Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

6/16/2009 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

How we treat the weak, the infirm, the elderly, the unborn child and the foreigner reflects on our own humanity.

Our country’s immigration crisis is a test of our humanity. Whether we pass it is entirely up to us.  That’s why this gathering is important.  That’s why we’re here today.  And that’s why I hope all of you will take part in this national work for immigration reform as vigorously and unselfishly as possible.  The future of our country depends on it.

Our country’s immigration crisis is a test of our humanity. Whether we pass it is entirely up to us. That’s why this gathering is important. That’s why we’re here today. And that’s why I hope all of you will take part in this national work for immigration reform as vigorously and unselfishly as possible. The future of our country depends on it.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/16/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


DENVER (Catholic Online) - Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Denver is a prophetic and courageous voice defending life, marriage, our obligations to the poor and the right to religious freedom. He embraces the full meaning of the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the dignity of every human person and articulates that message with clarity, conviction and passion.

The Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado is a shining example of the "New Evangelization" which the late Servant of God John Paul II called for and which his worthy successor, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI is now leading. The seminaries are full, the parishes are growing (in fidelity and number)and the ecclesial movements are flocking to find a missionary outpost.

As a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, Archbishop Chaput is the second Native American to be ordained bishop in the United States and the first Native American Archbishop. On Saturday, June 13, he joined joined Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) and other religious and civil leaders in a forum dedicated to the disussion of comprehensive immigration reform. This is a crucial issue which Catholic citizens must address, with the mind of the Church.

Unfortunately, too many Catholics (and other Christians) have not considered the implications of our Gospel committment to the poor in considering immigration reform. They have instead listened to prevailing political jargon from both the 'right' and the 'left.' We offer the transcript of the Archbishops' remarks as an example of how an informed Catholic should approach this vital issue. As the Archbishop points out: "The Catholic commitment to the dignity of the immigrant comes from exactly the same roots as our commitment to the dignity of the unborn child. Any Catholic who truly understands his or her faith knows that the right to life precedes and creates the foundation for every other human right." These remarks can be found on the excellent website of the Archdiocese of Denver. http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/id/1

Opening Remarks: Immigration Forum

Thank you all for coming today. Lets settle our hearts for a moment and begin with a prayer:

"Lord, you created men and women in your image and endowed them with your dignity. You call each of us to be agents of your justice and mercy in the world. Help us to build a culture of life a culture that holds all human life in reverence, from the unborn child and the immigrant, to the poor, the homeless, the infirm and the elderly. Give us the character to live the Gospel not just with our words, but with our hearts and our actions. Make us quick to forgive each other, quick to listen to each other, and eager to serve those who are suffering and in need. And finally Lord, in all things, fill us with the courage to follow St. Paul when he urges us to speak the truth in love. We ask this trusting in your goodness and in the name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen".

We have a lot to cover in a short time on an important issue, so Ill be brief. But I do want to start by thanking Father Greg Ames for his generosity in making his parish available to us today. Father Greg has the heart of a real pastor, and Im very grateful for his support. Im also very grateful to Congressmen Polis and Gutierrez for having the courage to put this issue back in front of the public.

Immigration reform in this country has been gridlocked for more than three years, and both Democrats and Republicans have created that paralysis. We made our immigration crisis in a bipartisan way. Now we need to solve it in a bipartisan way that involves good people from both parties or no party; and people who may have very different convictions. Im pretty confident that Congressman Polis and I would agree that we disagree vigorously on some very serious social issues. But those issues arent on the agenda today. Whats on the agenda today is finding a way to make our immigration laws better. We have a mutual interest in that important work -- and I respect the congressmans sincerity and energy in trying to do something about it.

This morning I celebrated Mass at a Hispanic prolife congress here in the archdiocese. It was a very good prologue to our gathering today. The Catholic commitment to the dignity of the immigrant comes from exactly the same roots as our commitment to the dignity of the unborn child. Any Catholic who truly understands his or her faith knows that the right to life precedes and creates the foundation for every other human right. Theres no getting around the priority of that fundamental right to life. But being prolife also means that we need to make laws and social policies that will care for those people already born that no one else will defend.

In the United States today, we employ a permanent underclass of human beings who build our roads, pick our fruit, clean our hotel rooms, and landscape our lawns. Most of these men and women, like millions of immigrants before them, abide by our laws and simply want a better life for their families. Many have children who are American citizens, or who have been in America so long that they dont know any other homeland. But they live in a legal limbo. Theyre vital to our economy, but they have few legal protections, and thousands of families have been separated by arrests and deportations.

We need to remember that how we treat the weak, the infirm, the elderly, the unborn child and the foreigner reflects on our own humanity. We become what we do, for good or for evil. The Catholic Church respects the law, including immigration law. We respect those men and women who have the difficult job of enforcing it. We do not encourage or help anyone to break the law. We believe Americans have a right to solvent public institutions, secure borders and orderly regulation of immigration.

But we cant ignore people in need, and we wont be quiet about laws that dont work or that, in their working, create impossible contradictions and suffering. Despite all of the heated public argument over the past few years, Americans still find themselves stuck with an immigration system that adequately serves no one. We urgently need the kind of immigration reform that will address our economic and security needs, but will also regularize the status of the many decent undocumented immigrants who help our society to grow. A new Congress and a new president now serve in Washington. They have an extraordinary opportunity to act quickly and justly to solve this problem.

We become what we do, for good or for evil. If we act and speak like bigots, thats what we become. If we act with justice, intelligence, common sense and mercy, then we become something quite different. We become the people and the nation God intended us to be. Our countrys immigration crisis is a test of our humanity. Whether we pass it is entirely up to us. Thats why this gathering is important. Thats why were here today. And thats why I hope all of you will take part in this national work for immigration reform as vigorously and unselfishly as possible. The future of our country depends on it.

Thanks, and God bless you.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Saved in nick of time: Congress approves one-week bill to keep Department of Homeland Security open Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just just in time - with new terrorist concerns at an all-time high, Congress finally voted 357-60 in the House in order to keep the Department of Homeland Security open. The final vote came little more than an hour after the Senate cleared the measure. LOS ... continue reading


U.S. at War with Israel? Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli jets if they attempt to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities Watch

Image of The Netanyahu government decided to strike Iran some time in 2014 after Israel discovered the U.S. and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran's nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement without consulting Israel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The news is SHOCKING. Evidently, U.S. President Barack Obama is either hidebound to improve relations between the U.S. and Iran, or no longer values Israel's friendship in the Middle East. According to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, a reliable source says Obama ... continue reading


BANNING BULLETS: Obama to use executive action to ban ammo for popular hunting rifle Watch

Image of The inexpensive 5.56 M855 ammo, commonly called

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Banning all firearms across the United States would take a massive effort, and certainly not many Americans would willingly give up their protection. According to a memo, U.S. President Barack Obama intends to use his executive powers to ban the bullets for the ... continue reading


Abercrombie & Fitch's 'looks policy' under fire for stark employee discrimination of Muslim girl Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abercrombie & Fitch faces yet another lawsuit for potential discrimination. The hip clothing store has previously been under fire for lack of racial diversity in both employment and advertisement and for limited sizing choices. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


SHOCKING REPORT: Social Security card in hand, illegal immigrants can claim back tax benefits Watch

Image of Lawmakers have expressed distress that amnestied illegal immigrants could be potentially rewarded for illegal work.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Workers living and employed here illegally appear to be on a fast track to join the American dream. According to a Congressional Research Service, or CRS, memo, those illegal immigrants able to obtain Social Security Numbers and work permits due to President ... continue reading


NOT SO FAST! Net neutrality to get onceover before approval Watch

Image of Democrat Mignon Clyburn on the Federal Communications Commission wants to narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules set for a vote later this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The hotly debated "Net Neutrality" - which will determine how the 21st Century's preferred mode of communication and information - is not a sure thing, just yet. Democrat Mignon Clyburn on the Federal Communications Commission wants to narrow the scope of new ... continue reading


Democrats can dish it out - but are now shying away from Obamacare penalties Watch

Image of As those taxpayers discover the penalty they owe, they will already be racking up a new, higher penalty for 2015.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It looks like Democrats can dish it out, but can't take it. One of the stipulations of health care reform, or "Obamacare" was those who chose not to enroll had to pay a penalty come tax time. Now, as millions begin to file their taxes, Democrats are having ... continue reading


Human Tide: Texas' porous border allows thousands to flood in from Mexico Watch

Image of Speaking out on CBS's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Porous borders - one where demarcations are hazy and ill-defined, allowing people to cross over into another country without proper accounting, was one of the reasons for the Ebola crisis in East Africa. There exists a similar situation between the United ... continue reading


'Terror threat' from American right-wing extremists discussed at summit Watch

Image of The mastermind behind the Alfred P. Murrah building bombing attack, Timothy James

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Domestic terrorism in the United States has long been an ongoing concern. The White House held a "Countering Violent Extremism" summit last week to talk about "extremist ideologies that radicalize." The summit did not address radical Islam in particular, but ... continue reading


Is Obama corrupt? Contracts for amnesty being pushed at 'full-throttle pace' by Department of Homeland Security Watch

Image of The population of potential requesters for the president's deferred action will be

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite a federal court's decision to halt President Obama's amnesty order, the White House continues to award multi-million-dollar contracts to firms to process millions of illegal immigrants. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The population of potential ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
4 I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
15 Costly in Yahweh's sight is the death of his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 9:2-10
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 8:31-34
31 After saying this, what can we add? If God is for ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 1st, 2015 Image

St. David
March 1: According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter