'When Did We See You a Stranger?' Cardinal Theodore McCarrick on Immigration

A Catholic leader says that supporting immigrants' rights is what God wants him to do.


03/15/2011 03:22:07 PM

The Parochial Schools of the diocese of Portland, Maine, which included the states of Maine and New Hampshire, began here in Manchester, N. H. during the 1850s. The site was St. Anne Church. The founders were Fr. William McDonald, pastor; Thomas Corcoran, teacher; and The Sisters of Mercy whose superior was Mother Frances Warde. The students were primarily Irish immigrants. Today, St. Anne Parish unified with St. Augustin Parish, serves the descendants of the Irish from St. Anne and the French Canadian from St. Augustin plus new immigrants including Hispanics, Vietnamese and Africans mostly from Sudan. However, the Parochial Schools, now called Regional Catholic Schools, can no longer give first place to immigrants: they are too expensive. Can anything be done for today’s immigrants? Here is my suggestion: A "preferential option for the poor" should be maintained in our Catholic Schools. If we find that we cannot afford to keep our schools open to the poor, the schools should be closed and the resources used for something else which can be kept open to the poor. We cannot allow our Church to become a church primarily for the middle-class and rich while throwing a bone to the poor. The priority should be given to the poor even if we have to let the middle-class and rich fend for themselves. Practically speaking, the Catholic Schools must close and the resources used for "Confraternity of Christian Doctrine" and other programs which can be kept open to the poor. Remember, the Church managed without Catholic Schools for centuries. We can get along without them today. The essential factor is to cultivate enough Faith to act in the Gospel Tradition, namely, THE POOR GET PRIORITY. The rich and middle-class are welcome too. But the poor come first. [ William Horan - Manchester, NH - w.horan@comcast.net ]


06/11/2006 10:37:06 PM

i think the catholic church is interested in more paying members, that is its real reason for wanting illegals. most are catholic. they will make money, while we the tax-payers will be so heavily taxed we won't be able to pay our taxes. it is estimated that for one year the cost to this country for social, welfare, medical and educational services with be 30 BILLION dollars. there are 128 million u.s. citizens in this country. so divide 128 million into 30 BILLION dollars. that dear friends will be the cost to each one of us. i know i can't afford it. the cost of the illegals each year if our borders are not secured will only increase as more come. their taxes will not pay 1/10th of the services they will consume for free! i would like to know where my social security for free is. i still have to wait 5 more years and i'm 61! where is my free college education, free food, free rent, free medical care. it is not free for you and me, we will be paying and paying.


05/24/2006 04:41:21 PM

It's really sad to see such a high church official be so dead wrong on an issue-- but it's not like it's the first time. Sure immigrants are "strangers," but so are 99.9% of the people out on the street! Why are we not called to help them rather than these immigrants who come here illegally, doing nothing to improve the lives of those in their home country, and trampling all over our rights by basically robbing our pocket books and stealing our jobs. I consider myself a good Catholic and I try to be compassionate to all, but sorry I am not at all in a position to pay for some illegals' education and health care-- I have enough trouble paying bills for my own family.


04/22/2006 12:49:29 PM

NWgr14God--how about just seriously enforcing the laws against employers hiring illegals. There would be no illegals working in the US if they were not hired by employers. Peace KP


04/20/2006 02:46:48 PM

I believe that illegals should be treated as such no matter what border the arrive from. We should do more to see that USA companies go to Mexico as our border country rather than to China. I believe that companies investing in Mexico would help solve alot of problems.


04/20/2006 12:45:21 AM

I was raised as a Catholic, but am not a practicing Catholic now. HOwever, one of the wonderful things that I truly respect about Catholicism is the emphasis on service to the poor and disenfranchised. HOwever, the immigration problem makes me uncomfortable because it impacts all of us. For example, illegal immigration would not exist if the employers did not hire them. There would be people in those jobs that the illegal immigrants take if the jobs paid a living wage--it takes 2 to 3 minimum wage jobs in my community to rent an apartment. Then there is the issue of Mexico being corrupt and people being economically desperate to the point that if we don't let in a certain number the country could end up in a class-based revolution that could end up crossing U.S. borders and impact our security.


04/17/2006 12:01:07 PM

It is interesting that this issue suddenly became hot right before the legislative elections. This immigration has been going on for years, and the current influx has been caused by the "free" trade policies which have hurt workers in many countries including ours. Things that make you say "Hmmmm?"


04/15/2006 01:48:57 PM

Don't forget that illegal aliens cross the border and they leave their families; and not only their parents, but wife and kids. So this destroys that familys. I strongly hope that the economies in this Latin American countries can develop so they can stay at their homeland. The problem is that many industries go to China and there is no investment left in Latin A. So we should see investing in this countries south the boarder as the solution. Much better to export goods, than people. Finally, how do we see Mexico? As a "back-yard wasteland" or as a country we can go to to have fun and buy goods? If we see it as a problem, then we have a 2 million sq. kilometers problem. But if we see it a brother (mostly Catholic), then we have a second land of oportunity where to invest and travel.


04/15/2006 11:16:40 AM

Rev, I've worked with this problem before. Years back, they pay payroll taxes, too. Read this, it is not too long. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050405/news_1n5socsec.html There are many myths to dispel.


04/15/2006 11:09:17 AM

Saying "illegal" immigrants do not pay taxes is a bit misleading. The immagrants spend the money they have and like all of us, must pay taxes on the products they buy. I am sure they would also pay the payroll taxes if they did not have to fear being deported. However, to pay these taxes would identify them and being shipped away would be their future. For me it is a selfish proposition the build one of the greatest countries in the world and then try to keep the borders closed. Our country was founded by immigrants and immigrants have given our country much...including their lives. Our economy would go into turmoil if we got rid of those who work for low wages doing what others will not. Prices would jump to high levels and of course the poor would have to suffer the most. We should be proud we have a country where so many want to come here, like all of our ancestors. Immigration is what has made our country great and some our greatest advancements have come from those born somewhere else. Rev


04/15/2006 07:23:56 AM

We've got to much going on at home to be abroad, we should be more in the business of education then policing.


04/14/2006 10:51:24 PM

It is not "illegal" to support human rights or give a face and voice to it. The world and society should be grown up enough and civilized enough to see a) the history involved here; and b) the humanity and sociology involved here. These issues are far from new. This is shaping up like an instant replay of Germany and its "problems" with "Jews," "Gypsies" and "socialists;" who no doubt cited the same philosophies and concerns of "security," "ethnocentricity" and "nationalism." When will we ever learn?


04/14/2006 05:52:33 PM

For decades our governments at all levels have been grossly negligent by not enforcing the law and by not changing the law to fit the present day. The result is tacit approval to committing illegal acts. Parents who do not enforce the rules of the household likewise give tacit approval to violating rules. The result is the same, disrespect and contempt for those whose duty it was to enforce the rules. Those who have been allowed to violate the law for understandably see any attempts to enforce the law as violations of their "rights." Our negligence for decades has produced this mess which even polarizes citizens as well as immigrants who came here legally. There is no easy solution, but anything that rewards or promotes illegal activity will only make matters worse. Where is that oracle when we need him or her?


04/14/2006 02:52:28 PM

The poll conveniently left out one option: Catch and Deport. A country that cannot control it's borders and cannot choose who are it's "member" citizens is not truly a country. It is only a corporate owned collection of consumers with a fancy name. One definition of a country is a cohesive unit with enforceable borders, laws, and a shared ethic. Currently, we have none of these things as they pertain to ILLEGALS.


04/14/2006 11:43:03 AM

The Curh doesnt pay taxes because its a church. New immigrants should pay taxes just like everyone else. Of course. And they should also enjoy the benefits of living in this country (those few that there are)


04/14/2006 11:18:32 AM

Interesting that Cardinal McCarrick thinks that immigrants should pay taxes when one of the biggist land owners in the US, the Catholic Church does not.


04/13/2006 11:03:02 PM

Calling them criminals for laboring, I find that odd. What "malice" exists in working for a day's wage?


04/13/2006 10:53:42 PM

IMO referring to them as "illegal," is just a way to feel that their disdain for them is bona fide, justified. Otherwise, what legitimate reason would exist for that disdain? Directing anger at people for working?

Marc Mullinax

04/13/2006 10:44:39 PM

How can anyone be "illegal"? We can commit illegal acts, and the definition of lots of illegal acts change with the times. But who is ontologically illegal? I submit that anyone with the "imago Dei" is automatically "legal," no matter where they are.