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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

BEEN THERE: Attorney General Eric Holder shares personal experiences while in Ferguson Watch

Image of Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bri Ehsan, right, following his meeting with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Ferguson, Missouri to investigate the officer-involved shooting of teenager Michael Brown, Attorney General Eric Holder shared personal stories of his own encounters with racial discrimination. "I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a ... continue reading


One percent? Try the MORE THAN A THIRD in U.S. who rely on Welfare Watch

Image of Back in the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Back in the "Occupy Wall Street" days, protestors rallied around the concept of the United States' "One Percent," which referred to the people with power in the U.S. government. On the other side of the coin, more than ONE THIRD of all U.S. households are now ... continue reading


SMILE FOR THE CAMERA! Texas Governor Rick Perry cheerfully turns himself in Watch

Image of Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot. He's charged with felony corruption charges ... continue reading


HIDDEN FROM VIEW: President Obama renders decision largely in private, despite claims of transparency Watch

Image of Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors. Unilateral action on such issues as immigration, gay rights and tax policy has ... continue reading


Texas Governor Rick Perry assembles formidable high-profile defense team Watch

Image of According to Michael McCrum, the San Antonio-based special prosecutor presenting the case against Texas Governor Rick Perry, the governor may waive his arraignment altogether.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Governor Rick Perry must now complete the humiliating process of being booked, fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken - but he's gathering a formidable legal team in his defense. High-powered attorneys are being gathered after his indictment on ... continue reading


More than 37,000 undocumented children who crossed Mexican border - going back to U.S. schools Watch

Image of The Department of Justice in May issued a statement reminding public schools that they are legally required to enroll all children, regardless of their immigration status.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They come tired and hungry, crossing great expanses of the desert in search of a better life in the United States - and they're going back to U.S. school shortly. More than 37,000 South and Central American children, who made their escape without parents of ... continue reading


Iraq MUST form stable government before bloodshed can end, Obama says Watch

Image of Many write off the idea that Iraq can unite to repel the Islamic State as wishful thinking.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States sent military aid to Iraq over the past weekend in the form of fighter jets pounding strategic points, President Barack Obama is adamant that Iraq must address its very real problems. The president insists that a stable government in ... continue reading


COMEBACK? Mitt Romney one of the Republican Party's most in-demand campaign surrogates Watch

Image of Mitt Romney says he isn't interested in a third presidential run in 2016. His recent moves have his supporters yearning for him to give it a go and arguing that he would be a stronger candidate than last time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While he lost to Barack Obama in 2012, Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is hitting the stump for Republicans this fall. In recent months, in which Democratic candidates are keeping their distance from an unpopular president, Romney has emerged as one ... continue reading


CLEMENCY -- CRUSHED: Lawyers forbidden from drafting clemency petitions Watch

Image of Ideal candidates for clemency would have been nonviolent, low-level drug offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In yet another setback for the Obama administration, a plan to extend clemency to thousands of prisoners was quelled last week after the agency that oversees the federal courts said that hundreds of federal public defenders as well as other court-appointed ... continue reading


Another blow to Obama! The President's war against American law suffers another setback Watch

Image of The American justice system has dealt another blow to Obama's continual unconstitutional power grab, blocking federally paid lawyers from representing clients who want clemency.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ambitious plan by President Barack Obama's administration to grant clemency to thousands of prisoners suffered a serious blow after federal courts ruled that the hundreds of federal public defenders and other court-appointed attorneys were not actually ... 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, Ezekiel 43:1-7
1 He took me to the gate, the one facing ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Philip Benizi
August 23: Servite cardinal and preacher. Born in Florence, Italy, to a ... 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