Catholicism Crisis: The Immigration Debate

I’m having a Catholicism Crisis. What is a Catholicism Crisis? I define it as being torn between what the Catholic Church teaches and what I believe. At one time my whole life was a Catholicism Crisis, after all, I came from that post-Vatican II era when catechizing was almost non-existent and attitudes about many Catholic teachings began to change.

Image result for immigrant children in cages

Interestingly enough after taking the time to read and learn the teachings of the church, I can understand them although I may not agree with them, and I will follow them. Hence why I am trying to get an annulment of my marriage. But as I began to discuss in my last post, this whole immigration mess is giving me nightmares. Firstly I still don’t know who to believe. Yes, children have been separated from their families and President Trump has said this will no longer happen, so that’s a good thing. But where I have the problem is on my political side. It knows our country can not continue to accept unlimited and unvetted immigrants into our country. Eventually, the resources to support them will run out and if we do not vet them it will lead to crime and all kinds of bad things. I’m not saying all immigrants are bad people, but if we have no way to check them, there will be some who slip through.

Then there is the problem of fairness. Why should those who cross the border illegally, and like it or not it is illegal, be allowed in ahead of those who are going through the legal steps to immigrate? It would be like standing in the communion line for twenty minutes and then having someone cut the line in front of you. Okay, maybe not quite the same, but how about waiting in line for a movie and someone does that?

Then we have the other side of the coin, the Catholic teaching. If we take out our “Cathecism of the Catholic Church” (Need One? Click here) and go to number 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.

There is no question the United States is more prosperous than the nations the majority of these illegals are coming from. And there are many, many passages throughout the Bible instructing us including this:

‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ – Matthew 25:34 – 36 (RSV2CE)

What side do I take? It seems like this is a simple choice, but honestly, it is really bothering me. For a long time, my politics said that the influx of immigrants will cause more harm than good: to the economy, the tax base, employment, crime rates, even voting. Now, however, my Catholicism is beginning to take over. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I also worry about the fiscal future of this country.

A Journey into the Holocaust – Buy Here

I write a lot about our moral compass and how there is only black and white and there is no grey, but this issue is all grey, very grey. I know the leading Catholics are calling for not sending these people away but who will take care of them? A few posts ago I wrote how my parish is in serious financial trouble as many others are, so our parishes can’t. Can the government really afford more people on assistance? I don’t condone the separation of families or any kind of mistreatment. And I certainly can’t agree with the claims of some that these camps are nothing but concentration camps run by Nazi’s. Watch any documentary on the Holocaust and see what these were really like. These are nothing like them or will they ever be. Still, I’m not sure I would like to be in one.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, I really don’t know where I stand on this issue. It truly is a Catholicism Crisis for me.

So what should it be: Morality or Politics?

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2 thoughts on “Catholicism Crisis: The Immigration Debate

  1. cindym612

    What honest thoughts, I’ve had the same concerns you do. When you reference the Catechism in regards to the responsibility of wealthy nations like the US, we do have an immigration system which allows over 1 million to come into the US each year. However, many more want to come in.
    Our immigration system is designed to meet our workforce needs, keeping in mind that anyone who comes must also not be a burden on the country, but become economically productive.
    That is why immigrants are required to have sponsors who agree to host the immigrant, provide for their needs while they adapt and become self sufficient.
    We also have a separate Refugee policy as well, receiving those who need asylum.

    Politics has created this mess. When our government decides to ignore the laws of our nation and slap illegal aliens on the wrist, then more will come illegally.

    The onus to change our policy sits directly with Congress, not the President. He didn’t create this mess, only inherited it.

    As a Catholic, I am required to obey just laws, even those of foreign countries in which I visit. I must respect their immigration system. We must expect the same of those wanting to come into the US.

    As someone who helped begin and currently helps run a food Pantry, we serve everyone in need, regardless of citizenship status. This is what I do as I am called by God, as a Catholic, to serve everyone in need.

    1. Thank you for your insightful comment and for reading my little blog. Life was so much easier before I came back to my faith I didn’t need to think of such things. But I am glad I did, I am a much better person for it.

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