Archbp. Chaput on the healthcare bill

His Excellency Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver, is neither shy nor vague nor harsh about his positions.  He has expressed himself about the healthcare bill facing some sort of vote… by what weird procedure we don’t know yet… in the near future.

CNA has a story which you will want to read.

Archbishop Chaput: Health care bill doesn’t meet minimum moral standards

In his weekly column for the Denver Catholic Register, the Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., says the Senate health-care bill does not meet minimum moral standards and therefore, doesn’t have the support of the Catholic bishops.

“The Senate version of health-care reform currently being forced ahead by congressional leaders and the White House is a bad bill that will result in bad law,”  says the archbishop in his column titled, “Catholics, health care and the Senate’s bad bill,” published today on the archdiocese’s  website.

“As I write this column on March 14, the Senate bill remains gravely flawed.  It does not meet minimum moral standards in at least three important areas: the exclusion of abortion funding and services; adequate conscience protections for health-care professionals and institutions; and the inclusion of immigrants,” Chaput writes.

In reference to pro-Obama Catholic organizations who have been claiming that the bill is “sufficiently” pro-life, the Archbishop of Denver argues that “groups, trade associations and publications describing themselves as ‘Catholic’ or ‘prolife’ that endorse the Senate version – whatever their intentions – are doing a serious disservice to the nation and to the Church, undermining the witness of the Catholic community; and ensuring the failure of genuine, ethical health-care reform.” 

Such groups, Archbishop Chaput explains, “create confusion at exactly the moment Catholics need to think clearly about the remaining issues in the health-care debate.  They also provide the illusion of moral cover for an unethical piece of legislation.

The archbishop then reminds his readers of  “a few simple facts.”


Once again, WDTPRS applies its highest kudos to Archbp. Chaput’s banner.
Read the rest there.

What Archbishop Chaput wrote:

March 14, 2010

Catholics, Health Care and the Senate’s bad bill

The following column is scheduled to be published in the March 17, 2010 issue of the Denver Catholic Register.

The Senate version of health-care reform currently being forced ahead by congressional leaders and the White House is a bad bill that will result in bad law.  It does not deserve, nor does it have, the support of the Catholic bishops of our country.  Nor does the American public want it.  As I write this column on March 14, the Senate bill remains gravely flawed.  It does not meet minimum moral standards in at least three important areas: the exclusion of abortion funding and services; adequate conscience protections for health-care professionals and institutions; and the inclusion of immigrants.

Groups, trade associations and publications describing themselves as “Catholic” or “prolife” that endorse the Senate version – whatever their intentions – are doing a serious disservice to the nation and to the Church, undermining the witness of the Catholic community; and ensuring the failure of genuine, ethical health-care reform.  By their public actions, they create confusion at exactly the moment Catholics need to think clearly about the remaining issues in the health-care debate.  They also provide the illusion of moral cover for an unethical piece of legislation.

As we enter a critical week in the national health-care debate, Catholics across northern Colorado need to remember a few simple facts.

First, the Catholic bishops of the United States have pressed for real national health-care reform in this country for more than half a century.  They began long before either political party or the public media found it convenient.  That commitment hasn’t changed.  Nor will it.

Second, the bishops have tried earnestly for more than seven months to work with elected officials to craft reform that would serve all Americans in a manner respecting minimum moral standards.  The failure of their effort has one source.  It comes entirely from the stubbornness and evasions of certain key congressional leaders, and the unwillingness of the White House to honor promises made by the president last September.

Third, the health-care reform debate has never been merely a matter of party politics.  Nor is it now.  Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak and a number of his Democratic colleagues have shown extraordinary character in pushing for good health-care reform while resisting attempts to poison it with abortion-related entitlements and other bad ideas that have nothing to do with real “health care.”  Many Republicans share the goal of decent health-care reform, even if their solutions would differ dramatically.  To put it another way, few persons seriously oppose making adequate health services available for all Americans.  But God, or the devil, is in the details — and by that measure, the current Senate version of health-care reform is not merely defective, but also a dangerous mistake.

The long, unpleasant and too often dishonest national health-care debate is now in its last days.  Its most painful feature has been those “Catholic” groups that by their eagerness for some kind of deal undercut the witness of the Catholic community and help advance a bad bill into a bad law. Their flawed judgment could now have damaging consequences for all of us.

Do not be misled.  The Senate version of health-care reform currently being pushed ahead by congressional leaders and the White House — despite public resistance and numerous moral concerns — is bad law; and not simply bad, but dangerous.  It does not deserve, nor does it have, the support of the Catholic bishops in our country, who speak for the believing Catholic community.  In its current content, the Senate version of health-care legislation is not “reform.”  Catholics and other persons of good will concerned about the foundations of human dignity should oppose it.


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  1. Heather says:

    How dare he place covering immigrants on the same moral level as abortion. [Umm…. I don’t think he did.]

    I am so sick and tired of the hierarchy pushing left wing political causes. Have they never heard of “THOU SHALT NOT STEAL”? What is moral about confiscating the wages of Americas working class to redistribute it to unknown hordes of third world poor people who flagrantly violate our just laws to come here and receive a social services lottery?

  2. kat says:

    You make a good point, Heather.
    And honestly, I don’t know when the Church has ever approved of Socialism,where what belongs to the haves is stolen to give to the have-nots. The Church teaches CHARITY—THE HIGHEST VIRTUE. Those who have SHOULD give, with virtue, what they are able to those who need. But that is totally different than a socialist government, or socialist policy, from doing it.

  3. Jordanes says:

    Heather said: How dare he place covering immigrants on the same moral level as abortion.

    He didn’t.

  4. david andrew says:

    I remain confused about sound Catholic Teaching regarding legal versus illegal immigration.

    I understand the moral imperative to “feed the poor”, and to “welcome the alien.” But, how is this moderated so that our works of charity are truly works of charity and not Statist-controlled redistributionist tactics?

    I wonder, too, have the bishops not taken a look at Centesimus annus lately?

  5. folks: This isn’t, despite Heather’s rabbit hole, about immigration.

  6. Heather says:

    What makes me so angry, is that these bishops attempt to make their personal political opinions into Catholic teaching, and that is not the case.

    Two thoughts for +Chaput and the inevitable posts from the Distributists (read: Socialists)

    Frederic Bastiat:

    “But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

    “Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations! And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: *May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works*.”

  7. Heather says:

    Fr. Z: +Chaput clearly stated that the healthcare bill was not moral because it covered abortion but not immigrants. [You get that out of what he wrote? Holy cow. Noooo. He did not draw a moral equivalent.]

  8. Jordanes says:

    But that is not placing health care for immigrants “on the same moral level” as abortion, Heather. Federal funding of abortion is immoral, and denying health care coverage to immigrants is immoral, but just as there is a hierarchy of good, there is an inverted hierarchy of evil. The bill would be far less objectionable if it excluded abortion and contraception funding, but still would be objectionable if it excluded health care coverage for immigrants — even though excluding immigrants from such a program is not as evil as paying for the killing of unborn babies.

  9. gmaskell says:

    “Keep your eye on the ball”

  10. chcrix says:

    “To put it another way, few persons seriously oppose making adequate health services available for all Americans.”

    I know of no one who opposes it.

    However, there are many who believe that the government can not accomplish this end and who recognize that the government itself and its regulations are the well-spring of the so called health care crisis.

    The bishops do themselves no credit by implying that ‘reform’ means expanding government entitlements.

  11. Taylor says:

    The Archbishop is like a clear voice crying out above all of the chaos surrounding Health Care. I hope other bishops will continue to speak out and follow suit.

    It is sad when “Catholic” organizations disown their Catholic identity by approving of the senate’s lacking bill.

  12. Scott W. says:

    “It does not meet minimum moral standards in at least three important areas: the exclusion of abortion funding and services; adequate conscience protections for health-care professionals and institutions; and the inclusion of immigrants.”

    I suppose the wording could be confusing, but even minimal knowlege of Bp. Chaput’s orthodoxy renders the correct reading.

  13. Heather says:

    Jordanes, you confuse your political opinions for morality. It is not. You do not have the right to steal from me, no matter how you intend to spend the money.

    I am among the many who have been writing my congressmen to keep whatever government scheme they dream up restricted to AMERICANS citizens only. The American taxpayer is NOT morally obliged to cover the world’s healthcare needs. As it is, we can’t afford to keep borrowing from China so we can give entitlements to all the third world poor people and their anchor babies.

  14. He could only name three important areas in which the bill is gravely flawed? Is he kidding? This bill destroys the principle of subsidiarity and would usher in full scale socialism in America. We’ve been slowly going down that road for the past one hundred years but this would seal the deal, so to speak. How is bankrupting the country and enslaving future generations with unfathomably high debt that can never be paid off…ever, not in the top three. It is impossible. How is that not in the top three? This bill won’t even cover a small portion of the “30 million” that are uninsured. Also, do the bishops take notice that a vast majority of Americans don’t want the government involved in their healthcare? I know there are those out there who will claim I hate poor people because I don’t support “social justice” and this lunacy in legislation. If you want a real solution to reforming healthcare, open it up to the market. Not the fake government market that is regulated to death (which drives cost up) and competition-free (which also drives cost up and causes service to plummet), but open it up to real free-market competition. Only then will healthcare go in the right direction.

  15. david andrew says:

    It’s a mess, isn’t it?

    Unfortunately, His Excellency, by merely mentioning immigration, has taken us right back to where we were in the run-up to the 2008 elections.

    Abortion is an inherent moral evil. Period. Teaching is clear. Providing health care, food, clothing and shelter, education, job opportunities, etc., to “immigrants” (note that even H.E. doesn’t put the word “illegal” before the term) somehow becomes an inherent moral imperative, on an equal footing with abortion, simply by mentioning it in the same sentence.

    The Church has attempted, time and again, to address social justice issues, but somehow statist/socialist/communist ideologies hijack these issues and teaching on subsidiarity gets lost. Typical Catholics get their ill-formed consciences played upon, and are led to believe that the exclusion of immigrants (illegal?) from health care access otherwise provided to “everyone else” in this bill is unjust, and the confusion over the inherent moral evil of abortion and our obligation (out of charity, not by legislated fiat) to feed the poor, etc., is compounded.

    Mentioning immigration was an unfortunate choice on His Excellency’s part. If he had stuck to the abortion issues exclusively, I don’t think we would be dealing with this rabbit hole.

  16. Discipula says:

    By “immigrants” does +Chaput mean illegal immigrants? If so than why not just say so, it’s just 7 letters more. Why should covering the medical expenses of someone who did not have the decency to enter the country legally be a moral issue?

    But if +Chaput meant legal immigrants (especially those who are in the process of becoming American citizens) then that is a completely different matter. These are two very different groups, and they should never be lumped together. I have no objection to future American citizens receiving good health care.

    I object to paying for it with my taxes though. It doesn’t matter whose health bill it is. That is not what taxes are for. If I had my druthers I’d be paying my own (entire) medical bills with my own hard earned cash. Then I wouldn’t need some paper pusher’s permission to receive treatment (or be told that I can have only one doctor visit a day! as in the case of medicare), and yes I know I’m dreaming. My last hospital visit cost a lovely $6,000. Much more than what I’ve earned this past year, but this country was built on dreams. Please don’t forget that. The ideal system is always one which gives the most power to the people (as the basic building block of society – which JPII called the Family). This is why the Constitution begins “We the People…”

  17. Scott W. says:

    Good gravy! The good Bishop poo-poos the bill as he ought, and all we can do is kvetch about it. What. The. Heck?

  18. TomB says:

    Discipula, that is just the point I was about to make. We need to clearly understand what these bishops mean when they say “immigrants”. It is my opinion that they mean “illegal immigrants”, but they tend not to make that distinction.

    As to socializing medicine, not many have mentioned the unintended consequences. One thing I don’t hear being discussed much is the increased demand it will place on our medical facilities. Once it’s “free”, the whole system will be completely overwhelmed with many who really don’t need treatment for minor symptoms, etc. As Ronaldus Magnus once said, “if you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free!”

    There are many other available solutions, but the government seems bent on pushing a socialist agenda while attempting to fix only some of the problems that exist. This will make many things much worse, with taxpayer-funded abortions at the top of the list. I’m convinced that Obama is for “free” abortions. When you lower the perceived price (force someone else to pay), you will get increased demand.

  19. MarkJ says:

    We need to fast and pray today to stop this bill… please go to and read “Thugs in Washington” as well as “Dems to Stupak: More Abortions = Fewer Babies = Lower Gov’ t Costs” to see what the Dems are really up to. The anti-life forces become more blatant and desperate every day…

    In “Thugs in Washington”, the editorialist Steve Jalsevac writes:
    “Bishop Paul Loverde of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington has proposed what is likely most needed at this time, other than an avalanche of calls to congressmen and Senators. The bishop has declared Monday, March 15 a day of prayer and fasting with the intention of protecting pro-life values in health care legislation. Loverde further explained, “Through our fasting and prayers, we ask the Lord to lead the hearts and minds of our nation’s leaders as they make crucial decisions concerning the protection of life.” It looks like God’s intervention is needed to stop this train wreck from happening to America. Join in. And from all that I have seen and read, the best thing to pray for to protect pro-life values in health care – at least according to many pro-life leaders – is a total defeat of the legislation.”

    Please join in to help stop this Democrat assault on life and freedom!

  20. Oneros says:

    I’m not sure I understand what is wrong with the Senate version. Apparently, it requires any women who wants abortion coverage to buy it as a separate policy with her OWN money, which is already the case. I don’t see where any federal funds would go to abortion.

    Can someone explain if this is true or what the objection to the Senate language really is.

  21. Heather says:

    Immigrants who are here legally are Americans. Dropping the “illegal” prefix is more Newspeak. Remember when they were “illegal aliens” but then that term became politically incorrect.

    Let’s face it. We know who +Chaput is referring to and he is 100% wrong (as is Jordanes) to claim that it is immoral not to provide them with free healthcare (in addition to free education, food stamps, housing, etc). Not only that—but we have record unemployment! Why is it OK to import people who drive down the wages of the most vulnerable Americans who are looking for jobs?

  22. wmeyer says:

    Pray we may have more bishops with the strength and courage of the good Abp. Chaput.

  23. wmeyer says:

    I hope and pray that Archbishop Chaput was referring to (legal) immigrants, and not to illegal aliens.

    CCC 2241 provides more than sufficient guidance with respect to immigrants, and does not suggest that aliens have a right to violate our borders. Unless, of course, our language has so degenerated that “to welcome” is equivalent to “allow in anyone who chooses to come”.

  24. rosshalde says:

    What is wrong with the these bill besides the moral problems is the fact that they TEND toward SOCIALISM, which the CHRUCH HAS CONDEMNED, YES CONDEMNED! The Church does not believe in the State as Big Brother even if some of her representatives seem to be sympathetic toward Socialist or Communist ways. Read Pius IX, X, and XI on the subject and also Leo XIII. These popes make the Catholic teaching CLEAR.

  25. everett says:

    It is also important to separate Catholic teaching from those who would co-opt it, democrat or republican. Catholic does not equal republican or democrat, and likely never will. To me the two biggest objections to this bill are first the intrinsic evil of abortion, and second the violation of the principal of subsidiarity. The biggest trick is always carefully balancing the principle of subsidiarity with a preferential option for the poor.

    I do agree/hope that he is making the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. It is also my guess that his personal belief is that current immigration laws are unjust as to the ability to legally immigrate, from the perspective of Catholic social teaching (even if they’re prudent from a political standpoint).

  26. MarkJ says:

    rosshalde – You are absolutely correct about Socialism being condemned by the Church. And history shows that Socialism is the gateway drug to Communism, which we all know to be an even worse evil, and this has been taught to us by history, by the Popes and by Our Lady herself at Fatima.

    This Health Care bill is all about government control over every aspect of our lives. Abortion should be a jolting reminder to us of the evil forces that are backing this bill. If it passes, Catholics will ever after have little to contribute to the “dialog”, because as Obama has said, the dialog is already over.

    Hard times are coming… pray, fast and act now, or suffer the consequences later.

  27. Widukind says:

    I was emboldened by the forthright, clear message of Archbishop Chaput. However, I was just as disheartened when I turned to the comments. The archbishop’s message is something to rally around, for he clearly calls it a bad mistake and who is to blame. But there are some commentors who will not even let the message out the door, but have the need to weigh it down with peeves. This discussion thus becomes a distraction, and an overriding one. Can we not return to the Archbishop’s message, get it out, and get on with it. The time we waste arguing what end of the horse to put out the door first, only serves for others to spread their distorted messages.

  28. wanda says:

    Forgive me, Father Z., if I am out of order here, but if I may..please, readers, visit Catholic Vote and send a message of support to Mr. Bart Stupak and his small, but firm group of defenders of the Right to Life. At this point they are the only ones holding out against passage of this bill. Please pray for them, as well. They are taking a terrible beating, I’m sure.

    If, we do not act and give voice to defend innocent, pre-born children, who will? We are our un-born brothers and sisters keepers.

  29. Heather says:

    Widukind…I think it is +Chaput’s message that is counter productive. Aligning the Church with left wing policy–healthcare coverage for illegals–alienates the vast majority of Americans who oppose that. I see him do the same thing with capital punishment. He is entitled to his opinion, but he is wrong to impose his opinions on the rest of us as though they are the only moral view.

  30. everett says:

    This position on capital punishment isn’t just some personal preference of +Chaput:

    According to the CCC #2267, “If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means…”

    It also references Evangelium Vitae, “the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'”

    Obviously different levels of assent required between the abortion (or euthanasia) and capital punishment, but don’t go trying to say that the church’s stand against capital punishment is a merely an “imposition of his opinion.”

  31. Heather says:

    Sorry Everett–but Scripture and 2,000 years of Church doctrine don’t go out the window because the new touchy-feely left wing catechism waters it down.

    Since capital punishment is a rabbit hole, that I unfortunately introduced as an aside, I’m not going to comment on it further, except to say that a person can favor Capital Punishment and remain a Catholic proponent of a culture of life.

  32. david andrew says:

    Archbishop Chaput’s message about the health care bill is not lost, and it has certainly gotten out the door. He’s been very clear in his position. The bill is bad for three reasons, two of which we all agree upon: abortion and conscience protection for health care providers, and one that we don’t.

    The third reason has posed a stumbling block for some, myself included, because the Church has been clear in its teaching about the inherent evil of abortion but not been so clear on just what social justice teaching says about how we as faithful Christians are to deal with those who enter this country illegally, no matter how sympathetic we may be to the reasons for them coming here.

    And, when high-profile prelates like Archbishop Chaput speak out so strongly on the first two reasons, at the same time including the reference to immigration, questions are bound to arise.

    Ultimately, we don’t have to look far to better understand His Excellency’s stand on immigration, as he’s written about it. Here is a link to an article he wrote in response to the failure of the Comprehensive Immigration Bill of 2007.

    Fr. Z- I should think that rather than viewing this as a “rabbit hole”, why not consider it a teachable moment? Catholic social teaching in this country has been pretty badly dealt with, from the USCCB on down. Your contribution to this would be invaluable, if I do say so!

  33. rosshalde says:

    When it comes to Capital Punishment I trust the Doctors of the Church and Saints writings and the HOLY SCRIPTURES over the last 40 years of Modernism run crazy ANYDAY.

  34. chcrix says:

    There is far more wrong headed about this bill than abortion. If the bishops got everything they want with respect to abortion, I would still oppose it.

    Furthermore, even if they got the concessions they wanted now, these would be recinded in a year or two or ten. It is a shame that they don’t see that.

  35. Heather says:

    David Andrew:

    It is perfectly clear where +Chaput stands on immigration–he is at variance with the majority of Americans and he has no business making his left wing politics a matter of faith and morals.

    The failure of the Bush Amnesty plan in 2007 was a victory for many of us in the grassroots who opposed it.

  36. david andrew says:


    It is clear that you have an axe to grind with respect to Archbishop Chaput’s position on immigration. I appreciate that, but I’m not interested in whether or not he’s at variance with the majority of Americans.

    I’m interested in knowing if what he says squares with solid orthodox teaching (in both content and the way it is expressed in his writings) or if there’s a more precise teaching regarding immigration that is clearly stated, and that takes into account the broader issue of subsidiarity and the moral imperatives surrounding the care for the poor and needy.

    I’ll be blunt. Catholics in America have been sold a bill of goods regarding social justice as presented by the USCCB with respect to the government’s role in providing for the welfare of everyone, immigrant or otherwise. We need only look at the percentages of self-identified “faithful Catholics” who saw nothing wrong with voting pro-abortion candidates into office in 2008 to see the effects of this problem. Many Catholic voters clearly thought that merely because these same candidates took positions that seemed to ring true with “social justice teaching” as presented to them by their local Catholic parishes and dioceses, their election to office was justified. They were led to believe that all the issues were equal, and they weren’t given a consistently clear and unequivocal message from the USCCB, their diocese or their parish leadership regarding the distinctions between abortion and other “social justice” issues like illegal immigration and amnesty.

    I just recently read, while browsing the online bulletin of my former parish (a typical suburban parish in the Minneapolis/St. Paul diocese), that the movie “Avatar” was an excellent source of examples of “good Catholic Social teaching” and that the parish “Justice and Service” commission was providing brochures with questions for families to use when discussing the movie. This is no small parish and has a K-8 school attached. The influence assertions like this have on the formation of people’s consciences cannot be overlooked.

    If people at the parish level are being sold this kind of dreck on the parish level, how can we expect Catholics generally to have any decent conscience formation with respect to important issues like immigration?

    Once again, I’m asking if we can set aside the rhetoric and if someone can point to resources that present sound, solid Catholic teaching on issues like immigration that doesn’t sound like watered-down socialism or is expressed terms that can be twisted and confused with socialist ideologies.

  37. Heather says:

    David Andrew: I do not have an axe to grind…I disagree with him and the way he conflates his political stances with Catholic teaching.

    Sure–it’s great seeing a bishop or two grow a pair and stand up for the babies–but they have to go a ruin a great defense of the Truth by pushing their tired left wing policies that are frankly a scandal to our non-Catholic neighbors. People living in California aren’t exactly wrong when they place part of the blame on the Catholic Church there for their schools, hospitals, and social services being overwhelmed by an alien invasion.

  38. DisturbedMary says:

    Time’s up. Wake up. In the face of the unprecedented treachery of the Culture of Death, the Bishops should just say “NO” unequivically NO to this so-called healthcare bill. The underlying philosophy does not pass the life test. Whether you are old, young, immigrant, born, unborn, disabled, healthy, whether you have a conscience or not — it is immoral to permit our Government to take control of our bodies from conception to natural death with no regard for the dignity of life. Can it get any more unCatholic?

    The Culture of Death can’t help itself. We had the Senate version passed on Christmas Eve. I bet this one goes to Good Friday.

  39. bookworm says:

    I don’t mean to hijack this thread because it’s supposed to be about the healthcare bill, but for those who are looking for “solid orthodox teaching” on immigration, let’s just stop and consider the basics:

    — There is a difference between laws designed to curb clearly immoral and destructive acts like murder, rape, fraud, child abuse, etc. and laws that exist for the sake of public order, such as traffic and zoning laws. Immigration laws are of the second type — they exist to maintain public order.

    — Immigration in and of itself is a morally neutral act (not intrinsically evil like abortion). When done for the right reasons and the right intentions (e.g. to obtain religious or political freedom, to insure a better life for one’s family), immigration is good. When done with bad intentions (i.e. to commit crimes, exploit the “system” for personal gain, or foment terrorism), it is bad. In order to insure that the rights and good of the citizens who are already here is maintained, there need to be some limits and laws to separate those who immigrate with good intentions from those who do not.

    — Public order laws must always be respected but from a Catholic moral point of view they can be more flexible and open to change than laws of the first type. Abortion and euthanasia are totally non-negotiable issues; immigration is a very negotiable issue.

    — The Catechism states that countries have a right to set conditions for people who immigrate, and that immigrants have a duty to respect these laws. So some kind of reasonable limits or conditions on immigration are completely in accord with Catholic teaching. However, the operative word here is how you define “reasonable.” How many immigrants should be permitted to enter the U.S., and under what conditions, and what should be done with illegal or undocumented immigrants (particularly those who have broken no other laws), are all matters of prudential judgment about which Catholics are free to disagree.

    — In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites not to “molest or oppress” aliens who were willing to live with them in peace, “for you were once aliens in the land of Egypt.” Obviously, God does not want His people killing, torturing, persecuting, or enslaving aliens purely because of their alien status (legal or illegal). However, aliens who were NOT willing to live in peace with the Israelites or who attempted to subvert their religion or way of life were not welcome and were subject to expulsion (e.g. in the Book of Ezra, Jewish men were ordered to divorce pagan wives). Ancient Israel may have been more tolerant (at least on paper) of aliens than other countries which automatically treated all aliens as enemies, but they did NOT have a no-questions-asked open border policy either.

  40. Wow… looking at the rash accusations against the Archbishop over a statement taken out of context and misinterpreted just has me shaking my head.

    For the record, +Chaput did not make immigration equal to the other issues. He said that the health care bill fails to meet the Catholic moral teaching on three areas:

    1) Abortion
    2) Conscience protection
    3) Immigration

    Even if it had met the requirements (which it doesn’t) on some of them, this Health Care reform utterly fails in other areas.

    It seems to be at least Rash Judgment to accuse +Chaput of “Liberal” politics on this issue.

    Why not find out what the Church requires in terms of immigration before bearing false witness against him?

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