Thursday, February 18, 2016

What Pope Francis Actually Said, and What The Catholic Church Teaches on Immigration

The news cycle today has been dominated by media-distorted reporting on what Pope Francis said concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump.  Here is what the Pope actually told reporters on the plane that  ignited the media firestorm.
Earlier today, CNN and other news outlets spent a half hour speculating on the charge that Pope Francis suggested that Donald Trump was not a Christian. This was all done before the networks aired actual audio or video of the pope's remarks. The pope was asked about Trump's accusation that this pope was very political. The pope spoke in Italian. Here is the English translation from ABC:

"Thank god he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as “animal politicus.” So at least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe. I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as to what you said about whether I would advise you to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian is he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give him the benefit of the doubt."
Here is what the Church actually teaches on the rights and responsibilities of immigrants and the host countries. My comments follow.: (italics mine)
CCC 2241:The more prosperous nations are obliged to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and means of livelihood which he cannot find in his own 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 he common good  for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to juridical conditions especially with regard to immigrants duties toward their country of adoption.
Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

In other words, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church itself, a nation has the right to set the terms under which a person may be received, and the person emigrating has the responsibility to respect and live by the ways of the host nation. It is a balance between rights and responsibilities of all parties.
That is to say, follow the path to immigration and citizenship that exist in the host country's laws. Come in legally. Do not slip across the border in the middle of the night , and then live and work underground. The immigrant undertakes to work legally and pay his/her fair share of taxes, and participate in the civic and social life of the nation. The immigrant shall make an effort to assimilate themsleves into the mainstreaam of that country's fabric. That means  NO LA RAZA or other such groups which seek to set up a parallel society within. An immigrant shall also undertake to learn the language of that country, and not demand that they be served in theirs. We invite them to offer us the good things about their culture and to share in ours. To give each other the gift of mutual enrichment.
We are a welcoming society and have always been, but until recently there was very little problem with illegal immigration, coupled with lack of desire to assimilate. The USA and Canada have been built on immigration, and will continue to be , but it must be done in an orderly fashion, and with people who will be grateful, and will immediately assimilate and contribute, or that welcome will be worn out. 


Anonymous said...

"Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."

The problem is: They don't "respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens." Especially Muslims.

Anonymous said...


Drew said...

Thank you Neal, well done.

Neal Ford said...

Anonymous, Many immigrants are very grateful, and respectful of the heritage of our country, and assimilate, while at the same time, enriching us with what they bring to our mosaic, much of which will become part of the Canadian identity.
That said, we are under no obligation to take in those who do not reciprocate the welcome we are prepared to give them, and then insist on imposing their ways on us.
It stands to reason that one is not coming here in good faith if they insist on bringing with them the very things they are ostensibly leaving behind as intolerable.