Letter on Immigration Reform and Abortion Expansion

I am sending the following letter to all of our parishes today, asking that it be shared with parishioners this weekend.  It concerns two important issues: immigration reform, and abortion. Might I also ask your help and your prayers on these two key pieces of legislation in Washington and Albany?

June 6, 2013

My dear friends in Christ,

Can I ask your help and your prayers on two important issues.

Both concerns flow from our solid belief in the dignity of the human person and the promotion of a culture of life.

The first is about the reform of our nation’s immigration laws.  As Catholics, we gratefully acknowledge that our parents and grandparents came here as immigrants, and were welcomed by this country we love.  As Americans, we believe the United States is at her best when she remains true to her heritage of hospitality.  All recognize that our current immigration laws are unfair and do not work.  The current bill before congress, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act,” while not perfect, is sure promising, and, we bishops believe, deserves support, as it is consonant with our cherished beliefs as Christians and citizens.

The second is the “Woman’s Equality Act.”  Of the ten proposals in this act, we’re supportive of nine.  Not bad.  Sadly, the tenth is, literally, “a killer,” as it increases access to abortion.  In a state where 40% of babies are aborted – - and, in some areas, 60% of babies of Latino or African American blood – - we hardly need to further the abortion license.  Can’t we work together to help pregnant women in trouble with more lifegiving alternatives?  Would you support our courageous civic leaders in Albany who share our concern about this sad and unnecessary measure?   (www.nyscatholic.org).

Thanks for your prayers and support. I’ll keep you posted.

Faithfully in Christ,

Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York

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6 Responses to “Letter on Immigration Reform and Abortion Expansion”

  1. Irene says:

    Womens Equality Act: Could you reframe your advocacy so as to oppose only the abortion expansion provisions and not oppose the whole bill? With that change, I could sign on. Like you, I too support the other nine provisions and would like to see them passed.

    Immigration Reform: The NY Catholic Conference websaite you linked to didn’t have any information on the homepage about the pending legislation and I couldn’t find the sign on letter. Maybe the sign on is somewhere else on the site, but I couldn’t find it. I think I can support your position, but would like to see the actual letter first .

  2. Eddie D says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    Although I respect your opinion, I cannot agree with you on the immigration bill until we have border security first and foremost. Once that is achieved, then we should look to work with our illegal population to have them achieve legal status. Remember what they have done was criminal, breaking the laws of our country.

    Secondly, to take the politics out of any form of amnesty, they should not be entitled to citizenship for at least 12 years, meaning, they cannot vote. Also they cannot receive federal or state benefits for a period of time.

    Thank you for your time, and may God continue to bless you in your work.

  3. Michael R Kainja says:

    Dear man of God,
    I just wanted to congratulate and encourage you for your good job. This is time for us (believers) to shine. May glory and piece from the Almighty Father drop on people like You always, Amen!

  4. Thanks for this post & your care for the ones God loves.
    I’m working with Jonathan Merritt, a columnist for Religion News Service, getting over 100,000 hits a month. Jonathan would welcome the opportunity to interview you. Thank you for contact MargotStarbuck (at) gmail (dot) com if you’d be available for a brief interview by email.
    Thank you for your time, Margot Starbuck

  5. Colleen Boland Toder says:

    Your Eminence: I am horrified that you have conflated immigration reform, which is a matter of politics and policy, and the Abortion Expansion proposed by the governor.

    Immigration policy is not a matter of faith and morals but a policy issue, and moral, pious people can disagree over policy. I think the immigration “reform” is terrible law and does not deserve our support, but more importantly I think the bishops have no business telling us to support legislation based on policy.

    The abortion issue in New York is completely different — this is a non-negotiable matter of life and death.

    You were wrong to conflate immigration reform and the dangerous abortion law in New York, and you diluted the issue by doing so.

    And I disagree completely with you that nine out of ten parts of the governor’s bill are worth supporting. I believe the entire bill is terrible — but that is policy! As our cardinal archbishop, you should not be telling us which policies to support, but you should be speaking out against the expansion of abortion.

    The Archdiocese rolled over for the power of New York State when they stole Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, which was based completely on the state’s desire to shut down Catholic health care. Why didn’t you fight that? Why are these important issues being diluted with immigration reform?

    I am deeply disappointed, but you remain in my prayers.

    Yours truly,
    Colleen Boland Toder

  6. William D. Walker says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    I believe that you are confusing the issues of immigration and illegal immigration.

    I agree that we as Americans should foster the proud tradition of being a nation of immigrants. Two of my Grandparents were legal immigrants to our shores. One Grandfather, from Germany, fought in WWI as a Lieutenant in the US Army. Both of my Grandfathers were proud members of the NYPD. They were proud to serve the nation that opened her arms to them.

    Therefore, to allow those who have entered our country illegally to benefit from breaking the law is unforgivable. People the world over have waited patiently to enter our country legally. Why should they be penalized for following the rules of our nation? These are the people that we should concern ourselves with helping, those that recognize the laws of our nation and abide by them before ever having entering the country.

    In addition, to use the pulpit for a reading of the letter that you sent out is unfair as it does not allow public discourse to follow. There are children sitting in the church that will agree with your sentiments thinking that it is the catholic thing to do. I hope that their parents will discuss the issue with them and point out the error of the argument, which is that we are not discussing immigration, but rather illegal immigration, of which I wholeheartedly disagree with you.

    I will be the first person to stand in line and welcome any legal immigrant to our shores but I will never agree that allowances should be made for people who have entered our country illegally.

    I also agree with a previous writer that to link the Abortion issue and the illegal immigration issue is disingenuous at best. I will always support the issue of pro life, as I believe that abortion is an affront to my catholic upbringing and our society as a whole. How we as a society can condone the killing of the unborn child is beyond my comprehension. In this matter, I will stand along side of you to protest any legislation that furthers the call of those that promote abortion in our nation.

    Although I do not agree with you on the immigration issue, I do believe that you have been doing a great service as Cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York.

    May God Bless,

    Bill Walker