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Cordileone Calls on Catholics to Support Immigration Reform

| August 23, 2013
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Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone speaking on immigration reform in May 2013. (Steve Rhodes / Flickr)

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone speaks on immigration reform in May 2013. (Steve Rhodes / Flickr)

by Isabel Angell

Talking to a group of clergymen from the San Francisco Archdiocese, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said yesterday that immigration reform should be a top priority for Catholics in the United States. That puts Cordileone right in line with bishops across America, who are calling on their parishioners to pressure lawmakers for comprehensive immigration reform.

Archbishop Cordileone told the group that the Catholic Church is bound to help all strangers, including undocumented immigrants.

“Far too many people have been living in the country for far too long without the opportunity to regularize their status,” he said. “And it’s not helping anyone by keeping them in the shadows.”

Cordileone called the church a “church of immigrants,” saying most Catholics in the U.S. have immigrant roots. That includes Cordileone, whose grandparents came to the United States from Italy.

“So this is something still very much in our living memory,” he explained.

The archbishop said Catholics have been traditionally welcomed into this country, and now it’s their turn to welcome new immigrants.

“So it’s important to us personally, it’s important to us on the basis of principle, it’s important to us because many of our own people still are immigrants to this country.”

The archbishop said Catholics must act quickly to ensure legislation passes before the election cycle starts up again, when immigration reform is notoriously difficult to enact. On September 8, priests across the country will speak to their parishioners about ways they can help, like urging Catholic members of the House to act on the bill.

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    The Bible Says Go Back to Mexico

    –Robert Klein Engler

    There are illegal immigrants in the United States from Ireland, Poland and Mexico. Nevertheless, the majority of illegal immigrants in the United States are Mexicans. That may be for the simple reason that you can walk across the border from Mexico and gain entry into the United States. You can’t do that from Ireland or Poland.

    Many illegal immigrants claim to be Roman Catholics. They understand that the Bible is not only the Word of God, but also a book of stories that offers us advice and guidance. Some of these stories can be applied to the problems of illegal immigration, today.

    There are two stories in the Bible whose outlines teach a moral lesson. These stories show us what illegal immigrants must do if they want to live according to the Word of God. These stories tell us that illegal immigrants must return to live in Mexico, Ireland and Poland.

    Consider what happened to the Jews when they left their homeland because of a famine and went into Egypt. The Old Testament tells us they became slaves in Egypt. They were forced to make bricks from mud and straw. Their slavery was so long that God had to lead them out of Egypt and back to the Holy Land.

    If the Catholic Bishops and Evangelicals wanted to truly preach the Word of God to Mexicans and others living illegally in the United States, they would use this story as an example of what must be done. Mexicans have a moral duty to return to Mexico and change their own country for the better. If Mexicans remain in the United States illegally they will become slaves.

    The New Testament has an even more significant story about the moral duty of illegal immigrants. We are told that an angel of the Lord visited Joseph one night in a dream. Joseph was directed to take Mary and the boy Jesus into Egypt so as to survive a coming persecution. He did as he was told, but years later the family returned to the Holy Land.

    Jesus knew that his destiny was with his own people. St. Paul sums up the entire story by reminding us that salvation comes from the Jews, not from the Egyptians. If the Catholic Bishops and Evangelicals believe in the Bible, they must preach returning home, not going astray.

    Mexicans in the United States illegally should not be fooled. Catholic Bishops who want comprehensive immigration reform, or Evangelicals who want a path to citizenship do not offer Biblical solutions to the problems illegal immigrants face.

    If you are illegal and stay in the United States, like the Jews in Egypt, you will become slaves. Already, many illegally Mexicans are slaves to US corporate interests. When they are freed from that slavery, they will become slaves to the Marxists.

    The Bible teaches that immigration reform means going back to Mexico, accepting your moral duty to do God’s will in your own nation. Anything else is selfishness and greed. The Bible has much to say against that, too.

    • Mara319

      I agree. There are those from other countries (for example, the Philippines) who have been waiting in line 10, 20 years trying to get here LEGALLY? It will be great injustice to them if the illegals are given priority over them.

  • Marge3

    At least one priest says the Bishops are wrong and that illegal immigration is “IMMORAL”: