The massive, coordinated initiative by the Catholic Church to push for comprehensive immigration reform is being run by a group that has the support of the most far-left corners of the Church who often seem to be at odds with actual Catholic doctrinal teachings.
As Breitbart News’ Mike Flynn wrote Thursday, Kevin Appleby, Director of Migration Policy for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is coordinating the Church’s initiative to apply political pressure to Congress to pass an immigration reform law that will include a pathway to citizenship.
According to its USCCB website, Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) “is charged with assisting the bishops in the development and promotion of migration policy positions within the context of the Church’s social teaching:”
MRS works with grassroots Catholic networks across the US to promote fair immigration and refugee policies, advocates for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, engages in the fight against human trafficking, develops initiatives aimed at educating Catholics on the Church’s teaching on migration, and assists the U.S. Catholic bishops in carrying the voice of the Church to Congress and the Administration.
Among the coalitions with which MRS/USCCB is closely aligned is the Justice for Immigrants Campaign which is the “boots on the ground” group that is “designed to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of good will in support of a broad legalization program and comprehensive immigration reform.”
Even though support of amnesty is not a doctrinal matter for the Catholic Church, Justice for Immigrants has been so successful in its media campaign that it has positioned even the most conservative Catholic bishops, who have rebuked the Democrat-led federal government on Catholic doctrinal matters, such as abortion and marriage, to place their trust in essentially the same politicians in the area of comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty.
Even Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who heads the USCCB, publicly criticized Republicans during an MSNBC interview in May of 2012.
“You need to get your house in order when it comes to immigration,” Dolan said to the GOP. “You have the reputation of being fairly tough on immigrants…you’d better come up with a much saner, more civil, more just immigration policy.”
However, some of the founding member organizations of Justice for Immigrants are groups whose actions have not been aligned with Catholic doctrinal teachings, such as those on abortion and marriage.
Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) has been under scrutiny for several years for its ties to pro-abortion leaders.
A Planned Parenthood lobbyist, Alisa LaPolt Snow, recently drew national condemnation when she told Florida state representatives that, if a baby is born alive during a botched abortion, the decision about whether to save its life “should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”
LaPolt Snow’s biography, however, indicated that she served “on the board of Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida – Tallahassee.”
Earlier that year, Catholic Charities of San Francisco had invited a number of pro-abortion lawmakers to its annual Loaves and Fishes fundraiser, including several with 100 percent pro-abortion voting records with NARAL. In addition, it had been previously discovered that the director of programs of San Francisco Catholic Charities had adopted children with his gay partner and was publicly supported by the charity’s leaders.
According to LifeSiteNews, Sister Jeannine Gramick, founder of New Ways Ministry, a dissident group, said, “Catholic Charities in general have been the most progressive wing of the church other than the nuns.”
CCUSA also pressed the Catholic faithful to support passage of ObamaCare “immediately,” even though the law lacked a provision that excluded funding of abortion.
Pope Benedict XVI had issued an apostolic letter last December that directed Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella group that represents CCUSA and Catholic Relief Services, to cease practices that are inconsistent with Church teaching. The former pope warned diocesan bishops and parish priests about the increase in charitable services to the poor becoming integrated with practices that are inconsistent with Church doctrine.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a Justice for Immigrants member organization, has also been at the center of a scandal this year regarding the funding of organizations that promote abortion and birth control. According to LifeSiteNews, CRS has denied any direct involvement in either funding or the distribution of items related to abortion or contraception.
Last week, LifeSiteNews reported, however, that CRS is a dues-paying member and on the board of directors of MEDiCAM, an organization that has supported the individual training of abortion providers, and CORE Group, which has devoted half of its total budget to “family planning.”
CRS reportedly admitted this fact, and responded, “We acknowledge our differences, air our disagreements on these issues, and contribute our Catholic voice to the conversation.”
Similarly, in July, CRS reportedly gave $2.7 million to a population control organization that uses its work to distribute anti-malaria drugs and mosquito nets as a means of spreading its population control programs.
The Catholic Health Association (CHA), also a founding member of Justice for Immigrants, last month announced that it would accept the White House’s “accommodation” for religious employers that opposed the HHS contraception and abortifacients mandate, even though the bishops said the final rule failed to resolve several key concerns for them.
Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of CHA had also supported the passage of ObamaCare, even after the USCCB withdrew its backing because of concerns about whether the health reform law would be used to subsidize abortions.
Though not specifically mentioned as a “member organization” of Justice for Immigrants, the Nuns on the Bus, a group of Catholic nuns that espouses liberal social policies, held a national bus tour for comprehensive immigration reform this summer.
Last year, the Nuns spoke out against Congressman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s budget proposal which, they said, favored wealthy Americans at the expense of the poor. Following that tour, Sister Simone Campbell, leader of the Nuns, appeared on “The Colbert Report” and was a prime-time speaker at the Democrat National Convention, despite the fact that the DNC openly promoted abortion and same-sex marriage.
Given the backing of many well-known “Catholic” organizations, the Church’s political advocacy for immigration is significant. As Breitbart News’ Flynn noted, the “support of amnesty seems broader and more coordinated than its actions against an ObamaCare mandate requiring coverage of contraception. In recent years, the Church has been more vocal in its criticism of abortion, but even that seems muted in comparison with current plans on immigration reform.”