John Allen’s transcript of the Pope’s presser on the airplane

My friend John Allen, the nearly ubiquitous, fair-minded former Rome correspondent for the lefty National Catholic Reporter has done everyone a service by posting a transcript of the Pope’s presser on the papal plane:

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Published on National Catholic Reporter Conversation Cafe (http://ncrcafe.org)

Transcript from Papal Plane

Created Apr 15 2008 – 15:53

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Aboard Shepherd One

The following is a rush transcript of comments made by Pope Benedict XVI to reporters aboard the papal plane, on his way to his first pastoral visit to the United States.

Late last week, the Vatican asked reporters travelling with the pope to submit questions for the pope by 3:00 pm Monday afternoon, the day before the trip began. Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, selected four of these questions and asked four different reporters to put them to the pope aboard the papal plane. There was no opportunity for follow-up.

In response to a specific request, Pope Benedict answered one question in English, on the subject of the sexual abuse crisis. His other responses were given in Italian. The following is an NCR translation and transcription of the exchange.

Lombardi: In the name of all those present, thank you for your kind willingness to be with us this morning, to greet us and also to give us some ideas about this trip. It’s your second inter-continental trip, and your first as Holy Father to the United States and the United Nations. It’s a very important trip, much anticipated. Can you say something to us about your sentiments and your hopes with which your approach this trip, and what your fundamental objectives are?

Benedict XVI:
My trip has basically two objectives. The first is a visit to the church in America, in the United States, and naturally also the entire country. There’s a particular motive, which is that 200 years ago the Archdiocese of Baltimore was elevated as a metropolitan archdiocese, and at the same moment two or three other dioceses were created … Philadelphia, Boston, Louisville. It’s a great jubilee for the church in the United States. It’s a moment of reflection on the past, but also on the future, on how to respond to the great challenges of our time that will present themselves in the future.
Naturally, the inter-religious and ecumenical encounters are an important part of this trip, as is the encounter in the synagogue with our Jewish friends on the vigil of their Passover festival. That’s the religious and pastoral aspect … the church in the United States in this moment of our history, and the encounter with all the others in this common humanity which leads to a common sense of responsibility.
At this point, I want to thank President Bush who is coming to the airport and has devoted considerable time to our meeting, and who is also receiving me on the occasion of my birthday.
The second objective is the visit to the United Nations, and also here there’s a particular motive. This is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s an expression of the founding philosophy of the United Nations and the human and spiritual basis upon which it’s constructed. Thus it’s a moment of reflection and to refresh awareness of this important moment in history, that in this declaration of human rights diverse cultures came together. There’s an anthropology that recognizes the human being as a subject of rights prior to all institutions, with a value that must be respected by everyone. This trip, given a moment of a crisis of values, gives us the opportunity to build upon what was begun in this moment and to exploit it for the future.

Lombardi:: Now we’ll turn to the questions that you yourselves presented in recent days and that some of us will present to the Holy Father. We’ll start a question from John Allen, who I don’t think needs an introduction. He’s a well-known commentator on Vatican affairs in the United States.

Allen: Holy Father, I’ll ask my question in English. I know you will speak principally in Italian, but we would be grateful for at least a few words in English. The Catholic church in the United States is large and dynamic, but also suffering, above all because of the recent sexual abuse crisis. The American people are waiting to hear what you have to say on this subject. What will your message be?

Benedict XVI:
It is a great suffering for the church in the United States, for the church in general, and for me personally that this could happen. If I read the histories of these victims, it’s difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betrayed in this way their mission to give healing and to give the love of God to these children. We are deeply ashamed, and we will do all that is possible that this cannot happen in the future.
I think we have to act on three levels.
The first is the level of justice, the juridical level. We now have also norms to react in a just way. I would not speak in this moment about homosexuality, but pedophilia, [which] is another thing. We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry, this is absolutely incompatible. And who is really guilty of being a pedophile cannot be a priest. So the first level is, as we can do justice and help clearly the victims, because they are deeply touched. So [there are] two sides of justice, on the one hand that pedophiles cannot be priests; on the other hand, to help in all the possible ways to the victims.
The second level is the pastoral level, the level of healing and help of assistance and of reconciliation. This is a big pastoral engagement, and I know that the bishops and the priests and all the Catholic people in the United States will do all possible to help assist and to heal, and to help that in the future these things cannot happen.
The third point [is that] we have made a visitation in the seminaries to also do what is possible in the education of seminarians for a deep, spiritual, human and intellectual formation –with discernment so that only sound persons can be admitted to the priesthood, only persons with a deep personal love for Christ and a deep sacramental love, to exclude that this can happen [again]. I know that the bishops and the rectors of seminarians will do all that is possible so that we have a strong discernment, because it’s more important to have good priests than to have many priests. This is also our third level, and we hope that we can do, and we have done, and we will do in the future, all that is possible to heal this wound.

Lombardi:: Thank you, Your Holiness. Another theme upon which we had many questions from our colleagues was that of immigration, reflecting the growing presence of Hispanics in the society of the United States. We’ll have a question from our colleague Andres Beltramo, from the Notimex agency in Mexico.

Beltramo: I’ll ask the question in Italian, but we would love to have just a greeting in Spanish. With the enormous growth in the Hispanic presence, the Catholic church in the United States is becoming steadily more bilingual and bicultural. Yet there’s also a growing “anti-immigrant” movement in America. Do you intend to invite the United States to welcome immigrants well, many of whom are Catholic?

Benedict XVI:
Unfortunately I’m not ready to speak in Spanish, but I offer a greeting and blessing for all the Spanish-speakers! Certainly I’ll talk about this subject. I recent had the ad limina visit from the bishops of Central America, also South America. I saw the scope of this problem, above all the grave problem of the separation of families. This is truly dangerous for the social, human and moral fabric of these countries.
It seems to me that we have to distinguish between measures to be taken immediately, and longer-term solutions. The fundamental solution [would be] that there is no longer any need to immigrate, that there are sufficient opportunities for work and a sufficient social fabric that no one any longer feels the need to immigrate. We all have to work for this objective, that social development is sufficient so that citizens are able to contribute to their own future.
On this point, I want to speak with the President, because above all the United States must help countries develop themselves. Doing so is in the interests of everyone, not just this country but the whole world, including the United States.
In the short term, it’s very important above all to help the families. This is the primary objective, to ensure that families are protected, not destroyed. Whatever can be done, must be done. Naturally, we have to do whatever’s possible against economic insecurity, against all the forms of violence, so that they can have a worthy life.
I’d like also to say that although there are many problems, so much suffering, there’s also much hospitality [in America.] I know that the bishops’ conference in America collaborates a great deal with the Latin American bishops’ conference. Together they work to help priests, laity and so on. With so many painful things, it’s also important not to forget much good and many positive actions.

Lombardi:: Thank you, Your Holiness. Now we’ll have a question that refers to American society, the place of religious values in American society, from our colleague Andrea Tornielli, the Vatican writer of the newspaper Il Giornale.

Tornielli: Holy Father, in receiving the new ambassador of the United States of America, you cast in a positive light the public value of religion in the United States. I’d like to ask if you consider this a possible model also for secularized Europe? Also, is there also a risk that religion and the name of God can be abused for supporting a certain political stance, including war?

Benedict XVI:
Certainly we can’t simply copy the United States. We have our own history, and we must learn from each other.
What I find fascinating about the United States is that they began with a positive concept of secularism. This new people was composed of communities and people who had separated from state churches, and they wanted to have a secular state which would open possibilities for all the confessions and all the forms of religious expression. It was an expressly secular state, and it was directly opposed to a state-church. It was secular precisely out of love of religion, for the authenticity of religion, which could be lived only in freedom. Thus we find a state that’s expressly secular, but favorable to religion in order to give it authenticity.
We know that the public institutions in America, albeit secular, draw on a de facto moral consensus that exists among the citizens. This seems to me fundamental and positive to consider, also in Europe. But in the meantime, more than 200 years of history have passed with so many developments. Also in the United States, they’ve had a new form of secularization, a new secularism, which is entirely different. They also have new problems, such as immigration, the “Wasp” ideology, and all these problems. The situation has become complicated and differentiated in the course of history, but the fundamental idea seems to me even today worthy of being observed.

Lombardi:: Thank you, Your Holiness. Now we’ll have the last question, dealing with the theme of the visit to the United Nations. It will be asked by John Thavis, the bureau chief in Rome of the Catholic News Service.

Thavis: Holy Father, the pope is often considered the conscience of humanity, and this is one of the reasons your address at the United Nations is highly anticipated. Do you think a multi-lateral institution such as the UN can protect the non-negotiable principles defended by the Catholic church, meaning those rooted in natural law?

Benedict XVI:
This is precisely the fundamental objective of the United Nations, to protect the common values of humanity upon which the peaceful coexistence of nations is based, the pursuit of justice and development against injustice. There’s an idea I’ve already touched upon which seems to me to be fundamental for the United Nations, and that’s the idea of human rights, the rights expressed by them as non-negotiable in all situations, are the fundamental principles of the institution. It’s important that there be this convergence among the cultures, which found a consensus that these values are fundamental and are written in the being of the human person. To renew this awareness, that the United Nations and its peacekeeping mission can work only if it’s based on fundamental rights held in common by all. To confirm this fundamental conception and to reinforce it as much as possible is an objective of my mission.
At the beginning, Fr. Lombardi asked about my sentiments. I’d like to say that I’m going with joy. I’ve been in the United States several times, I know this great country, and I also know the great life of the church despite all the problems. I’m happy to be able to meet in this historical moment, both through the church and my visit to the United Nations, this great country.

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32 Responses to John Allen’s transcript of the Pope’s presser on the airplane

  1. Adam says:

    Father,

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you do. It’s great to be able to find such a collection of Catholic current events in one place.

  2. Will says:

    “With the enormous growth in the Hispanic presence, the Catholic church in the United States is becoming steadily more bilingual and bicultural.”
    Meaning Spanish-speaking and with a distinct Mexican culture. Although I was pleased to see that Pope Benedict pointed out that the poor economic and political situations in Latin America are significant problems in the immigration debate.

  3. Pope Evaristus, Martyr says:

    That is a LIE that they told the Pope.

    There is no anti-immigrant feeling.

    There is some anti-ILLEGAL immigrant feeling (which justice and good sense demands). This is true. Anyone with a grain of moral sense realizes why illegal immigration is a serious, serious, serious problem.

    The fellow who LIED to the Pope reminds me of those who say the Church is against stem cell research.

    WE ARE NO AGAINST STEM CELL RESEARCH ~!!!!!!!!!

    We are, however, against EMBRYONIC stem cell research, which has yielded no where NEAR the results that adult stem cell research has, which is why evil anti-life people feel compelled to seek PUBLIC funds: it isn’t yielding results, so private investors have stopped investing in it!!

  4. Joseph says:

    Re; Immigration (legal or illegal):

    See how deftly this Pope handles these thorny socio-political hand grenades. Wow! He could be a politician, and a great one!! He never LIES, just deflects and cuts to the marrow at the same time, and leaves the uninitiated (toward BXVI)shaking their heads wondering exactly what he meant and how he got away, again, this time!! Like Jesus at the edge of the cliff, doesn’t get pushed off the brink — no, no — moves right through his antagonists like a knife through butter. And at 81!! No Alzheimer’s here. All brain cells functioning, in turbo mode, no less.

  5. Joseph says:

    On Homosexuality:

    “I would not speak in this moment on Homosexuality.”

    Did not say that this is not a big part (or indeed THE)problem re: priest so called “pedophiles.” (Pederasts). He does not want this can of worms opened NOW — he has more important things to accomplish and does not need to be derailed on those endeavors — and it is not an avoiding of the issue, as I read this, but a sidestepping, to revisit in the time of HIS choosing. Deft man, Spirit filled!! (Spirit of Wisdom).

  6. Dear Pope Evaristus,

    you are unfortunately wrong about the existence of anti-immigrant feeling in the United States. I have been encountering it for over the entire 10 years I’ve lived in my present home town; people who are so aghast that there could be foreign language newspapers and radio and tv in our country (revealing their own ignorance of our history…do they think there weren’t Italian, Polish, German and Yiddish papers and radio in the early 20th century?). The whole “speak English or go back where you came from” attitude predates the concerns with illegal immigration.

    Yes, some people are only concerned with illegal immigration. But others just don’t like Hispanics or Africans or whatever their particular animus-prompting group is.

  7. Mary Rose says:

    Steve, with all due respect, I think you’re still confusing an “anti-immigrant” perception with a resentment that many have toward any people group that comes to our country with no desire to actually become an American. Many of those who have this resentment (myself included) are the great-grandchildren of immigrants themselves. My great-grandmother came from Italy and my great-grandfather from Rome. They loved this country, just like many of the other immigrants of their day. And they learned to speak the language of their newly adopted country. I can safely say there was no welcome for them in Italian!

    I have great respect for Catholicism’s loyalty to justice and preserving the dignity of life and the solidarity of families. I thought Pope Benedict made a great point when he focused on providing economic opportunity to people. (In which case, the U.S. has already done quite a bit.)

    But the bottom line is that we have laws. Either obey them or don’t, but don’t disobey and then expect everyone to say they didn’t mean anything. Of all groups, I’d expect traditional Catholics to understand the dilemma with illegal immigration.

  8. Virgil says:

    On immigration… Interesting how B-16 is showing an understanding of both reasons to have sensible immigration laws: keeping a country economically healthy, and keeping families together. He and GW Bush, who disagree on almost everything, see eye-to-eye on this one. Both are asking that the US, which basically lacks any immigration law, provide a way to promote healthy immigration for both these reasons.

    B-16 is also speaking here to an Italian audience, who just voted in droves (especially in the Northeast regions) for a party (the Lega Nord) whose enitre platform is based on stopping immigration, economy and family be damned. As Berlusconi assigns his cabinet, it will be telling what portfolios he assigns to the Lega Nord allies. It will show whether or not Berlusconi’s Catholic allies are really very “Catholic” at all.

  9. Steve Skojec says:

    I’m very interested in seeing more about the immigration issue.

    While I would agree that America is and always has been a very multi-cultural place, assimilation is extremely important for successful immigration. Even barring our rampant illegal immigration problem, the influx of immigrants from non-Western cultures has risen, and is creating a new religious and cultural complexity that creates obstacles to assimilation.

    It’s also important for us to remember that we have not only a right but an obligation to regulate LEGAL immigration. One under-reported statistic is that legal and illegal immigration numbers have a correlation. This is because legal immigrants in many cases are willing to give aid and shelter to illegal family members and friends.

    While as Catholics we must evaluate how to best protect the dignity of the human person, I believe the Church needs to also speak to the responsibility of a nation to guard its security, its economic stability, and its national identity. This is grossly overlooked.

    Immigration is effecting us in all of these areas; in addition, the massive influx of third-world immigrants shifts the voting block to the left (as these individuals, typically impoverished, benefit most from social welfare programs championed by democrats) opening the door for even more latitude on abortion and other moral issues.

    Guarding our borders and controlling who comes in (and how many) is not contrary to the moral law. I wish more bishops would speak to that, even if the Holy Father can’t.

  10. Chironomo says:

    Mary Rose;

    Having been from Steve’s home town as well, I can attest to his point… there certainly IS anti-illegal immigrant sentiment in the U.S… but that does not mean that there is not also a general anti-immigrant sentiment as well. The immigrants in —— (Steve’s home town) are routinely harassed by police and spoken about as “them” by the “native townspeople” (who are themselves mostly second generation Irish and Italian immigrants). These are not “illegals”… although I now live in Southern Florida and the anti- ILLEGAL sentiment is alive and well here. I think there is room enough in this big country for us to be bigoted in a variety of ways.

  11. Domenico says:

    What an interesting piece of information:
    ‘My great-grandmother came from Italy and my great-grandfather from Rome.’
    There is a widespread opinion still these days that Italy and Rome have little in common.

  12. RosieC says:

    I appreciate this post, Father.

    I had heard about there being four questions but never really heard what was said about illegal immigration nor about the specific comments on the UN (or even that those were questions).

    I really appreciate that you found and reported a more complete story.

    Thank you.

  13. peretti says:

    Funny, I did not think that paragraph 2 of number 2241 of the Catechism was bigoted. But reading some of these posts, I guess it is.

  14. Patrick says:

    After reading a few posts here on immigration, it seems that some Catholics misunderstand the Church’s teaching on immigration. I suggest reading some homilies and letters from Archbishops Chaput and Burke. They are available on their archdiocesan websites. They explain the teaching of the Church on immigration and apply it to today’s situation. As Archbishop Burke said the objectives of immigration reform should be: “(1) the opportunity for hard-working, taxpaying immigrants to regularize their legal status, pursue an option to become permanent residents, and eventually become United States citizens; (2) the reduction of the waiting period for separated families, who currently wait many years to be reunited; (3) the creation of legal avenues for workers and their families to enter the U.S. and work in a safe environment and have their rights fully protected; and (4) border protection policies that are consistent with humanitarian values, while still permitting authorities to maintain national security and to enforce U.S. immigration policy.”

    Now, surely you don’t propose that Arch. Burke is some sort of squishy, social-justice liberal? No, he’s applying the teachings of the Church. Unfortunately, applying the teachings of the Church on immigration in the United States puts one in direct opposition to the conservative political movement in the US. Although the conservatives are very right on many important issues, they are generally very wrong on immigration.

    I think you will find that the Holy Father’s above comments mesh nicely with the goals of Archbishop Burke.

  15. Patrick Rothwell says:

    I suspect that few, if any, of those Catholics who shout “there is no anti-immigrant attitude, only righteous indignation towards the illegals and those who refuse to be American” the loudest are descended from the seed of Albion and thereby have “standing” as it were, to shout “America for the Americans.” I, however, am of English ancestory, 3/4 of which were here during Colonial times. So maybe I don’t want you and your kind in this country either. Maybe I want you and your family to go back where they ultimately came from. America for the Americans! You people don’t count.

    The Pope is right on this subject, and the Catholic right is not.

  16. Mike Williams says:

    Without even considering the rightness or wrongness of the Church’s position, it’s absurd to me that some are denying that discrimination against legal immigrants is a problem. Perhaps there are places where that is true, but it’s undeniable that anti-immigrant feelings are widely expressed (and acted upon) without regard to the legality of the immigration.

  17. Gerry says:

    Put up or shut up – where’s the evidence of discrimination against legal immigrants? Demanding that those who come to our country learn our language and assimilate is not discriminatory.

  18. Habemus Papam says:

    Not so sure that the Pope is addressing Lega Nord here. I think his concern is for the Hispanic immigrants.

  19. RBrown says:

    I suspect that few, if any, of those Catholics who shout “there is no anti-immigrant attitude, only righteous indignation towards the illegals and those who refuse to be American” the loudest are descended from the seed of Albion and thereby have “standing” as it were, to shout “America for the Americans.” I, however, am of English ancestory, 3/4 of which were here during Colonial times. So maybe I don’t want you and your kind in this country either. Maybe I want you and your family to go back where they ultimately came from. America for the Americans! You people don’t count.
    Comment by Patrick Rothwell

    Immigration was necessary years ago because in addition to bringing English law, your ancestors also brought recipes for some of the most tasteless food in culinary history.

    Obviously, Irish immigration did little except exacerbate the problem.

    So Italians, Chinese, and Mexicans had to immigrate to liberate the American palate.

  20. Patrick Rothwell says:

    “So Italians, Chinese, and Mexicans had to immigrate to liberate the American palate.”

    Exactly! Ding! Ding! That, and for the Mexicans, people to fill soccer stadiums, people who can sing and dance with grace and flair, Spanish baroque style art, etc. etc.

    Honest to goodness, a lot of the religious right, including religious right Catholics, increasingly sound like a bunch of old biddies from the DAR of old clucking about the riff-raff. And if you don’t believe that there is intense hostility on the right to legal immigrants, you obviously didn’t read Pat Buchanan or Rod Dreher complaining about being overrun by Mexicans and how so many of them have messy front yards and trash the neighborhood up.

  21. dad29 says:

    He and GW Bush, who disagree on almost everything,

    Really?

    OK, the war in Iraq (we think.)

    On what “everything” else do they disagree? Abortion? ESCR? Social-program spending?

  22. Theresa says:

    I gasped when I saw Benedict’s comment “we need good priests, not many priests” – it’s what world-wide Catholics need to pray about, over and over!

  23. Le Renard says:

    I gasped when I saw Benedict’s comment “we need good priests, not many priests”

    The Pope’s right — *QUALITY* versus mere quantity.

  24. Pope Evaristus, Martyr says:

    Again, to be clear, the topic of “immigration” has nothing to do with the “illegal immigration” which is such a risk to the USA.

    America is a country of immigrants. We always have been. But NOT illegal immigrants.

  25. RBrown says:

    And if you don’t believe that there is intense hostility on the right to legal immigrants, you obviously didn’t read Pat Buchanan or Rod Dreher complaining about being overrun by Mexicans and how so many of them have messy front yards and trash the neighborhood up.
    Comment by Patrick Rothwell

    So why do you assume they’re complaining bout legal immigrants?

  26. RBrown says:

    If I might put in a plug for my Teutonic blood, the major beer breweries in Mexico were all started by Germans or Austrians.

  27. Patrick says:

    Let’s just review the wise words of Archbishop Burke on the objectives of moral immigration reform:

    “(1) the opportunity for hard-working, taxpaying immigrants to regularize their legal status, pursue an option to become permanent residents, and eventually become United States citizens; (2) the reduction of the waiting period for separated families, who currently wait many years to be reunited; (3) the creation of legal avenues for workers and their families to enter the U.S. and work in a safe environment and have their rights fully protected; and (4) border protection policies that are consistent with humanitarian values, while still permitting authorities to maintain national security and to enforce U.S. immigration policy.”

    Make no mistake, point number 1 speaks of “illegal” immigrants, hence the need to “regularize” their status. He’s been preaching this for a long time now and we would do well to listen to him.

  28. Mary Rose says:

    What an interesting piece of information:
    ‘My great-grandmother came from Italy and my great-grandfather from Rome.’
    There is a widespread opinion still these days that Italy and Rome have little in common.
    Comment by Domenico — 16 April 2008 @ 7:57 am

    Dominico, I had the privilege of traveling to Italy in 1985. I deliberately took Italian in college both for the purpose of conversing with my great-grandmother in her native language and simply because Italian is one of the most beautiful languages ever invented. I had no idea there was such division between the North and the South, and a general resentment of many Romans toward Vatican City. When I told a bunch of Northern young Italians about my great-grandmother (who was from the South), they said the town’s name with dripping sarcasm. I quickly added that my great-grandfather came from Rome. Ah, they were a happy lot again!

    My great-grandfather was rather proud of his home. But I know what you’re talking about.

    As for the whole anti-immigrant/anti-illegal immigrant debate – I was considering something that Fr. Z talks about quite a bit: Catholic Identity. There is something about being Catholic that distinguishes one from all the other religions. Why? Well, that to me is the purpose of this blog. I’m learning lots, to say the least. But isn’t a country also entitled to their own national identity? If so, what would be the identity of “American” today? What was it fifty years ago? Does anyone have the right to oppose what seems to be a systematic deconstruction of that identity? If one were to say that anyone who lives here is “American,” isn’t that the same as saying that a Catholic who is pro-choice, hasn’t had the Sacrament of Reconciliation in decades and lives with someone without being married is just as Catholic as an Una Voce-incense-saturated-Rosaried-up-to-their-Scapulared-Neck Catholic? We’ve already had an “anything goes” approach with the liturgy and look where that got us.

    For those who suffer from an anti-immigrant prejudice, I am repentant. Mistreatment of a human being is wrong, period – at least from what I was taught within my Catholic schools. But at the same time, I was taught there was a “right” and a “wrong.” Laws were put into place for my protection. I believe the laws regarding the process of citizenship in our country worked for many years but no longer do. I do believe in limitation regarding the population of our country. When the English settled in this country, there were hundreds. When the Ellis Island immigrants entered, there were tens of thousands. But within the past twenty years, there have been millions and millions more still want to be here. Mexico is indeed blessed to be near us but what of the immigrants in Third World countries who would love to be here? Should we open the door to every person and if so, how does that work?

    The conservatives have long been the whipping post for liberals who want to simply welcome everyone who wants to be here, but it is idealistic and unrealistic. Our infrastructure can only take so much. Even the Sierra Club has warned against overpopulation.

    I believe the answer is to love those who are here, require those who are here illegally to do the right thing and wait their turn (just like our legal citizenry had to do), place limitations for every 3-5 years for new immigrants, and help internationals in our colleges and universities to learn what they can and take it back to their own countries in order to improve their economy. We have to find a way to help without being overwhelmed, and right now – our country is overwhelmed.

  29. RBrown says:

    Make no mistake, point number 1 speaks of “illegal” immigrants, hence the need to “regularize” their status. He’s been preaching this for a long time now and we would do well to listen to him.
    Comment by Patrick

    Why? It is one thing to come into a country on a temporary work visa, then return to Mexico. But these illegals have flaunted the law.

    When I first started in computers, I worked with a man from Taiwan with a degree in architecture. One day he came work and quickly sent home–there were problems with his immigration status.

    And I have South African friends. Good people–he is a physician, and they have four children. Last time I saw her she said they were waiting on their green cards.

    From what Abp Burke says, it would have been better for all of them to go first to Mexico, then slip across the border.

  30. David says:

    I scanned the page and National Catholic Reporter jumped out at me. I immediately was hoping for some atrocious article being torn apart, but I am glad they can at least take transcription. I live about 4 blocks from them and hold my nose as I drive by. I’m always amazed when sites like Catholic.org link to their articles, and your blog surely drives them up in the order of search results for Catholic subjects with every mention. Please, think of the Googlers of the world – do not link to them!

  31. Joseph says:

    Separation of church and state, a well worn and much misconstrued term concept regarding the United States, implicit, and not explictly expressed in our Constitution, and when properly understood and applied a pillar of our great country and a boon to religious expression and freedom. Yet we are left with terms like “religious right” and so then, I would suppose that those who hold to the tenants of the Catholic Church are then, almost by definition, (at least as intoned here) “religious right,” except by some who are Catholic conciencious objectors to a large chunk of their “faith” i.e., cafeteria Catholics.

    Those who paint with such broad brushes insult so many by not making, or even attempting, nuanced distinctions.

    Like:

    GWB and BXVI have nothing in common, ridiculous statement, and based on ?? Certainly not on commitment to the truth, which is OUR JOB as Catholics –Hello?

    I deeply resent the label “religious right” not because there is not a smidgeon of truth, there is, but the best told lie contains elements of truth. It is used, not so much as a descriptive, but as a bludgeon and as an instrument of disparagement, and in the final analysis it is gutless, for it again, seeks not real truth or even honest confrontation, but hides behind a popularist notion that says it is OK to disparage even people of your own “faith crew” if it serves you political agenda.
    Gutless and shallow, and so shall I say this characterizes the “religious left?” Not on your life. The only thing “religious” about broad brushing lablers is that they really don’t want religion, except when it serves their particular needs. Are there such people on the right, sure, but usually the people called out for their “right ” leaning politics are those whose politics are driven by an understanding of their faith and that is usually someone trying to remain orthodox and not rewrite the faith, whereas on the left, the faith must conform to preconceived and usually popularist notions of right and wrong, so social convention and/or politics drives the religious agenda, and not the other way around.

    Get some depth.

  32. peretti says:

    I commend you, Joseph. Your post of 17 April @12:31am is very well spoken and I quite agree.