Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Welcoming Newcomers

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Today the Wall Street Journal published my editorial on the Catholic Church’s history of welcoming immigrants. I would like to share it with you. (*Subscription to this article may be required).

Here is an excerpt:

It’s a familiar sight at the Catholic Center, the archdiocesan headquarters on First Avenue in Manhattan where I work. Dozens of new arrivals to our country line up early in the morning, waiting for our office to open. They know that here they will get the help they need to become citizens, learn English and civics, reunite with their families, and navigate the complex legal immigration system. Our telephone counselors answer 25,000 calls from immigrants each year in 17 different languages.

It isn’t, however, confined to our office. We’ve all seen the men—almost 120,000 of them nationally on any given day—queuing up on the side of the road on hundreds of street corners throughout the U.S., hoping to be hired for the day. In places like Yonkers, N.Y., volunteers from Catholic Charities offer these day laborers coffee and sandwiches and even some employment advice.

The Catholic Church is doing the same things in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Houston, Newark and Miami. More than 150 Catholic immigration programs across the nation assist immigrants in becoming Americans. Helping the newcomer to our land feel at home is part of our mission, as Christ reminds us in Matthew 25 that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Historian Henry Steele Commager wrote that: “The Church was one of the most effective of all agencies for democracy and Americanization.”

You can read the whole editorial here.

Reflections on Election Day

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Let me share with you my most recent column in Catholic New York.  I wrote about election day.

Here is an excerpt:

One issue of deep concern to Catholics and many, many others is the defense of marriage from those who would presume to redefine it to suit contemporary movements (e.g., divorce on demand, “trial” marriage, or “same sex” marriage.) Up until this election day, 32 states had given their people the chance to “redefine marriage” (an oxymoron for us), and 32 said no! (Some states took a more sinister route, ignoring a referendum, and allowing the legislature to tamper with the definition.)

The news last election day was not as bright, as the dilution of the essence of marriage won in three states. So, it’s 32-3. But, there’s no denying that the “winds are changing.” I’m told that the results were close in those three states, and that the exit polls showed that people of faith voted not to redefine marriage.

The death penalty is another issue of concern to those who believe that the promotion of the dignity of the human person and the protection of human life is the normative guide in our voting. Here again the results were not positive. The electorate in California had the chance to reject this lethal and unjust penalty. The Church in California did its best to preach the “Gospel of Life,” but apparently was less than effective. The referendum lost.

Better news in Maryland, where the Church was true to our birthright of advocacy for the immigrant, and was part of a coalition very successful in pushing for the Dream Act, allowing immigrant children to attend college; and a ray of sunshine in Massachusetts, as Cardinal Sean O’Malley led a strong ecumenical and community based effort to defeat euthanasia.

You can read the whole column here.