For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Matthew 25 35-36
Yesterday during the Rush Limbaugh show a caller produced a startling claim.
ANN: Great. Well, we have some interesting news. My husband Eddie is on the phone with us. We live in Southern California, and we’re Catholic, active Catholics in our community, and there was a town hall meeting last evening, emergency meeting called by our local parish priest, ordered by our bishop (unintelligible) and the Archdiocese of San Bernardino. They have made the decision that they’re going to absorb the immigrants that are coming through because the federal government called the bishop’s office on Monday and they’re gonna be busing these immigrants to our communities and asking us to open our homes and to house them for up to a month. The church will reimburse us for any out-of-pocket expenses and we were told not to talk to anybody about it, especially the media.
Now there are several things that are key, first the politics of this is pretty plain as Rush notes ,
Rush Limbaugh: Everybody now is focused on, “Okay, what do we do with these people?” Look, I understand you just can’t ignore them and leave them to the wolves. Don’t misunderstand. But I don’t get the acceptance. I don’t get the idea that there’s no end to this. I understand what Obama’s doing. He’s trying to get Hispanic numbers up; he’s trying to put pressure on Republicans to vote for amnesty before the November elections.
I understand all of that.
I understand the politics of it.
We’ve already talked about this. The purpose of this crisis is to help elect Democrats, this is what the administration cares about, not borders, not people. If the left thought for one moment that these kids would turn 18 and vote for Sarah Palin A ten foot border wall complete with moat and alligators would already be in place.
But what really interesting about this claim is the administration turning to the church.
This administration and their allies hate the Catholic Church. They hate our doctrines on Abortion, hate our doctrines on Contraception, hate our doctrines on Gay Marriage, they hate the Catholic schools which provide a better alternative to the public schools and they hate the idea that the church points to Christ over the state.
But they also know that the church being the church looks beyond the political sphere and they understand the reality that the duty of the church goes beyond simple nationalism or even national interest.
The duty to protect the borders belongs to the state, the duty to enforce the laws belong to the state, the duty to protect the welfare of Americans and use their funds wisely and honestly belong to the state.
BUT the duties and responsibilities of Christians are duties to individuals.
To love one’s neighbor is an individual duty.
To feed the poor is an individual duty.
To pray for each other, to love one’s enemy, to turn the other cheek, all of these are individual duties that Christians in general & Catholics in particular have been called upon to perform since the days of Christ.
No Diocese can, when called upon, not perform this duty in the same way that a doctor is obliged to take care of the sick without prejudice to who they are. The duty to do this is independent of any political consideration and that is just the way it is and the administration is very cunning to call upon the church to exercise this because the Church can’t say no and once he is done with us he will happily turn back to persecuting us as evil woman hating homophobic bigots.
That is what the Obama Administration is all about, using others for their own political gain.
Final thought: While Christian duty obliges us to do this, we are NOT obliged to keep silent about this in order to keep the people uninformed. If this is a duty of mercy and a righteous thing to do it should be done openly (not keeping a light under a bushel). If it is right it should be done proudly and openly and if there is pushback it is the duty of a priest or bishop to explain the duty of a Christian as I just did.
To do otherwise simply helps those who are trying to manipulate us and is frankly cowardly.
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