The Refuge Crisis
“Who am I to judge?”
Jorge Bergoglio is the Real Problem in
the Refugee Crisis
is, we think, noteworthy
that Francis who famously replied to a question
about the morality of a homosexual person by answering “Who
am I to judge?” — does not hesitate to judge not just the morality
of a presidential candidate, but to go so far as to pronounce him
“not a Christian” despite his professing to be so. This was a clear
reference, of course, to Donald Trump — but could equally be applied
to Marco Rubio Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie, all of whom are unabashedly
they, too, in light
of their common concern for securing the porous borders of America,
are, for that reason, “not
then, eo ipso, they are excommunicates — outside of Christ
and therefore outside the Church — to say
nothing of the other Christian candidates as well (Cruz,
Carson, Kasich) who support the same issue of securing America’s
border with Mexico —
which is the point of influx of virtually all the
drugs that poison the youth across the country and are indisputably
the cause of so much crime — and murder — in America.
Who will contest that?
What is more, will Catholics who support securing
our borders no longer be “Catholics”? To be unable or
unwilling to make a judgment on matters moral despite clear Catholic
teaching on homosexuality, how can Pope Francis make so audacious a
on the faith in God Himself in others? It is a very troubling
and deeply divisive precedent. Despite the pope's claim, we
can think of no reference in any Gospel that teaches us to “build
bridges instead of walls” — yes, we must love our enemies — but
not enable them nor encourage them in wrong-doing —
even if it is rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But in rendering
to God what is God’s, can anyone make that damning
claim of even the least of His brothers?
You may argue that the pope gave these candidates —
and those who support them — “the benefit of the doubt”
but the condemnation stands, does it not, if they do not
share his own views on matters over which he has no legitimate authority
and no ecclesiastical mandate? How do we reconcile Pope Francis's readiness
to make such unsparing judgments — to declare a defined body of people
in matters political as being separated from God
— with the unfathomable perplexity he demurs from making on a defined
body of people in matters moral — which Scripture
itself and Church teaching condemns? We are confused. We are dismayed.
But now, and much more to the point, in light of your pronouncement,
we are divided. Or more frightening still, separated in our common faith
by uncommon politics.
In a word, is Pope Francis prepared to anathematize the
faithful, not through any odor of heresy ... but through the banality
of politics? How did it come to this?
Quo vadae, Francis? Quo vade? Et quare ...?
A Painful Perspective on the “ Illegal Immigrant”
Issue and the Refugee Crisis
While this article focuses on one aspect of securing
borders against the poisonous influx of drugs into America through Mexico,
another dimension remains — and both concern people: people
as immigrants desperate to flee the violence of a narco-economy
that spawns murders and violence on the south side of the border,
and people as victims in families who suffer from the
ravage of drugs north of the border. The focus is the same: people.
Which is the greatest tragedy? Both are. And the common cause of tragedy
on both sides of the border is the same also: drugs.
The matter of economic opportunity is a complex one that
will not be settled by sound-bites. As Catholics we must remember the
real Scriptural mandates concerning who is our brother
and our obligation to help him in his need (Specifically the Parable
of the Good Samaritan in St. Luke 10. 25-37 Also see St. Matthew
25.35-40, Romans 12.23, Hebrews 13.1, Deut. 10.19 and Leviticus 19.34)
— and our obligation to welcome strangers.
Inasmuch as Francis deeply erred in making pronouncements
on the faith in God of others and declaring them “not Christians”, it
nevertheless remains our obligation to welcome strangers and foreigners
— and this, we argue, is the intended thrust of Francis’s message, however
awkwardly delivered. We cannot contest this as Catholics (indeed, as
Christians and Jews alike). We were all once foreigners in a strange
land, or at least our forbears were. Which, then, is the most vital
issue? Welcoming the stranger or securing our borders against drugs
and illegal immigrants? The answer is not as clear as some would
make it to be. Consider the following:
Are you prepared to open your
own home to strangers?
Can you realistically afford
to feed and clothe another family?
Can you provide them with
medical care in the event of institutional limitations?
Will you give them transportation
to jobs and other appointments (they will not have cars and many
will be unable to obtain a driver's license)?
Are you willing and able to provide Day
Care for their children as parents pursue numerous appointments
to acquire citizenship, enroll in classes to learn English, and
more classes to obtain job skills — all of which you will likely
be required to provide transportation?
Will your home insurance cover liabilities
that may be incurred by residents not on your plan, and if not,
are you in a position to pay for them out of pocket?
Who watches what programs on your television
set, and when?
Who will have access to your computer (which most
of us rely upon) and how often?
Can you readily bridge language and
Are you prepared to relinquish your
Is your spouse equally committed to
these necessities or are they likely to strain your marriage? These
are just a few of many other questions likely to arise should you
decide to host an immigrant (or illegal immigrant) family or individual.
These are terribly practical considerations, no matter
how deep your faith. Are we suggesting that you do not host
a family? No. If you can afford it and can accommodate all the obligations
and liabilities that come with it, we encourage you to. However, we
strongly suspect that the great majority of those who agitate for immigration
(legal and illegal) would be unwilling to put their outspoken views
into practice by hosting immigrant families. The concept of unregulated
and unmitigated immigration (from Central America or Syria, to name
only a few) is only that — a concept — until real and practical issues
are not simply addressed, but capable of being put into practice.
What is more, with most families requiring both spouses
and parents to work simply to afford a dwelling (this is the
great unaddressed scandal that is the direct result of the triumph
of Feminism which enslaved male and female alike to a workplace and
equal opportunity for drudgery) who will be home to provide the transportation
and linguistic mediation needed by a hosted family? A much clearer picture
emerges when we take practicalities into consideration, despite the
depth of our faith. God does not call us to do what is impossible to
us. He sees our yearning to help and He sees our very real limitations.
A country may make the very humane — and Christian
— effort to accept and accommodate as many immigrants as possible.
The key word here is possible. What constitutes the
Can a country conscionably accept more refugees that
it can provide for in the way of housing, welfare, medical care,
Must it accept some from another country by depriving
others within its own?
Can the influx be of such magnitude that the very
national and cultural fabric that determines it as a country
distinct from another (in the way of language, politics, ethos,
ethics, and conflicting religions) is subverted and ultimately superseded
by the very immigrants it made such great efforts to assist — and
who have no cultural affinity with the host country, and no intention
of being adapted to or inculturated by it?
It is entirely possible to abolish any country as we
now recognize it by outnumbering its native citizens with foreign inhabitants
of sufficient number to define it in such a way that it no longer bears
the cultural — and national — identity it had historically possessed.
We need only look to Turkey as an example of the transition from a once
Christian country (the Byzantine Empire) to a Muslim nation, to name
just one formerly Christian country that fell to the violent spread
of Islam. It is a modern iteration of what is called Theseus’ Paradox:
at what point does a raft, each of whose planks are gradually replaced,
become another raft altogether different from the original?
In a democratic country it is entirely possible
to use the very means of the democratic institution to vote to abolish
democracy and institute Sharia law. There is nothing illogical
in this argument. We can vote to abolish the very institution used to
establish its antithesis. This has always been a problem inherent in
democracy: a plebiscite vote to abolish it. What then constitutes “the
possible” as more expedient to the “preferable” in the way of determining
the possible allowance of immigrants into a country that wishes to preserve
its cultural and national identity?
National identities are human institutions articulated
through cultural affinities. Is the possible dissolution of a country
and a culture more acceptable to those within it or to those outside
it? Which segment of humanity has the right to exist, and how do you
morally determine that? This is especially true of incompatible cultures
and religions that cannot coherently — or ideologically — co-exist.
There must be a point of saturation beyond which the one or the other
predominates: what calculus, then, shall we use to determine the number
of refugees/immigrants acceptable, sustainable, in any given country?
How are we, as Catholics, to implement what comes to
us as a moral obligation — while sustaining the very Christian mandate
that could lead to its being abolished?
Suddenly the question is not as clear-cut as it reflexively
appears to be purely on a Christian ethos — does it?
Oh, yes — we have no answers. We only wish you to share
in our perplexity ... however doctrinaire your own opinion is.
Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF File
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
Copyright © 2004 - 2021 Boston Catholic
Journal. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, permission
is granted by the Boston Catholic Journal for the copying
and distribution of the articles and audio files under the
following conditions: No additions, deletions, or
changes are to be made to the text or audio files in any
way, and the copies may not be sold for a profit. In the
reproduction, in any format of any image, graphic, text,
or audio file, attribution must be given to the Boston Catholic