Archbishop José H. Gomez Sounds the Bugle On Immigration Reform with Clarity, Compassion and Common Sense
We are not first liberal, conservative or any other permutation of political labels. We are first Catholics
The Archbishop of Los Angeles calls us to approach immigration reform with a Catholic mind and a Catholic heart - and to take our place in building a new and true Culture of Life and Civilization of love. He is correct in his assessment and we need to listen to his bugle call and line up.
BALTIMORE, MD (Catholic Online) - St. Paul asked the Christians in Corinth a pointed question in his first letter, "If the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?" (1 Cor. 14:8) The principle is noteworthy in this hour with all of the challenges we face as Catholics in the United States.
We need strong leaders if we intend to take the Social Doctrine of the Church to heart and offer it as leaven in the loaf of American culture. One of the most pressing public policy needs we face is authentic and comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.
Archbishop Josť H. Gomez of Los Angeles has sounded the Bugle. It is time to line up behind him. He is a passionate advocate for the poor and the authentic Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church. His leadership of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at this critical time is prophetic.So too is his emerging voice Nationally.
On July 28, 2011the Archbishop gave an address to the Napa Institute entitled "Immigration and the "Next America": Perspectives from Our History" which can be - and should be - read in its entirety here. It should be read by anyone truly concerned about this pressing social challenge. In fact, he has so much of value to say on this sublect that most of this article will be lengthy quotes from him.
In "Next America" he wrote: "Our political debate about immigration in America frustrates me. Often I think we are we are just talking around the edges of the real issues. Both sides of this argument are inspired by a beautiful, patriotic idea of America's history and values. But lately I've been starting to wonder."
"What America are we really talking about? America is changing and it has been changing for a long time. The forces of globalization are changing our economy and forcing us to rethink the scope and purpose of our government. Threats from outside enemies are changing our sense of national sovereignty."
"America is changing on the inside, too. Our culture is changing. We have a legal structure that allows, and even pays for, the killing of babies in the womb. Our courts and legislatures are redefining the natural institutions of marriage and the family. We have an elite culture - in government, the media and academia - that is openly hostile to religious faith".
"America is becoming a fundamentally different country. It is time for all of us to recognize this - no matter what our position is on the political issue of immigration. We need to recognize that immigration is part of a larger set of questions about our national identity and destiny. What is America? What does it mean to be an American? "Who are we as a people - and where are heading as a country? What will the "next America" look like?"
"As Catholics who are faithful citizens in America, we have to answer these questions within a larger frame of reference. We have to always remember that there is more to the life of any nation than the demands of the moment in politics, economics and culture. We have to consider all of those demands and the debates about them in light of God's plan for the nations."
"This is a big challenge for us in this culture. Our culture pushes us to "privatize" our faith, to separate our faith from our life in society. We always have to resist that temptation. We are called to live our faith in our businesses, homes and communities, and in our participation in public life.That means we have to bring a Catholic faith perspective to this debate about immigration. We cannot just think about this issue as Democrats or Republicans or as liberals or conservatives".
"That means we have to listen to the teachings of our Church on this issue. But that's not what I want to talk about today. I think we all know the teachings of our Church on this issue. What we need to understand better is how to see immigration in light of America's history and purposes, as seen through the perspective of our Catholic faith. When we understand immigration from this perspective we can see that immigration is not a problem for America. It's an opportunity. It is a key to our American renewal."
He continued to sound the bugle call in a stirring address he gave on August 3, 2011, at the 129th Supreme Convention in Denver, Colorado. It can be read in its entirety here. Here is an excerpt: "I know this issue is hard for people - including many people who are trying to be good Catholics. I am not a politician. I am a pastor of souls - and an American citizen. That is my perspective on these issues. As pastor of the largest Catholic community in the United States, I am deeply affected by our nation's immigration policy crisis. Historically, the ...
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