Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Catholic Left is watching you

Nobody expects the Leftist Inquisition
In a way reminiscent of those old Hollywood stereotypes about the Catholic Church, it looks like a bunch of priests have been caught.  The reaction immediate.  The retaliation swift.  Caught doing what you may ask.  Molesting children?  Engaging in child porn?  Teaching false doctrine?

No!  They attended a Trump rally and responded positively, even when Trump said things that his critics were appalled by.  Alas, but the cameras caught them, and keen New Prolife Catholics were fast to jump on their error.  Calls to alert their bishop were made, and it looks like the Bishop himself got involved.

Ah, I can remember when Internet Catholics were disgusted by the idea that people would call someone's bishop over something like politics, when a priest would suggest an ardently pro-abortion politician might be publicly chastened, or that the Church should even have an opinion on the behavior of its flock. We're all sinners after all.

I remember Catholics laughing along with Obama, or Hillary, no matter what they advocated and it was all OK.  I remember them blowing beer out their noses over liberal late night comedians, even if they advocated intrinsic evil, mortal sin that cried out to heaven for vengeance, or even toyed with blasphemy. If you want to know what the modern Left values - and that includes the Catholic Left - you need only go back ten or twenty years and see what they condemned.  There is an ever increasing likelihood that the two are one and the same.

Not that this Catholic Left Inquisition is new.  I posted some time ago about a prominent Catholic blogger letting slip the dogs of war and calling on her readers to swoop in and derail the career of a judge who dared disagree with her.  The issue?  That would be the shooting of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.  So there is precedent.  It looks like calling down the wrath of Holy Mother Church on those who dare digress from the priorities and narratives of the Political Left is becoming quite the thing.  And it looks like ol'Holy Mother Church might be more willing to comply than it was back in the day; back when it did its best Rodney Dangerfield tug-at-the-collar impersonation when asked to punish people over advocating abortion or gay sex.

The Left is in full Inquisition mode, scouring the countryside every day, seeking out those who have fallen from the purer faith of the political Left and the superiority of the latest ethics.  You will be careful if you're Catholic.  If you are a priest.   You can never be good enough.  And all notions of tolerance and diversity and respect for other opinions are out the window.  You've been warned.


  1. Hm... if the USCCB has declared Trump's immigration policy immoral, why is the author linking to a news paper to support this, rather than the declaration?

    I'm familiar with the news' habit of taking a statement from one bishop, or even a group that works for the USCCB, and declaring it to be the statement of the USCCB.

    That's before we get to the issue of the sinfulness of disagreeing with a bishop on political issues.

    1. It does seem as though the USCCB is more openly critical of Trump's policies. I know they spoke against Obama's, too. They seem to be, in all but name, for Open Borders. I just didn't realize you could get in trouble, given all the priests and nuns I've seen attend various rallies and protests over the years.

    2. We had a priest get reassigned because he did a homily on the indissolubility of marriage.

      The many divorced and remarried rich folks that did most of the donations didn't like that; he got reassigned.

    3. It seems like speaking out about actual Church teachings will get you in far more trouble than going along with the tides of the post-modern Left.

    4. They seem to be, in all but name, for Open Borders.

      I'm not Catholic, but I've heard this charge before and it should be noted that the U.S. Bishops have repeatedly responded to it. For example, they respond to the "open borders" charge here:


      One would need to make the case that what the Bishops have said still, nonetheless, amounts being in favor of "open borders", even if not explicitly stated (and affirmatively denied). But I have yet to see someone make such a case. Given what the Bishops have said, it is no surprise that they have vigorously -- and consistently -- opposed the policies of both the Obama and Trump Administrations.

      Donald Kerwin (former Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.), also denied support for "open borders" in a piece for the Migration Policy Institute, back in 2016:


    5. One would need to make the case that what the Bishops have said still, nonetheless, amounts being in favor of "open borders", even if not explicitly stated (and affirmatively denied).

      That should be: "...amounts to being..."

    6. ... in a piece for the Migration Policy Institute, back in 2016

      Further correction: That should be 2006.

    7. Thanks for that. I don't mean they explicitly have said they're for Open Borders. But they say little to nothing that doesn't seem to end up pointing to open borders. Sure, when pressed, they'll stand by the traditional teaching that a nation has a right to exist, and protect its people, and even regulate entrance into its lands. But on the day to day, the only thing that seems to draw their ire is when anything that would seem to restrict open immigration is proposed. That's the quandary; perhaps the inconsistency. That's also just the Bishops. Though most Americans oppose Open Borders, it's obvious that there are some very vocal advocates who are now pushing for them.

    8. Stuff like this:

      Bishop Seitz, unless he is deaf, dumb and blind, is aware of the huge increase in violent cartel activity so close to his Cathedral that I could sprint to it. (if there wasn't a wall in the way-- a wall which, incidentally, GREATLY decreased the number of innocent Americans horrifically murdered or violently victimized, and dropped other crime as well)

      He also wants to make us, here, as disarmed as they are across the border in Mexico.

    9. There are also near-weekly nags on similar things, and urging to go to protests of the policy of not putting kids in jail when their parents are criminals.

    10. Dave: [O]n the day to day, the only thing that seems to draw their ire is when anything that would seem to restrict open immigration is proposed.

      Maybe it's a failure of proper balance, emphasizing in various public statements only one aspect of what they've said in documents like the one I cited, while not giving due attention to the other aspect. In that respect, what some Bishops have said in their criticisms of the Obama and Trump Administrations isn't wrong so much as it is incomplete, and thus potentially misleading if not viewed within the context of what has been written elsewhere. I suppose I'm trying to be as charitable as I can, though perhaps your criticisms of the Bishops are justified.

      Foxfier: Stuff like this...

      From what I understand, Trump's deployment of National Guard to the Southern Border differed from similar deployments under Bush and Obama in at least two significant respects: (1) border apprehensions at the time of Trump's deployment were at near historic lows, unlike under Bush and Obama when deployments were in response to surges in apprehensions; (2) the composition of those apprehended now are more likely to be asylum-seekers from Central America (Source: Migration Policy Institute). In fact, Trump's announcement came after reports of the "caravan" of Central American asylum-seekers coming to the border.

      That's not to say that deployment of some National Guard to the Southern Border is not a good idea, or won't become necessary in the future. However, Bishop Seitz's statement (whatever its faults) makes clear that he has this wider context in mind -- the differing composition of those coming to the border (i.e. those seeking asylum), and presumably a current approach to this problem that is not, according to the Bishops, consistent with human dignity. The Trump Administration responded to what apprehensions that exist with a National Guard deployment that wasn't even requested by state officials (though they were happy with it).

      There are also near-weekly nags on similar things, and urging to go to protests of the policy of not putting kids in jail when their parents are criminals.

      If so, it's only because the policy of not putting kids in jail with their parents, or keeping them detained together, are not the only two options available. The Bishops made this clear when they objected to the Obama Administration's policy of family detention back in 2014, calling for what's been called "alternatives to detention":


    11. JMHenry-
      you forgot a third way it was different; a large, organized caravan was openly bragging about coming to the US to cross the border and was being publicly escorted by both the Mexican gov't and private organizations, and that requires at least permission from every single cartel they walked through the land of. Which means it was either supported by, or paying off, each cartel.

      Or they'd have had to be leaving a string of corpses behind them, and I think even our media would have had to take notice of the leave-dismembered-corpses-in-the-road standard method in that case. Heaven knows they managed to "miss" the large numbers of able-bodied men which vanished from the caravan after Trump mentioned the National Guard would be on the border, even though the journalists actually IN the caravan reported it.

      Legally speaking, if they are seeking asylum, they're supposed to do so in the first country they hit that isn't the country that's persecuting them. That would be Mexico, or points even further south.

      That's before we get to the known issue of asylum fraud, or that Obama was pretty dang open about leaning on the BP to not do their job, never mind the hardship and deaths that resulted from it.
      Ever talk to a guy who joined the Border Patrol to keep the borders secure, and then spends a few years picking up the corpses of kids and young adults that he was not allowed to stop? Part of why the official that brought up the 6 year old in Arizona was so elated is that they found the kid not just alive, but in decent health. Of course the stats on apprehension are going to be different when you've got a chain that is openly removing officers from areas that are known smuggling routes.


      Alternatives to detention-- AKA, catch and release, where they promise they'll show up, and you believe they are an asylum seeker and turn them loose...and they don't show back up.

      Which is effectively open borders.

      That's before you consider the results of reuniting the smallest of kids with the adults who claim them-- seven adults weren't related, a dozen were violent criminals(including murder), one was a known abuser of the kid being claimed and the other wanted to leave his daughter with a known little-girl-diddler. Out of only 103 kids.

    12. I don't dispute any of your criticisms of the so-called "caravan" from earlier this year. Even other advocates for migrants and refugees distanced themselves from it and criticized it:


      And, in fact, I am in favor of refugees who are fleeing violence seeking asylum in the first safe country in which they arrive. As you say, that could be Mexico (if, in fact, Mexico is a safe country for asylum-seekers, something which is often disputed depending on the particular cases at issue). While it might not be viable in some cases, there is evidence that it's a viable for others:


      On the other hand, Mexico as a "safe country" is complicated by the fact that agents looking for Central American migrants, in order to retain the goodwill of the U.S., have engaged in a crackdown that not only has deported almost a million Central Americans, but has engaged in detention and widespread torture:


      There's also the option of "in-country" refugee processing which allows those suffering violence and threats of violence in Central America to seek asylum from where they are, rather than make the long and dangerous journey northward at all. To its credit, the Obama Administration attempted to do just that back in 2014:


      I don't know if the Trump Administration attempted something similar. Perhaps it did, and I'm just unaware of it. But an active and robust campaign of this sort might have helped to avoid the recent controversy entirely, or at least could have reduced it significantly. But that's just speculation. We'll never know what could have been.

      Alternatives to detention-- AKA, catch and release, where they promise they'll show up, and you believe they are an asylum seeker and turn them loose...and they don't show back up.

      Except they do show up. At least, that is, according to Cato's assessment of the various "alternatives to detention", which reported that the rates of successful check-ins and court appearances were very high:


      Once again, if such alternatives were deployed in an active and robust way, perhaps the current controversy could have been avoided entirely, or significantly reduced. Once again, we'll never know what could have been.

      Yes, you are correct that reuniting children with alleged parents is a matter that must be conducted with extreme care, for all the reasons you mention. That's why, as far as detention was concerned, I was pleased to see in Trump's Executive Order that: "The Secretary shall not, however, detain an alien family together when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child’s alien parent would pose a risk to the child’s welfare."

      That didn't get very much attention, though. But I noted it when I read the EO.

    13. If you knew the caravan was what it was, why on earth did you bring it up as an example of innocent migrants? Mexico kept them-- those who still had media attention-- because they had been so public about supporting them, and Trump shocked them by not folding.
      It's ALWAYS worked before.

      The Guardian attempting to pin the actions of Mexico's so-called law enforcement on the US, much less on the current US "crackdown" of not allowing them to channel anybody across our border that they want, would require a time machine that goes back at least decades; the idea that they are motivated by desire to please America is likewise ridiculous.

      Curious that CATO would want to fixate on pilot programs, when we have objective reports of what the specific policies actually resulted in:
      The report states that 35,695 illegal alien adults with children were apprehended illegally at the U.S. border and were subsequently released without being detained between July 18, 2014 and May 26, 2015. Of these, 12,441 have had final rulings on their immigration cases.

      About 11,516 of these adults were given orders of removal by an immigration judge. Among these, 10,436 -- about 84 percent of the total number of completed cases -- were ordered removed in absentia, meaning they did not show up to court as scheduled.


    14. If you knew the caravan was what it was, why on earth did you bring it up as an example of innocent migrants?

      I cited it as an example of the differing composition of those apprehended (i.e. more asylum-seekers from Central America), as opposed to what motivated previous deployments of National Guard, whatever the faults and criticisms of this particular caravan. Trump's announcement showed that he was at least aware of the larger humanitarian problem. Whatever the merits of deploying the National Guard, there were other options available, options that could have been used at the very least in addition to any National Guard deployment (see below).

      I was referring to Mexico's crackdown. Sorry if that wasn't clear. And the claim is that this crackdown (which has reportedly involved all kinds of abuses, including torture) is motivated by U.S. pressure (e.g., see here, also from the Guardian), although that is by no means the only purported reason for the crackdown.

      In any case, it's beside the point from what was originally at issue: Is Mexico a "safe country" for asylum-seekers? Again, the Catholic News article I cited would seem to suggest that it can be a viable option for some. However, the reports of abuses and torture at the hands of agents in the midst of Mexico's crackdown on Central American migrants would seem to prove that it is not a "safe country" for all of them, and is indeed unsafe for many of them.

      Cato argued that, if the programs were expanded, then they would be cheaper and more effective than detention (and, at least according to the Bishops, more consistent with human dignity); and that they might improve the rates of court appearances by illegal immigrants than what is currently the case. That's the whole point.

      The CNS News piece that you cited does not actually link to the DOJ data. A Politifact article last month actually did so and came to different conclusions:


      The piece notes two things: (1) Most show up, though in absolute terms the number that don't show up is still significant; (2) We also have to look at the rates for asylum-seekers specifically, and while we don't have a whole lot of data for them, they seem to show higher rates of compliance. This could be because they were under some form of case management (one of the alternatives to detention Cato discusses). So, one could draw the conclusion that, if the composition of apprehensions is significantly made up of those seeking asylum, then they are more likely to attend their court hearings than all migrants taken together, especially provided they are under active and robust management and monitoring.

      This might also explain why ICE itself, in its FY 2018 budget overview, requested additional money to expand alternatives to detention (ATDs):


      Finally, the CNS News article you cited provides only a single link -- to a press release from former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. But, notably, it refers to what I mentioned earlier, namely, the Obama Administration's attempt to establish "in-country" refugee processing. He goes on to call for aid in addressing so-called "push factors" that are driving the underlying causes of illegal immigration from Central America.

      Once again, I wonder what might have been if Trump had pursued these other options -- active and robust alternatives to detention and in-country refugee processing, etc. (And, as I indicated earlier, this could have been done in addition to the deployment of National Guard.) Again, it could have avoided the recent controversy entirely.

  2. Personally I'm waiting to see even a single citation from one of the Church Fathers supporting open borders. It's not like there was no occasion for them to speak up on the matter -- the period is known as the Migrations Period for a reason -- but as far as I can see, not one of them ever seems to have suggested that those poor Goths and Vandals were just looking for a better life, and also no-one is illegal, so we've got to do what Jesus said and welcome them into our country.

    1. Church Fathers or no, the Church seems to be embracing that post-national Open Borders template that's been buzzing around for some years now. In fact, there is increasingly little I light between the modern Left and the Ancient Faith that I can see. A few theological doctrines and nature of God teachings, but when it comes to what it means in the here and now, the two are increasingly becoming one flesh. At least IMHO.

  3. Hm...wondering if this may have been triggered by people pointing out that the emphasis on prudential, political issues is driving people out of the Church.

    Faithful people. Orthodox people. Who hold no stances in conflict with the Church.

    Folks like mom, who hasn't heard a homily on, oh, the theology of the body in at least 40 years...but gets pro-illegal-immigration every time she goes in, assuming the priest bothers to do the homily in English for the English mass.

  4. Somewhat related:
    this year, for the first time in my life, the US did not accept and resettle more refugees...than the entire rest of the world combined.



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