September 6, 2013

Catholic leaders urge immigration reform

FT_Catholic_ImmigAmerican Catholic leaders have pledged to “pull out all the stops” in expressing support of a proposed overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, according to Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As one part of the drive, Catholic bishops and priests in major dioceses plan to preach this Sunday in favor of immigration policy changes.

The measure, which includes the possibility of citizenship for some unauthorized immigrants, has passed the Senate and has President Barack Obama’s support, but it remains stuck in the House.

Catholic leaders say the Bible’s teachings on social justice are behind their stance on immigration reform, but they also acknowledged to The New York Times that demographics are a factor. About six-in-ten U.S. Hispanics (58%) are Catholic, according to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey. By contrast, about a fifth of the general public is Catholic (22%).

Most American Catholics (73%) say that there should be a way for people in the U.S. illegally – and who meet certain requirements – to stay in the country legally, according to a March 2013 Pew Research poll. That’s similar to the share of the general public that holds this view (71%). Majorities of white evangelical Protestants (62%), white mainline Protestants (65%) and black Protestants (84%) also agree that it should be possible for unauthorized immigrants to stay in the country legally.

But the U.S. public is more closely divided on the broader question of whether “immigrants strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents” or “are a burden on society because they take our jobs, housing and health care.” Among the general public, 48% say immigrants strengthen the country and 39% say they are a burden, according to aggregated Pew Research polling data from 2012 and 2013.

At first glance, it appears that there are significant differences of opinion among religious groups on this question. However, these apparent differences are largely the result of underlying differences between religious groups in race, ethnicity, political ideology and party identification. After accounting for these factors, the independent impact of religion is minimal.

For example, while Catholics are more likely than Protestants to say that immigrants strengthen society (53% vs. 42%), much of this difference can be attributed to the larger share of Catholics who are Hispanic. About a third of U.S. Catholics (32%) are Hispanic, compared with just 7% of Protestants.

Hispanic Catholics – a majority of whom are, themselves, foreign-born – are much more likely to say immigrants strengthen the country (73%) than to say immigrants are a burden (16%), much like Hispanics overall (72% vs. 18%). By comparison, white non-Hispanic Catholics are divided on this question (44% vs. 44%), similar to whites overall (42% vs. 45%).

Note: The headline of this post has been updated to better reflect the content of the post.

Topics: Immigration, Religion and U.S. Politics, Catholics and Catholicism

  1. Photo of Michael Lipka

    is a senior editor focusing on religion at Pew Research Center.

  2. Photo of Jessica Martínez

    is a senior researcher focusing on religion at Pew Research Center.


  1. Dennis Richardson2 years ago

    Here is proof that the Jesuit Order of Ignatius Loyola was created in a plan by the Borgias
    in the Vatican to support the Venetian Oligarchy. Though the Borgias and the Venetian Oligarchs were forced to abandon Venice after losing the War of the League of Cambrai they found fertile soil in London to further their plans of world government in 1510. The Roman Catholic church truly is the Whore of Babylon as prophesied in the book of Revelation. Did not Augustine Bea tell Alberto Rivera in the 1960’s or 70’s that Catholicism created Islam in the early seventh century?

  2. Akulkis4 years ago

    “Social Justice” is an invention of socialists. There is no talk of any such thing in the Bible, let alone the teachings of Jesus.

  3. gtx4464 years ago

    then let the American bishops pay for the free health care , free housing and free education and food stamps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Nellie4 years ago

    Of course the Bishops would support illegals. Follow the money trail….

  5. publiuaAH4 years ago

    I am a practicing, struggling Catholic who went to elementary, high school and college that all were Catholic. I don’t know who is taking the poll for the data shown above but I am firmly against the immigration bill the US senate passed a few months ago. It is nothing more than a Trojan Horse filled with undocumented voters who will vote for the party who will give them the most stuff, i.e. the Government (Democratic) party. All because of the pernicious motor-voter laws that no one monitors for false claims of citizenship by illegal immigrants. In addition we don’t need any protected undocumented immigrants who will increase the labor force and reduce the wages of those presently in the states legally. Check the conclusion by the federal CBO of the bill approved by the Senate that predicts lower wages and greater unemployment as direct results of such a potential law. Besides the immigration laws have not been enforced for thirty years by the dishonest Federal government which is required and mandated by the US Constitution to enforce the borders of the USA. If the Senate and House want to fix immigration do the FIRST thing. Fix the dishonest federal government by constantly monitoring the Executive branch and pass laws that reduce money until clear immigration objectives under present laws are attained.

  6. Marge34 years ago

    I went to vigil mass today and there was NO MENTION of immigration or anything about compassion for illegal aliens.

    Many Catholics oppose the Bishops including many priests; Here is Father Bascio commenting about why he wrote the book “On the Immorality of Illegal Immigration”.

    Most Hispanics who attend Church give very little support to the Church (i.e they don’t put any money in the basket!) as I have been told by those in big cities who count the collections; furthermore, they are generally a big burden on taking from the Church in terms of needing Charity (Ask Catholic Charities that now spends most of its money supporting illegal aliens for attorneys, translation services and numerous forms of assistance).
    The Bishops support of illegal aliens is driving many mainstream Catholics away from the Church…those that know right from wrong and who see what is happening to our communities as the massive Third World invasion continues..

  7. Jim4 years ago

    I guess that the Catholic Church is the “Big Business” entity that politicians speak of as supporting this ‘immingration’ bill.

  8. Leeza Lee4 years ago

    I find it appalling that Black America feels that illegals strengthen the country. Especially in light of the different studies that show that the segment of our population that suffers the most from illegals are Black men.

    Once again, they’re being hoodwinked.

  9. bop4 years ago

    The ones going to be hurt by this massive amnesty ruse, are all unemployed citizens, your kids and grandkids…you should know that within this bill, our elite politicians have plans to double the number of Visa workers, in 2009 , 1.2 million Visa workers came here, now double that each year!!

    Our politicians, clergy, business owners all want these illegals here to further their own agenda, if this passes you will see wages drop like a rock in water!

    American citizens are not a priority for our elites anymore, they ignore us as though we are 2 nd class citizens to be stepped on.

    All Democrats and RINO’s must be voted out of office if not removed before then! You must make your voice heard loud & clear, we are not serfs yet!!

  10. Greg4 years ago

    If these papists want to be political…let’s take away every deduction going to their churches and contributors…of course, then every black preacher would be included.

    Makes atheists look pretty good….naw! they’re jerks.

  11. ED4 years ago

    Catholicism morphed into a twisted creature when the liberal bishops adopted the changes of Vatican II. The “Smoke of Satan” entered the Vatican when ecumenism began to take hold. The Mass along with the Liturgy became unrecognizable. Doubt and confusion reigned. A new religion was created, certainly not Catholic.
    Archbishop Lefebvre foresaw this and founded the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). True Catholic Faith and Tradition still reside there.
    And oh, they prefer you not attend The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in shorts and flip-flops.
    God Bless.

    1. Marge34 years ago

      Good post…Yes, I have attended the Traditional Latin mass via Pius X when there was one in my city and it was truly a holy mass. No flip flops or shorts, traditional organ music and hymns, head coverings for women and a very reverent celebration. Yes, when Vatican II went to English and relaxed all of the rules, they protestant-ized the Catholics…took away the holiness of the sacrifice and the devotion of those that revered the Church. The Church rules offered guidance and stability. Now it seems that anything goes and you can pick and choose what way to go….I too am very disappointed with the Church leadership and think that their support of illegal immigration is driving away traditional Catholics who have a fully formed conscience, who know right from wrong, who have supported the Church and who think that the Bishops have gone off the rails!!

  12. Jon4 years ago

    It’s another win for the mainstream media and liberals who coverup the pain and heartache caused by illegal immigrants. People who’s lives have been shattered by the deaths of family members at the hands of drunken illegal drivers or events like the Texas teen gang raped by a dozen illegals. No they instead run stories of pitiful illegals separated from the ones they love back home. If it is causing so much pain then go home to them. How about the Catholic Church worrying about poor American’s wages being held down because of the infusion of cheap labor? Every organization in favor of this mess has some gain from it. Mean while the Americans they should serve are left to deal with the heartbreak and pain.

  13. Zach4 years ago

    If there should be a way for people in the country illegally to stay in the country legally, shouldn’t there be a way for me to cheat on my taxes and not get in trouble for cheating on my taxes?

    I consider myself a devout Catholic, but in no way support this, or a lot of what the bishops say. The Church has long succumbed in many ways to the propaganda of big government and the media, forgetting that she was the greatest provider of charity in the world. As the Church continues to cave to the machine, it will face harder times, though never fail ultimately. The more we rely on government, the less we will rely on God, and we see this played out in this “nation, under God” more so everyday.

    And what does the Church in Mexico say? Perhaps they should try to change their government/country so that all these people will have no or little reason to come here. Freedom is a fundamental right, and when the Church (and others) finally recognize the big-government bondage that all of us in the world live under, these problems will have a chance to be corrected.

  14. C King4 years ago

    Catholics need new blood and they see this as the ticket. I thought it was against the rules for religious organizations to politicize during services, but maybe not.

  15. Derek4 years ago

    This (“comprehensive immigration reform”) is something about which the USCCB knows very little. An illegal immigrant is not stopped from attending church. They (the illegal immigrants, their supporters, and the clergy in areas with large populations of illegal immigrants) all know how much trouble immigration agents can get in if they attempt to enforce immigration laws in and around churches. It seems to be really more of a membership drive than true compassion for the plight of illegal aliens. Where is the compassion for the families of those trying to obey the law?

  16. greg4 years ago

    I have given up with the Catholic Church regarding immigration. I’m sick and tired of sitting in the pew and having the rights of illegal aliens pushed down my throat. We cancled out diocesean (sp??) news paper because it was a front page story every week. My wife moved on to another church and I’m getting ready to follow. My wife is a legal immigrant who did everything the right way to get her citizenship. In fact, the Church has pushed so many liberal policies that they seem to have forgotten about abortion, etc. We also have given up on Catholic schools because they all seem to be taken over by the bishops who are more concerned about the bottom line and paying off law suits than fostering the next generation of good Catholics. The local parish members paid to have those schools put up and the bishops really pissed us and a lot of other people off by coming in and taking over. Greg

    1. Pamela4 years ago

      I understand your anger and frustration with the bishops, but please reconsider. When you walk away, it is Christ, Truly Present in the Most Holy Eucharist that you are really leaving. Just stop giving money to the parish or diocese. Give to Crisis Pregnancy Centers, or the like to fulfill your charitable giving duty, but stay in the Church founded by Christ. As He said, “Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” Some of the clergy will be Judases, but we do not stay for them, or leave for them. We stay for Jesus. Satan cheers when one leaves the Church for mere human political reasons. Do not give him what he wants.

  17. Deep Eriver4 years ago

    We can window-dress it anyway you’d like, but the bottom line is that the church is no different from every other group out there calling for immigration reform. That is, there is the perception of political leverage or direct financial benefit at taxpayer’s expense.

    Plenty of people from around the world with qualifications far exceeding janitorial skills and thuggery are waiting in line while we hold the gates open for the cheapest unskilled labor imaginable. We dress this up as being compassionate. Bull.

  18. Sharp Shtik4 years ago

    Don’t get too insightful or Pew will block your comment. What a joke.

  19. Shawn Marshall4 years ago

    After reviewing the comments below one senses a great disappointment with the Church. But the Church fathers will never hear it. No priest or bishop requires any input from the laity. Try to contact a bishop with a letter about your concerns. Good luck!!! If any good priest or bishop would happen to review these remarks just give me a reply and a chance to dialogue. There is an idea which will revitalize the US Catholic Church but it requires an entirely new focus; one that Cardinal Dolan got very close to last year but nothing has come of it since, as far as I know. The Church needs to foster parish level endowment funds for Catholic Schools. These funds will be focused on paying teacher salaries only. This will eliminate spendthrift concerns.The endowments would be staffed by volunteers and local boards. They would invest from a menu of Church approved funds; an example might be the muni fund PRVAX or the Ave Maria fund. The monthly contributions from parishioners would be tax deductible. These funds would be independent of the Church and school and thus sheltered from litigation. Catholic families would overwhelmingly support this initiative. If there is no parish school the fund would support the nearest schools as needed and as approved by the board. The Church could provide the legal framework to facilitate each fund’s 501 (c) 3 application so that the process will be simplified and economized. Likewise they can publish an exemplary set of bylaws. Funds for teachers’ salaries would be paid out in proportion to the ratio of Catholic students to the total student body( no need to subsidize Catholic school education for wealthy doctors and lawyers children). If my Church cared about her future or her flock, I wouldn’t be writing these words. It seems we cam hear the beast roaring but we cannot get the attention of our pastors. They are too busy tilting with windmills and sticking their necks out for political risks. God bless the Holy Church and may the Holy Spirit guide us through this maelstrom. As Paul VI cried, “The smoke of Satan has entered the Church.”

  20. Bill Redd4 years ago

    The catholic hierarchy are only interested in one thing, filling their collection baskets to pay for their pedophile brothers. They see the wet backs as future sources of capital once they are integrated into American society and take the jobs of poor blacks, very few of which are catholic so the church doesn’t care about them, and will shore up collection baskets for the church and its perverts.

  21. Trent4 years ago

    I am a Catholic and go to church irregularly. My mother and father in law are devout and go twice a week. My father in law is very involved with his church. This man would never say a negative word against anyone. However, since the small town he lives in has become 90% hispanic, his church is struggling, the one English speaking mass is now asked to bear virtually all of the expenses. He says, very innocently, that the hispanic church goers do not contribute financially but ask for all kinds of church sponsored events and free things. What a disaster. Shame on this country!

  22. Bifo4 years ago

    The bishops are supporting the change of laws, not breaking the laws like Obama .

  23. Rick Fischer4 years ago

    These polls always ask how many favor a way for illegals to remain in the US legally, but then report those people as favoring giving citizenship to illegals. The two are drastically different.

  24. Joe E in the IE4 years ago

    In the past two weeks, Catholic congregations were asked to pray for full unconditional passage of immigration reform as part of the Mass called the General Intercessions.

    In the past two weeks, there were no prayers for the unborn during the General Intercessions. Seems there’s a connection between praying for what the White House and the DNC demands while remaining silent on subjects, particularly abortion, that offend them.

    Sad. So sad.

    1. toc4 years ago

      We’re as likely to hear prayers for the unborn as we are to hear that the bishops have put out a position paper condemning the corruption and drug culture in Mexico. The bishops are just democrats in costumes with an over-inflated sense of how good they think they look. Speaking of looks–anyone else ever notice how they all fit a stereotype? Below average in height and appearance and kind of pudgy and soft–kind of fits in with their lack of backbone.

      1. Joeym4 years ago

        TOC- you are right on the money. May I suggest reading “Tumultous Times” by Radecki , it lists all the facts, footnotes and reasons the “bishops” are doing what they are doing, it is incredible the easy to read book lays out the information , connecting the dots is as easy as ABC. Kudo’s to Tim Miller who also had some great remarks on this issue, and the facade known as the USCCB.

      2. Derek4 years ago

        The Bishop of Buffalo, NY is taller than average, fit, and a great Red Sox fan, and has a great sense of humor. Pretty cool considering how long he spent teaching.

  25. twocanpete4 years ago

    I for one am really tired of catholics referring to themselves as “the church”. They are no such thing as is made clear by the teachings of Christ in the New Testament. By the way, Mary is not the mother of God either as taught by catholics. God has no beginning and no end therefore God has no mother.

    1. Pamela4 years ago

      “Have I been so long a time with you; and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also.” Jesus is God. Ergo…

      1. twocanpete4 years ago

        Where was Mary the day before God created Adam? Oh that’s right, she didn’t exist. Nope, God doesn’t have a mother, kids so you’ll have to take your fertility cult somewhere else and leave spreading the gospel to Christians.

        PS, babies don’t go to hell when they haven’t been baptized in the catholic church. Another lie promoted by Catholics for years.

    2. Nellie4 years ago

      Are you talking about God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy spirit?

  26. Tom Highway4 years ago

    In the interest of ‘social justice’ and helping those less fortunate, I hereby pledge…

    1. To only buy products that are made in China and other less fortunate countries. After all, those citizens are poor and more in need of our help — much more so than their more affluent American competitors.

    2. To buy only non-union-made products… After all, those non-union workers make less money, and therefore they need my financial support much more than the more affluent union workers.

    Can I get an ‘amen’, brothers?

  27. Trappedinca4 years ago

    I left the Catholic Church when I could no longer attend mass in any language but Spanish. My German-Catholic family supported the church for 100’s of years both here & in Europe, but they no longer want us in their church. No problem, there are lots of other churches who were happy to make us welcome.

  28. Hoi4 years ago

    This Catholic does NOT agree with the USCCB’s (political) stance. There IS a process for getting in this country and become a citizen, so why reinvent the wheel for political purposes? Get in line, and FOLLOW the process/law, like I did. No sympathy for those who want to cry (fill-in-the-blank) to cut in line.

  29. Jane4 years ago

    I saw the influence of illegal immigrants in a formally Bohemian neighborhood in Chicago. The church had been a beacon for the neighborhood. It was where my Mother-In-Law and her sister and her nieces were married. It had a school and a very active parish life. The neighborhood was never rich but they supported the church and the school. The illegals did not. BUT, their darling offspring were sent to the school. The church opted to keep the school going for the ‘poor downtrodden’ illegals who trashed the local park, let the church go to ruins, expected handouts and free education for their children and made the street dangerous; going from safe at any hour of the day to unsafe at any hour of the day. The few people who did attend church there, only got a visiting priest because no money comes in to repair church or maintain a rectory. The wonderful parish life is over, and the neighborhood is secular and deteriorating. My church should look very carefully at the truth of this problem. A nominally Roman Catholic population does NOT support the church, they expect to receive and in fact demand to receive but do not desire to help or practice the religion. I know that the Church’s mission is to spread the Gospel of Christ, and to help the needy, but here is an example of that mission utterly failing. It may not play out this way everywhere. But I know that illegals tend to vote for Democrats who support abortion and all kinds evil. REMEMBER: CHARITY=LOVE, welfare=votes If I give some of my hard earned money to someone to help them, that is charity. If the government gives some of my hard earned money to someone it is vote buying…plain and simple.

  30. Leslie4 years ago

    It’s interesting to me that the citizenry of Vatican City is comprised of all Catholics, all workers and officials of the Holy See. The official language is Italian. So if someone who was not Catholic, did not intend to work for the Holy See, demanded that another language be official, perhaps, were to insist that it was her right to be a citizen of Vatican City, and protested that she had rights as a human being to all that the legal citizens receive, would that be okay? I don’t think so. How ludicrous for illegal immigration to be encouraged in the United States or anywhere by the Catholic Church. There are means to become a citizen of the U.S. and they are not based upon unrealistic principles or expectations – which is why there is still an abundance of people becoming U.S. citizens legally. I welcome Hispanics, as well as immigrants from anywhere in the world, to the United States, provided that all who come to the U.S. do so legally and not illegally, while demanding entitlements and amnesty. Yes, I speak as a Catholic and as an American whose family came to this country through legal means and became citizens as recently as within the last 10 years.

    1. Tim Miller4 years ago

      What is there immigration policy?

  31. Shawn Marshall4 years ago

    The USCCB gets $50 million a year from the government and Catholic Charities gets over $200 million(WSJ). Illegal immigration is a plague on our country and a violation of our sovereignty. If we are to be a nation of laws, our laws must be enforced. If we are a nation of men, then the Executive can simply decide what the law is on a case by case basis. Then we are living in totalitarianism. And we are getting pretty close given the flouting of law by this administration. So this is what our Church is supporting. WHY? To get seats in the pews. Why? Because membership is sinking. WHY? Because the Church functions more as an NGO than in a pastoral sense, witness the decline in Catholic School education. After the fiasco of Obamacare and the outright assault of the government upon the teachings and practice of the Church, one would surely hope the bishops would be a little wiser. They seem to have an uncanny ability to always do the wrong thing, witness the timorous avoidance of confrontation with heretical Catholics like the Kennedys, Bidens, Kerrys, Pelosis, Cuomos et al. Their scheme to fill the seats with illegals will fail; they won’t stay in the Church either. There is already ample evidence of that. John Paul II said we are going to have to get smaller before we get bigger. That seems to be a pretty good estimate.

  32. Tim Miller4 years ago

    If you are a catholic and believe in our sovereignty and our laws leave walk out and take your money with you. I am a recovering catholic and can tell you there are other churches and religions you don’t have to put up with this.
    Here are a few questions to ask the good bishops:
    Why is church getting involved with United States immigration policy?
    Why just the United States immigration? Why not Canada Australia or Mexico?
    How many foreign nationals are granted Mexican citizenship each year?
    Does Mexico even have a pathway to citizenship?

    Looks to me like the Catholic Church has cut a deal on Obama care.

  33. PAUL4 years ago

    Ridicules , How does a church with tax exempt statis get away with breaking the law……..Where was there moral turpitude when the marriage act was ridiculed, or the normalization of homosexuality “Gay” . When are they going to defend the teaching of the bible, or the ten commandments, or the day of prayer,. Why are they so preoccupied with expanding their evangelical agenda at the expense of there laity…..

  34. Peter Wagner4 years ago

    The day the Catholic Church starts paying for all the education, welfare, and medical costs for illegal aliens and their American born children, they can say something. Until then, shut up and go back to your non-biblical religion.

  35. Nathan Redshield4 years ago

    Ahem, Catholic Bishops. You actually DON’t recognize the US government or the British government as legitimate; there is a strict Papal bull still in force “Regnans in Excelsis” of Pope St. Pius V (a canonized Pope no less) issued in 1570 as a matter of “Catholic Faith and morals” that says Catholics may not recognize a non-Catholic ruler of England and its successor states such as the US and orders Catholics to overthrow non-Catholic rulers and replace them with Catholic rulers like Philip II of Spain of Inquisition fame.
    But we won’t argue about the Wars of Religion or whether Catholicism is the religion of Jesus Christ or just a Virgin Mary cult; not fashionable to talk about Truth now so we won’t fight the Protestant vs. Catholic issue right here.
    Some very good points have been made regarding obediance to the law (you’re here illegally you’ve broken the law (moral turpitude the lawyers say)) and the fact that the Bishops don’t believe in obeying it. Note we’re supposed to pass Immigration “Reform” rushed through without reading the Act. Like Obamacare there may be a lot of “strange stuff” therein.
    Instead, I question how Pew has worded this poll; I suspect they’ve “stacked the deck” to get desired results. Illegals are NOT undocumented; the true undocumented are something different: here legally but with insufficient documents. My grandmother was in that boat–no birth papers, only her mother’s word–and had to be prepared to prove she really was a citizen; fortunately she married a native-born American 4 years before the passage of the Cable Act so she became a citizen automatically upon marriage and that settled that.
    So stop calling the Illegals “Undocumented”. They’re Illegals.
    Also, a further subdivision of the data should prove interesting–and I doubt Pew has done it. What about 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation US Hispanics? I understand the 4th generation Hispanics want to meet the illegals at the borders with shotguns. (By the way are Portuguese speakers considered Hispanics? My census taker said no) The questions should have differentiated things better.
    In sum, I’m suspicious of any polls now. Even Rasmussen is stacked occasionally.

    1. Joeym4 years ago

      Thank you Nathan Redshield for your knowledgeable reply. Facts and footnotes make it quite easy to connect the dots to all of this , especially the USCCB facade, by reading the book “Tumultous Times” by Radecki,which I just finished reading, who shows the stacking of the deck in the part of book that covers Vatican II way back in the 1960s, this information should be read by all Catholics who seek Truth.

  36. JBRoux4 years ago

    My rant:
    The average taxpaying family has 2 children, we have been paying increasing amounts to support the non tax paying families that have indefinite children. After this is accomplished, we struggling, working families have limited finances already, then we take our children to the Catholic schools for a good education. They charge us 5000 or more a year for elementary and 7000 or more for high school education. (basic charges not including books, uniforms, and fees). With all of this we pray we can raise our family and get our children through college.
    So 2 is the maximum most of us can have, no support from Gov. no support from the Catholic church, just us. So we can’t afford to have large families anymore. The immigrants offer large devout, Catholic families but I can no more see them afford a Catholic education for all of their children than I can see any of our friends doing it. So I can’t see how this works for them, unless they believe the Gov. is going to pay them with vouchers for all of these dependent children, or maybe I do see.

  37. Tim Schroll4 years ago

    When your primary objective is to put people in the pews and disregard the law to do so, you lose your moral authority to speak on right and wrong. If the Catholic Church in the U.S. wants to be politically active, it should lose its tax exempt status.

    1. Leslie4 years ago

      Amen to that…and I’m not too happy to encourage any power moves by the I.R.S. right now, either.

  38. bob4 years ago

    We need to start HEAVILY taxing the church

    1. You said that?4 years ago

      We need to start heavily taxing YOU. If you don’t agree with a particular religion, ignore it. For the record, I do not agree with this immigration policy, but people have a right to associate with each other in private for whatever reason they wish. You don’t have the right to punish them by confiscating their contributions simply because you disagree with their opinions.

  39. Randy Phillips4 years ago

    First of all, the United States Constitution separates our government from religion. The founders were devout, but they knew that when Government and Religion become entertwined, both are affected badly. The founders also knew that a nation cannot be governed by the Golden Rule, as in the case of immigration–“We’re all God’s children and they have have right to be here”. Not if they invade the country illegally, they don’t. They are foreign invaders as if they had rifles and tanks–the reasons for coming make no difference.

    Immigration has ceased to be a way to protect America, our economy, culture, society, and political structure. Immigration has become a means for various groups to increase their presence and power in American society. Religious leaders see immigration as a way to get more people in pews and more religion–anti-abortion, Supreme Court Justices, for instance–in Government. Business sees a larger, cheaper work force. Minorities see increased political power. Liberals see more Democrats in Office.

    Those of us interested in saving our country and preventing the left from taking total control of the United States are appalled by this headlong rush–led partly by self serving prelates–to the destruction of America as we know it.

    The constitution is right–Keep religion out of Government. Our government is not “run by the Bible–to fight abortion (Ralph Reed) or serve as a universal church pantry (Jim Wallis and Sojourners). There is a rising “minority” in the country–20% in the last election, who vote against the candidates pushing “bible run government”. They are mostly young and white. Are you listening Paul Ryan and other immigration supporters?

    1. Ray4 years ago

      The constitution does not separate our government from religion. This was done by a “former” KKK member appointed to the Supreme Court by FDR. This justice, Hugo Black, hated Catholics. He made the statement, separation of church and state, in a ruling against the use of public school buses by children attending Catholic schools. Our founding fathers attend services regularly especially during the writing of the bill of rights. The first book authorizrd and funded for printing by congress was the bible. GW said in one of his addresses that morality is based in religion… and that for this great experiment to succeed we must have a moral society. Congress authorized GW to select a day during the year for all citizens to give thanks to God for our blessings – Thanksgiving Day.

  40. Chris4 years ago

    As a practicing Catholic, it is so disappointing for our Bishops to confuse social justice with divine justice. How silent they are on the evil of Socialism and Communism. How silent they are on the injustice and corruption in Mexico, which is why many of the illegals are here. Fortunately, I am not Catholic because of the bishops but because of the apostolic succession of the Church. This act of theirs only reminds me of when every England’s bishop signed King Henry’s oath except one…Saint Bishop Fisher who was executed as well as Saint Thomas More. History does repeat.

    1. Tim Miller4 years ago

      There are other religions and churches. You can leave and you certainly do not have to contribute financially to their misguided twisted political views. I am a recovering catholic you do not have to tolerate this.
      This whole thing smells like the good bishops have cut a deal on Obamacare. I maybe wrong after all they have signed on every piece of the liberal agenda so far.
      You might want to get with other members of your church and start asking the priests and bishops
      Why is the church getting involved in this?
      Why just United States immigration? Why not Mexico Canada Australia or any other country?
      How many foreigners does Mexico grant citizenship to every year?
      Do they even have a pathway to citizenship?

  41. DeWitt Eaton4 years ago

    These gutless priests should go down to Mexico, Guatamala, and every other third world pit, and confront these governments on why they don’t take care of their own people! Instead, they want the U.S. to become the worlds dumping ground! The rise of Liberalism in this country is largely due to the Catholic Church. The Church doesn’t care about America. They just want to replenish they’re dwindling ranks. They couldn’t care less what this does to the Country. The so-called “Social Gospel” is nothing more than code for Communism. It has no basis in scripture and is right out of the pit!

  42. edwardo4 years ago

    Yeah! the Catholics want to burden the world with millions of souls in Latin America by not practicing birth control, now they want to help the progressives destroy the soul of the USA with unbridled immigration, legal and illegal, and they have sided with Russia!!!! Boy, this religion has become a communist puppet.

  43. Alecto4 years ago

    This is misleading as it makes no distinction between legal and illegal immigration. Americans are solidly against illegal immigration, not legal immigration. The U.S. has the most generous immigration policy in the world. We take more immigrants that all other countries combined. At a time when our own are suffering and unemployed, perhaps the Catholic Church, which is the undeserving beneficiary of billions in donated funds from Americans which it squandered on pedophiles, should remember where its bread gets buttered?

    Also not mentioned here is that while the Catholic Church receives billions in taxpayer dollars through grants, and federal contracts for social services, it continues to wage a tax-exempted war against Americans? Perhaps its time to change that? Pick one or the other, but you cannot have both.

  44. malcom4 years ago

    The Catholic religion is supporting illegals only because they want to keep money flowing to the pope in Rome. Evey nation on earth be damned.

  45. texasgoat4 years ago

    Been watching the Tudor series on NETFLIC, HenryVIII was right with pushing the wealthy princes of the Catholic church out of England.

  46. Henry4 years ago

    It’s funny how our immigration laws work fine for Canada, Romania, Chechsolvakia and the Phillipines, and not so fine for Mexico, Liberals, and illegal democrats. Also why is this more important than fixing the economy and jobs. If these groups would just focus on the 10 Commandments they would come to see that it’s wrong to Steal and Covet and a few other things. What are these U.S. Bishops teaching?

  47. Denis Renaud4 years ago

    Unfortunately, Hispanics vote overwhelmingly Democratic. The Democratic party stongly opposes the Catholic Church on abortion, gay marriage, the right of conscience, etc. It is a short sighted which will lead to persecution of Christians in the USA in the near future. It is based on a strange interpretation of the idea of social justice…as if maintaining a sovereign nation was somehow opposed to social justice.

    1. Denis Renaud4 years ago

      short-sighted position which will lead to…

  48. Kees Roma4 years ago

    I am so sorry to speak against the Church…but I came to the conclusion, a long time ago, that the Church had chosen to support the Hispanic population of Mexico and nations south, over the People of the United States. And yes, I feel there is a significant racial component to that choice…which has just been admitted. In itself, that is reprehensible and abhorrent.

    It needs to be said that, in many ways, the Church bears a great deal of the responsibility for the impoverishing of American Society and the American People, due to its unbridled support for illegal immigration. Millions of jobs have been lost…to Americans in construction, as farm workers (remember, Cesar Chavez’ own brother once manned the border to prevent illegal incursions in an attempt to maintain the gains made for Mexican-American farm workers by the UFW), etc…because of the Church’s position.

    When the Church preaches “social justice,” it means social justice only for the illegal immigrant Hispanic population. There is no social justice for the American People. To the Church, there is no wrong, no disgrace, in plundering the American People of their heritage, of the fruits of their labor, of their nation, in order to redistribute that wealth to an invading swarm. To the Church, it’s okay if the American family falls apart…if fathers cannot find decent employment, if children become targets of foreign propaganda and hostility in their own schools, if Americans, who created the best health care system in the world, cannot obtain decent health care because of rising costs due to so many medical systems being stressed to the limit to provide for illegals. To the Church, it matters not if the American Public are taxed to their limit, to the point of their own children having to do without, to provide welfare and social “safety net” benefits to millions who have not earned them.

    And the Church doesn’t give one whit that illegals by the millions mock and ridicule the very people they plunder…by their actions and their words…

    The Church still sees governments as ruling the people, not representing them. It never, to my understanding, accepted the formation of the United States as legitimate, as she was born in war and rebellion. To the Church, it is still Rex Lex, not Lex Rex. And the Church, I believe, has always hated America for her success.

    I have not attended Mass in almost 2 years. While there are other contributing factors, the Church’s bias toward Hispanic invaders, caring nothing for the future of America or the American People, has been the single largest factor that has affected my choice.

    The Church was supposed to bring all of us closer to Christ; it was not supposed to destroy our country.

    Perhaps the Eastern Orthodox have a different position…

    1. Moreno4 years ago


    2. kerux4 years ago

      There is hope:

      “The Lord has sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.” Isaiah 62:8-9 KJV

    3. Bifo4 years ago

      Most undocumented immigrants are not pacticing Catholic. If they were they would not come here by breaking our laws.

  49. Gunny G4 years ago

    It is not demographics, it is GREED! The more Hispanic Catholics who flood the nation, the more in church, the more money in the collection box, the richer the Vactican gets. Nothing more, nothing less. The Catholic Church has been pushing illegal immigration in this nation for decades from the LA Diocese.

    1. Joeym4 years ago

      re: Gunny, you are correct in one sense, but it goes deeper than that, get the book on “Bella Dodd” and read up on her exposing verified information to those at the Congressional hearings she testified at. An amazing book, few even know about.A real eye opener.

  50. Mike4 years ago

    Think it is time they start paying taxes

  51. Jeffrey Shultz4 years ago

    Church before State. I suppose to this crowd Latin America is still America.

    Not to me.

  52. Bob Connors4 years ago

    You might want to check the accuracy of your comment that the Senate passed bill is “stuck in the House.” It is my understanding that the Senate bill was never sent to the House. If that is correct the House can not take it up. Why do you think Mr. Reid is not sending the bill over to the House?

  53. sashamanda4 years ago

    Love these polls, which are all but meaningless in the current debate. The wording of the Senate bill, which the bishops support, allows for 46 million immigrants to become citizens. Presumably, if we all just gave up our Starbucks, we could pay for massive increases in entitlements and public services needed.

  54. Jerome4 years ago

    Anyone who fails to acknowledge that the Catholic church’s Hispanic-illegal-alien activism is driven by self interest is not being honest. That segment of the population has representated the U.S. church’s only growth for the past 30 years.

    Ask the millions of former Catholic Americans…we know.

  55. Delmar Jackson4 years ago

    Sessions: No Scriptural Basis For Idea That U.S. Can’t Enforce Its Immigration Laws

  56. Tony Marini4 years ago

    The very same Catholic Churchnthat remains stone cold quiet regarding the almost daily breach of the 10th Commandment by Obama and Democrats. The class warfare and soak the rich meme of the liberals and the majority of Dem politicians is covetousness on steroids. And let’s not forget the “progressive” income tax that has enabled sin — in the formes of covetousness, greed, envy and sloth to become a part fmthe fabric of American government. Yet all we hear is the deafening, self-serving silence from Catholic bishops.

    Now they take up the aegis of immigration “reform” an take the side of the illegal hordes who have invaded the US, breaking our immigration laws in the process, under the guise of social justice. These bishops have this backwards…true social justice would be that obtained by legal American citizens in ridding themselves of the sharp-elbowed foreing invaders who are here only for the profit and government benefits. They are not Americans, nor do they ever want to be American. They proclaim the goodness of “their country” yet we all knownthat theybreally mean Mexico and not the USA.

    Thenbishopsmneed to stick to saving souls and decrying sin in all its forms. When I hear a hue and cry regarding the ubiquitous, pervasive covetousness that has gripped our nation…I might consider their entreaties regarding illegal immigration “reform.” Until then, the only action I’d like to see taken is a ramp up of deportations, in an effort to stimulate “self deportation.” We are overloaded with criminals and criminal activity. We certainly don’t need to import any more.

    1. Cicof Hipocrites4 years ago

      You are so very right!
      Fully agree. Well said.

    2. Citizen_III4 years ago

      Great job!

  57. C King4 years ago

    I thought churches were prohibited from political speech during the service. Better watch it boys or the boogie man will take away your meal ticket.

    1. Leslie4 years ago

      As a Catholic, I’m disgusted to hear that “Catholic leaders” are going to speak from the pulpit regarding politics. I will be walking out of Mass, if it happens here. I’m all for discussing the principles of justice and mercy at Church. I think being told to back any agenda politically is wrong. I don’t care which party is going to benefit.

      1. helping monte4 years ago

        Instead of “justice and mercy” which is really just your political views disguised as something else, how about what Christianity is all about? You know that thing about Jesus dying on the cross to wash away the sins of those who accept his gift of salvation? If your Church isn’t primarily about preaching and teaching Jesus and the cross, it is not a Christian church.

    2. Tim Miller4 years ago

      This thing smells like the bishops have cut a deal on Obamacare

    3. helping monte4 years ago

      No, this is not true. They can’t back candidates but they can talk about political issues. Quit spreading foolishness.

  58. Stoney4 years ago

    It should be “bureaucrat” not “beuracrat”.

  59. john4 years ago

    Justice? How about all the children that have been abused by the Catholic Church.

    1. esteban4 years ago

      i knew some idiot would have to bring up the homosexual pedophiles in the catholic church (and in all society) by the way. Theres way more sexual abuse going on in the public schools than will ever be in the church. Do you rant on that topic every chance you get? probably not, because you have some silly axe to grind by something (probably christ) that makes you say this. When the church condones pedophilia in it catecism then you can rant, otherwise you are focusing in on one area of homopediphilia only. please try to be honest that its a problem everywhere and in every institution, thanks

  60. James4 years ago

    This is the same Catholic Church that pulled out all the stops to get universal healthcare… Now they are forced to pay for abortions against their oh so delicate catholic conscience. Catholics keep giving communion to pro abortionists… Go figure.

  61. Stoney4 years ago

    Lets take a look at what the Catholic Church actually teaches in the Catechism about immigration, not what some liberal beuracrats down at the USCCB claim it teaches, in order to fit their political agenda.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

    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. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

    Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, TO OBEY ITS LAWS and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

    Breaking illegally into the USA is a federal crime (8 U.S.C. § 1325), punishable from 6 months up to 2 years in prison. Where exactly are illegal aliens obeying the immigration laws of the USA? They are not, and therefore are disqualified for citizenship. Catholic bishops such as Dolan and Gomez who are promoting back door amnesty are scandalizing faithful Catholics over this issue. Please stop it now, its disgraceful.

    1. Thomas R4 years ago

      Taken together this could be read as supporting nations having immigration laws, but that ideally those laws should “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.”

      So I’d think a Catholic leader should take it as not meaning “open borders” but can argue for reform or allowing in more legally.

    2. Alecto4 years ago

      Why doesn’t the Catholic Church, the largest landowner in the world, take more immigrants and settle them on its own land?

    3. Monte4 years ago

      God and Jesus Christ never turned their back on people; they preach help the poor or less the fortunate or those who who need help to adjust to a new country and a new way of life

      1. helping monte4 years ago

        This isn’t true. When Jesus went to his homeland, he left without performing many miracles because of how he was treated. God killed or ordered the killing of all sorts of people in the Old Testament. God turned his back on the Israelites (his chosen people) many times. Have you ever read the Bible? Jesus talked about the grave punishment for those who didn’t heed his words and was constantly calling the religious authorities things like hypocrites and den of vipers. Does that seem like acceptance to you. I think you are viewing the Bible as primarily about this world and that is an incorrect view. Let me guess, you don’t believe in hell either?

    4. bob4 years ago

      why won’t vatican city take in any foreigners? they don’t even have birthright citizenship but “require” it of everyone else. The church is worth TRILLIONS, they could sell off their assets and give the money away to the “poor” — unless of course they are socialist hypocrites.

  62. Mark Gray4 years ago

    The Catholic Church, a global institution (only 6% of Catholics reside in the U.S.), supports justice for immigrants everywhere. This has been and continues to be an important part of the Church’s social justice mission around the world (“The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,” available on the Vatican website, is a good guide to this). It is inaccurate to strongly highlight “demographics” as being the motivation of the Church’s support. For example, the Church similarly supports justice for immigrants in Europe and many there are not Catholic. See:

    In Italy, protecting immigrants crosses the faith line (LA Times)…
    “In Europe, as in the United States, the Roman Catholic Church has assumed a leading role as a protector of, and advocate for, immigrants. But whereas the largest bloc of migrants to the United States are Catholic, the majority of European immigrants are Muslim.”

    Pew research is typically flawless. Framing this piece around one unsourced statement from a New York Times story is unfortunate. The data are important, the tone set by the headline is misleading.

    Mark Gray
    Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate
    Georgetown University

    1. not a catholic4 years ago

      Where can I find the catholic church’s policy on obeying laws? Like tax laws, immigration laws, laws regarding driving, laws regarding employment, laws regarding false identification and identity theft, etc, etc. They seem very hypocritical to me.

      1. Lib Grimmett4 years ago

        I am a Catholic & no where in our Church catechism or doctrine does it say that people can break the law for any reason! The Bishops in America have twisted the doctrine to suit themselves!
        Catholic catechism:
        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. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

        Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

        Do you see anything about it being ok to be illegal in the country & break the law! I don’t! Case closed. Bishops lie!

    2. Robert4 years ago

      Thanks for letting President Obama speak at Georgetown and covering up the Christian symbols. Classy!

    3. Gunny G4 years ago

      So glad I left the corrupt Catholic Church. Nothing has changed since their MIddle Ages corruption efforts.

      1. Tim Miller4 years ago

        Me too. This smells like the bishops have cut a deal on obamacare

    4. True Catholic4 years ago

      Sorry, Mark, but you’re making a grave definitional mistake. People who have come here illegally aren’t “immigrants” but, rather, illegal aliens or “illegal migrants.”

      The bishops in question are simply wrong and are hurting America and our Church with their un-Christian stance on this issue.

    5. Randy Phillips4 years ago

      “Social Justice” Does not appear in the United States Constitution. Separation of Church and States does. We are governed by the Constitution, not a bunch of self-serving prelates, and not by “the Bible”. The US is not a theocracy.

      1. Garry4 years ago

        I am on your side of the argument but separation of church and state is nowhere in the Constitution either. Some self-serving prelates in robes decided that.

        1. Garry4 years ago

          Prelates….lawyers same category to me.

    6. Tim Miller4 years ago

      What is the church doing about Mexican immigration policy? They have no pathway citizenship.
      What is there position on Canada or Australia any other country?
      What about Vatican City? Bet if we took up a collection we could get them a boat load — by some estimates we have 11 million or more of these blessings and the American people are the most generous in the world and are more than willing to share

    7. Michael Lipka4 years ago

      Mark: Thanks for your comment, and for your kind words about the Pew Research Center. We appreciate what you had to say, and we’ve changed the headline to better reflect the main point of the post.

      Michael Lipka and Jessica Martinez

  63. Marvin Wagner4 years ago

    Please explain the Catholic Church’s position on social justice relating to undocumented and illegal immigrants. Is it sinful to abandon their birth country to live off publicly provided needs in another? To displace working citizens from their jobs? To willfully disobey civil laws? By their numbers alone, force wages far below needs?

    Please define Catholic social justice, not as practiced; as defined by the bible and catechism.

    1. Robert4 years ago


    2. sashamanda4 years ago

      Good job, Marvin. I would just add that the Mainline Protestant Churches are pro-open border as well.

      1. Texasborntexasbred4 years ago

        Not the Southern Baptist to my knowledge…

    3. Thomas R4 years ago

      Although I’m conservative in many ways I’d say, as a Catholic, Catholic social teaching would tend to indicate there is a duty to help others. The Bible says a good deal about helping the least of us and I believe not mistreating “the alien” among us. That we all need each other too. Absolute self-reliance does not, now that I’m getting more into my faith the last few years, seem to normally be a goal in Catholicism or the Bible. (“The Lord helps those who help themselves”, for example, is Ben Franklin and not the Bible) Although it occurs on occasion with religious hermits.

      That doesn’t mean I think Catholic teaching automatically means “no rules on immigration, open-borders” but mostly Catholic social teaching that would support rules on immigration would say you can’t and mustn’t place the lives or jobs of Americans over other peoples because you can’t place God or neighbor within national borders. Catholicism and Jesus do not belong to America and are not limited to America. (This is something many American Catholics, both Right and Left, have difficulty accepting or just kind-of ignore outright. Left-wing American Catholics being annoyed or disinterested in what the majority of the world’s Catholics and Catholic teaching think about women priests or homosexuality. While Right-wing American Catholics are annoyed or disinterested in what the world’s Catholics and Catholic teaching says about poverty or worker’s rights. To me it’s quite sensible and admirable that the faith would not belong to any one nation) However you can be concerned about the common-good for both the US and Mexico. Or believe that maybe more Mexicans should stay there to build a better Mexico.

      1. Randy Phillips4 years ago

        The Christian duty to help others is on a personal level–not a government level. Our Constitution separates Church and State. We are not a theocracy run by prelates and the bible.

      2. Tim Miller4 years ago

        Why is the Catholic Church only interested in American immigration policy?
        Why not Canada Australia or Mexico
        How many foreign citizens does Mexico grant citizenship to every year?
        Does Mexico have a pathway to citizenship?
        What is the Vatican immigration policy?