It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rick Santorum Attacks Teachings of Pope and Bishops

GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum
(Iowa Caucuses) -- The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are wrong by calling for comprehensive immigration reform that includes an earned path to legalization, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said today.

The Pennsylvania Republican, who is seeking his party’s nomination for president, said in an interview with Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich that the United States is a country of laws and it must enforce those laws.

“If we develop the program like the Catholic bishops suggested we would be creating a huge magnet for people to come in and break the law some more, we’d be inviting people to cross this border, come into this country and with the expectation that they will be able to stay here permanently,” said Santorum, who usually attends Latin Mass with his family at a Catholic church in suburban Washington, D.C.

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I guess it's time we have a frank talk on immigration, especially since a second-tier Catholic Republican candidate for president has thought it necessary to educate the pope and bishops on their teaching.

To be fair I think I should give Rick Santorum some brownie points here. First, he is a Traditional Catholic and regularly attends a Latin mass. That's a big plus! He is also consistent on the Church's reproductive teachings, as he has seven children. Add another big plus! He's been a Catholic a lot longer than Newt Gingrich - big plus - and his public policy on abortion and euthanasia is 100% consistent with the Church -- plus, plus & plus!!!

On the flip side he's done some pretty weird things. For starters he once endorsed and campaigned for the pro-abortion candidate Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) against the pro-life Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in the GOP primary. Why? That one puzzles a lot of people. He's also a total Zionist, pledging his unwavering (and possibly unconditional) support for Israel. He has openly stated his eagerness to bomb Iran pre-emptively, which is particularly disturbing, and very VERY un-Catholic. Now this...

Santorum has decided to lecture the pope and the US Catholic bishops on immigration policy. Anyone can see why he's doing it. He wants to score some conservative Republican votes in Iowa, and he knows this is his last shot to knock out Newt Gingrich before his campaign effectively goes defunct. Gingrich supports a policy that is closer to the bishops' teaching on the matter.

Now please don't mistake this as an endorsement for Gingrich, because its not. Gingrich is a big government Republican who looks up to both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt as his role models. Gingrich is also a total Zionist and doesn't even acknowledge the Palestinian right to exist as a people -- a position that flies in the face of what the pope has said. So Gingrich is a big part of the problem in Washington DC.

On the subject of immigration though, it's time to be frank, and The Catholic Knight has been very frank with my readers for the last couple years on this one. Look, I have a bitter pill for you to swallow and it's called "truth." You can either take the pill or kick me in the teeth, but the truth doesn't change regardless.

The truth is the United States has a huge demographics problem. Native-born Americans simply don't make enough babies. That's a fact, like it or lump it. Now granted, Santorum is a good Catholic in his personal life, and has produced seven children. He should get credit for that. In this respect he is certainly NOT part of America's demographic problem. Bully for him! We should look to him as an example here. However, that does not give him the right to criticise the pope and bishops on their teachings regarding immigration.

What are the teachings of the pope and bishops?  This is one of the pope's instructions on the matter...
Venerable John Paul II, on the occasion of this same Day celebrated in 2001, emphasized that "[the universal common good] includes the whole family of peoples, beyond every nationalistic egoism. The right to emigrate must be considered in this context. The Church recognizes this right in every human person, in its dual aspect of the possibility to leave one’s country and the possibility to enter another country to look for better conditions of life" (Message for World Day of Migration 2001, 3; cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Mater et Magistra, 30; Paul VI, Encyclical Octogesima adveniens, 17). At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity. "The challenge is to combine the welcome due to every human being, especially when in need, with a reckoning of what is necessary for both the local inhabitants and the new arrivals to live a dignified and peaceful life" (World Day of Peace 2001, 13).
From Castel Gandolfo, 27 September 2010
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI 
 In regards to the U.S. Catholic bishops, the following resolution has been passed....
I. Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland.
34. All persons have the right to find in their own countries the economic, political, and social opportunities to live in dignity and achieve a full life through the use of their God-given gifts. In this context, work that provides a just, living wage is a basic human need.

II. Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.
35. The Church recognizes that all the goods of the earth belong to all people. 15 When persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right.

III. Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders.
36. The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories but rejects such control when it is exerted merely for the purpose of acquiring additional wealth. More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows.

IV. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection.
37. Those who flee wars and persecution should be protected by the global community. This requires, at a minimum, that migrants have a right to claim refugee status without incarceration and to have their claims fully considered by a competent authority.

V. The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.
38. Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity that should be respected. Often they are subject to punitive laws and harsh treatment from enforcement officers from both receiving and transit countries. Government policies that respect the basic human rights of the undocumented are necessary.

39. The Church recognizes the right of a sovereign state to control its borders in furtherance of the common good. It also recognizes the right of human persons to migrate so that they can realize their God-given rights. These teachings complement each other. While the sovereign state may impose reasonable limits on immigration, the common good is not served when the basic human rights of the individual are violated. In the current condition of the world, in which global poverty and persecution are rampant, the presumption is that persons must migrate in order to support and protect themselves and that nations who are able to receive them should do so whenever possible. It is through this lens that we assess the current migration reality between the United States and Mexico.
Strangers No Longer Together on the Journey of Hope
A Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States
Issued by USCCB, January 22, 2003
read full statement here

Now to be balanced and rational, neither the pope nor the bishops have advocated a libertarian-style open border policy.  On the contrary, both the pope and bishops have acknowledged a state's right to protect it's own borders and national sovereignty.  That's why a comprehensive policy must be found in America that both seals the porous border with Mexico, and simultaneously creates a way for Mexican immigrants to enter the United States legally and be documented and tracked, while those already in the United States must apply for permanent residence visas or face deportation.  Citizenship should not be an option for those who enter the United States illegally, unless of course they leave for a short time and return legally. In that case they can go to the back of the line just like everyone else.

Americans do not produce enough babies - period - and because of that we need immigrants to shore up the safety net and the economy. Americans do no produce enough children to do either. So if we don't take the Mexicans in, to counter our own lack of fertility, than we are going to end up taking in the African and Asian Muslims just like Europe did. I'm not willing to go down that road. So I say, until the day comes when they finally outlaw abortion and "the pill," bring in the Mexicans by the truckload, document them and assimilate them into American culture. Do the same with those who are already here, but put them at the back of the line, since they tried to cut in front by crossing the border illegally, and then deport only those that will not comply with this new and generous policy.

Rick Santorum is wrong to lecture the Catholic bishops on this.  That of course does not make him ineligible for the presidency, as previous presidents and presidential candidates have done far worse, but he should be called out on this.  Santorum is wrong.  The pope and bishops are right.  Period.