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Immigration Policy Is None of the Hierarchy’s Business

by Christopher A. Ferrara
January 4, 2017

As the Pope and the Vatican apparatus continue insanely to demand that Italy and the rest of Europe be swamped by endless waves of shiftless, violence-prone military-age Muslim males (see video here), whom they insist on calling “refugees,” a beleaguered Italian priest speaks for all of his disgusted and alarmed fellow Italians when he pleads for protection from the “refugees.”

As reports, the priest, Father Francesco Inversini, wrote to the local police to plead for eviction of the “refugees” — none of them women and children — who were squatting in a building next to his parish church, because they are “illegal, no one controls them, they are free to do what they please.” The parish administrator, who would only give his first name for fear that the “refugees” would retaliate with violence, further warned: “They scare children and they chase people after they go to church to ask for money. We can’t live like that. The peace in the neighbourhood is gone, we are under siege. They come and go, they have no documents, they bother people and they smash car windows. We can’t wait for them to come and lynch us without letting authorities know what’s going on.”

This, of course, is but a small example of a vast pan-European problem to which the Catholic hierarchy has contributed greatly with its ceaseless agitation for open borders under the guise of charity — a charity that is most uncharitable to the people who must suffer the consequences of a veritable Muslim invasion.

The Church’s constant teaching — contrary to the tenets of Bergoglianism — is that the question of immigration is one of political prudence, the exercise of which belongs to civil authorities who are in a position to know the burdens and risks associated with immigration. That is, Catholic bishops, the Bishop of Rome included, have no right or competence to demand that civil authorities adopt open borders or otherwise lax immigration policy.  Such particulars are simply none of their business.

An interesting article in the University of Saint Thomas Law Journal makes precisely that point, showing that it finds support even in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium:

“According to Lumen Gentium, the laity are the primary agents of Christ’s mission in secular affairs: ‘the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God…’

When the bishops teach about which immigrant legislation is worthy of support, they encroach on the practice of prudence by the laity (assuming that the Episcopal charism — to proclaim the Gospel, to teach, and to shepherd the Church — grants a special anointing to their prudential judgments about policy). This aggressive political agenda is founded on a misunderstanding of the nature of prudence; it is itself imprudent.

It is easy for Francis, who lives in a walled enclave devoid of “refugees” wherein he is protected 24/7 by a literal army of heavily armed security guards, to demand unlimited accommodation of “refugees” who are really illegal invaders. But John Paul II — whose teaching on the divorced and “remarried” Francis has been attacking for more than three years — recognized the role of political prudence in this matter.  He noted, first of all, that “[i]llegal immigration should be prevented…” and that when it is not possible to reach an adequate solution to the presence of illegal immigrants in the country, the civil authority “should direct those they are helping, perhaps also providing them with material assistance, either to seek acceptance in other countries, or to return to their own country…”

This is not to suggest that illegal immigrants be herded like cattle, deported en masse and allowed to starve to death.  Political prudence must of course be tempered by Christian charity, as John Paul II also rightly taught, which goes beyond the mere requirements of justice. Nevertheless, civil authorities are charged with care for the universal common good, not just the good of immigrants. Where populations of illegal immigrants threaten a nation’s common good, their entry in the first instance must be strictly limited; and their presence in the country, should they succeed in circumventing the borders and the laws, cannot be allowed to continue if the common good suffers as a result.

This balancing of the common good and the good of illegal immigrants belongs entirely to the realm of political prudence. The exercise of that prudence may well include the erection of walls, such as the one Hungary has built to protect itself — quite effectively — from invasion by hordes of Serbian Muslim males who have no intention of being assimilated into a Hungarian society that is still overwhelmingly Christian, and now has a Christian constitution.  (Notice that every face peering through the Hungarian border wall is that of a young male, with no women and children in sight.)

Francis and his fellow liberal bishops condemn all such barriers to immigration and demand open borders.  But in this they exceed their authority and competence. Ironically, however, the same hierarchy has fallen almost entirely silent on the pressing issues that are precisely within their competence and duty to speak: abortion, contraception, “gay marriage,” “transgenderism,” the secularization of civil society, and the persecution of Christians, both bloody and bloodless, in virtually every nation.  Instead, the hierarchy effectively conforms itself to the platform of the Democratic Party, while Francis assumes the role of “leader of the global Left.”

Such is the outcome when churchmen assume a mission that is not theirs, while largely abandoning the one that Christ gave them.  And such is the crisis the Church faces today — foreseen, no doubt, in the Third Secret of Fatima.