USCCB Condemns Separating Immigrant Children from Families


Separating children from their parents is not “moral until proven otherwise,” either. It is instead something that must be shown to be done only when necessary and only for the amount of time necessary. This Administration has not demonstrated that necessity. He can’t have his attorney general saying one day that their going to detain every last person they can in order to send a message to stop immigration and then talk out of the other side of his mouth the next day about how it is all about stopping trafficking. Do you think those children all have Stockholm syndrome–that’s why they’re crying when they’re taken away from their “fake” parents?


You mean the right to defend our borders against human traffickers and terrorists?


President Trump is a professional Deal Maker, that’s how he made his fortune.

He knows how to talk to people, and it certainly seems as if he got through to Rocket Man in Korea. For his actions in Korea, everyone thinks that the President deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, although he is not one to say it himself. That really distinguishes him from President Obama who lobbied for the prize


A) We have the right to defend our borders provided we use moral means
B) The means being used are unnecessarily cruel
C) I do not personally believe that the Administration is making an effort to do the least damage to real families that is possible. I believe that the Administration is doing what it said it intended to do, which is to make the US border as forbidding as possible and to get the word out. The idea that they are doing the minimum necessary to do their duty with regards to terrorism and trafficking is not a believable claim.

Well, that is being done “hospitality and morality be d#%ned.” That is not tolerable. When someone says “build a wall” and it’s going to cost 25 billion not including upkeep, an eyelash is not batted. (Please do not tell me that anyone ever believed that Mexico was going to foot the entire bill for a wall it did not propose to build. No one but no one really believed that fairy tale, did they? No one is that gullible.) When there is a price tag on treating human beings like brothers and sisters in Christ instead of stray dogs, then it is oh, my, we have so much HUMANITARIAN WORK to do! How can we afford it!?! Yeah. Right.

No, this time the bishops are teaching something the right wing does not like, the shoe is on the other foot, and here come all the excuses for why the bishops are the ones living in Fantasy Land rather than some political partisans choosing to float on the river Denial.


Tell me how the treatment of these children is “defend[ing] our borders against human traffickers and terrorists?”


No, the Bishops didn’t address human trafficking (which is always immoral) and terrorism (which is always immoral) and chose to only address child/parent separation ( which is not always immoral).


Not the tweet of a Peace Prize candidate who “knows how to talk to people”:

Donald J. Trump
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

5:49 PM - Jan 2, 2018
337K people are talking about this
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As for his deal-making ability, so far he has given away a concession to cease military exercises with South Korea without notifying South Korea and has gotten vague weak goals in return. I know what he’d be tweeting about that “deal” if Obama had made a “deal” like that. He’d say just what his supporters would be saying before he trained them to sit on his lap and look at him adoringly.

By the way, when someone is too humble to think he should have a prize, he doesn’t answer the question about whether he should have it with “everyone thinks so.” No, after they made the mistake with Obama, they’re not going to repeat it by handing one to Mr. Trump.


Its a shame that such things happen. We should pray that humans treat their fellow man with respect and dignity. Justice demands it.


What’s up with all the political name calling? I haven’t seen anyone call you a ‘leftist’. Why have you defined this debate as a ‘us vs them’?


A very minor concession. And you’ll remember, President Trump achieved the release of several hostages without spending a dime’s worth of money on ransom.

Needless to say, I don’t know whether we will have peace with Korea or not. A lot of that has to do with how stable the North Koreans think the US Government is. If the don’t think that President Trump will have the authority to deliver, it makes it less possible.

But I can personally see North Korea renouncing evil and embracing freedom, top developers building resorts and other development in Pyongyang, maybe the capital will get its own Trump International property.

And I can’t see the negativity to that.


Let’s be clear about this: the church has no public policy positions. Despite the fact that the USCCB and various individual bishops have expressed a policy preference, what we are dealing with is the implementation of policies that have to address both the needs of the immigrant and the needs of the country, something the catechism doesn’t ignore even though the bishops have given it scant consideration.

Everyone whose position is based on a real desire to do what is best within the guidelines set out by the church acts morally. There is no moral distinction to be made.


The Bishops have spoken out on all three.


They don’t get a lot of attention, though. They’re too conservative on some issues, too liberal on others, and all the news outlets find them–eewww!–too “religious” on just everything! Plus, they don’t go for the idea that everyone has the right to a different truth, which makes them very rude, indeed. They have corrections to make for every political party, which really hurts their popularity. If they would just take a side and quit writing these long nuanced statements with footnotes and something in every one of them to make everyone unhappy instead of turning out accusatory shoot-from-the-hip sound bites meant to make their “opponents” look bad, like every who is popular does, they’d get far more attention.

Part of the problem with our political system is that (a) candidates who talk like the bishops have so much trouble getting past their primaries and (b) let us face it, the reporters for every outlet like to get quotes from elected officials who will get them a click-bait headline. Elected officials who are only offering nuanced views that are respectful of those they disagree with do not sell.


You must be defining “public policy” very narrowly, because the Church certainly does have a lot to say about public policies, in the Cathechism and in various other official documents.


I have a careful definition: the church presents us with guidelines, objectives toward which we are to strive. She identifies the ends, but she does not discuss the means. She does not give us policies or suggest specific approaches for the implementation of those objectives. As I’ve said before, she tells us to “heal the sick”, she does not tell us to support a specific form of healthcare. We are to “help the poor”, but this doesn’t mean we have to support raising the minimum wage.

Politics is about implementing policies for the resolution of public problems, and the church has spoken of our obligations, but it is individual bishops - not the church - who have spoken out on public policies. Nor will you find anything whatever in the catechism that goes to the application of this or that policy as the moral solution to these issues.


Your definition is indeed careful - and more narrow than most people assume. What you really should say is that the Church does not (or should not) have implementation policies. But public policies? Yes, definitely.

Most people would say that the Church had a policy of opposing Hitler and the Nazis. That is certainly a public policy. But it is not an implementation policy. The Church did not say “there should be a declaration of war by the US” or “you should launch the D-day invasion on June 6, 1944.” Also the Church has a policy in Canada of opposing the recreational use of marijuana. This is certainly a public policy as it strongly influences legislation relating to marijuana. However the Church does not author proposed legislation, or propose specific penalties for infractions. Their policy is not an implementation policy, but it is a policy. Also the Church has a policy of openness to welcoming the stranger. It is a public policy because it strongly affects public actions in this regard. But it is not an implementation policy. It does not specify quotas or other implementation details.

So now, going back to the post by @PetraG where you first made the statement that the Church does not have public policy positions, it is clear that the public policy statements PetraG was referring to are the more general kind of “policies” that are not covered by your narrow definition, which refutes your objection to PetraG.


I dislike your definition because it is ambiguous; your use of the term “public policy” could mean almost anything. I have been very careful to distinguish between means and ends. I will argue again: the church has moral doctrines; she does not have public policies.

This is precisely why your term is inappropriate. To begin with, there is no church doctrine directed at marijuana use in Canada. It is not the church that opposes it, it is individual Canadian bishops expressing their own judgments on the matter, and this is exactly the distinction I find so important to make. The bishops have suggested the means (opposing a policy to legalize marijuana use), and involvement with specific policies is almost always simply their own personal opinion. Their positions may be well informed or not, but they are not “church” positions.

Do you really want to equate moral doctrines with “policies”? I think even the bishops who are making policy proposals would shrink from that comparison.

If PetraG believes the church’s doctrines are simply policies, she can say so, but I’m guessing there won’t be many people who are comfortable equating them. All you have done is blur an important distinction between what is church teaching and what is not, and have done so at the cost of defining moral truth as a “policy”…


I did not give any definition at all. I just gave some examples of policies. You do disagree with any of them? If not, then just move on.

Is there any evidence that others have not made that distinction adequate enough? If not, then let it go.

Don’t change to a different word! The word was “policy”, not “doctrine.” The Church in Canada does have a policy toward marijuana use.

But why did you skip the example of the Church’s policy toward Hitler during WWII? Was that or was that not a public policy?

Straw man.

Dodging the issue with another straw man.


The Catechism is no more the Catholic Church than the Bible is. We are not a people of any book, but followers of the Word of God in flesh, and in His body, the Church.

Look, it would have been much less controversial if the USCCB had taken a more educated and objective stance on immigration,

They have. If you read anything written you will find that it is balanced. That does not mean absolutely anything someone does is moral just because he is the President. This action was immoral.

This is so true, and why we have more than just a book. We are not like the Pharisees and just a people of the law. I won’t comment on whether the other two are always immoral as they would need a better definition. We had, for example, the case of Rahab smuggling spies out. We have the Boston Tea Party.

In any case, separating children from parents is immoral in that it harms them. It is not always immoral because there are times it could be the lesser harm. Is it in this case? That is why God left use the grace of apostolic succession to provide shepherds for the faithful to learn more than just a set of rules.


Explain what you mean by “policy”. If I understand how you use the term I can better comment on your position. Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines it:

a : a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions
b : a high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body

The church assuredly does not have policies under definition (a).

The church in Canada??? Is there a different church in Canada than in the US, or is there one church that is the same world wide, because if there is only one church, that one doesn’t have a policy toward marijuana use in Canada. But your objection to the word doctrine highlights my point: you use “policy” precisely because it is ambiguous, because it obscures the distinction between what the church actually teaches - her doctrines - and what random bishops occasionally allege.

Either a “policy” is a doctrine or it isn’t. Or perhaps you think that sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t…which would explain your preference for a term that can imply something that could not be sustained if expressly stated.

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