatican had to say
I don’t see anything wrong with what the Holy Father said. . .and for the record, I have often weighed in with the opinion that those who have entered this country illegally should not be given ‘carte blanche’ immunity though they should also not undergo Draconian punishment either.
“Brotherly love” is often confused into a sort of ‘touchy-feely I need to bend over backwards and give everybody everything they demand at any cost lest I be denying them’. That isn’t the case. Sometimes in order to love our brother we have to do things that may ‘hurt’ in the short run in order to ‘help’ in the long run.
Suppose the Holy Father had said, “Regarding homosexual people, we need to have brotherly love to the full for them”. . .would anybody think that he meant that we should go ahead and give them gay marriage? I don’t think so.
But I do think that people read what he said on immigrants and think that the Pope has just said we should ignore any illegal immigrants and just let them do as they please in order to be ‘brothers’. And that isn’t what he said at all.
We should always ‘hate the sin and love the sinners’. I think that is what Pope Benedict said. . .and that that is all he said.
Notice that he said “migrants and refugees,” not “illegals.” He isn’t saying treat with brotherly love “everyone who comes across your border, be they legal, illegal, honest or criminal.”
I’m sure there isn’t one illegal resident in the Vatican. In fact, I remember reading a few months ago that the Vatican had Italian police remove homeless people living in underground tunnels. The problem was that they tapped into the electrical and water lines and were living quite comfortably with tv’s and refridgerators. It beats working, doesn’t it?
Anyway, the Holy Father isn’t giving a free pass to illegals.
The Holy Family were refugees in Egypt for some years. Pius XII wrote of this when he said- “The family of Nazareth in exile, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, emigrants and taking refuge in Egypt to escape the fury of an evil king, are the model, the example and the support of all emigrants and pilgrims of every age and every country, of all refugees of any condition who, compelled by persecution and need, are forced to abandon their homeland, their beloved relatives, their neighbors, their dear friends, and move to a foreign land” (Exsul familia, AAS 44, 1952, 649) How do you know that Christ is not present in the child of illegal immigrants living in the same town as you?
Of course he is. He didn’t say “treat people with brotherly love only as long as they obey the human laws passed by your government, including the laws that forbid them to seek to support their families by pursuing economic opportunity in your country.”