In a statement on Thursday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said it “welcomes” President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty action.
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Migration, said his committee “welcomed the news today that the Obama administration will defer deportations for many undocumented immigrants and their families.”
“We have a long history of welcoming and aiding the poor, the outcast, the immigrant, and the disadvantaged,” Elizondo said in the statement. “Each day, the Catholic Church in the United States, in her social service agencies, hospitals, schools, and parishes, witnesses the human consequences of the separation of families, when parents are deported from their children or spouses from each other.”
“We’ve been on record asking the Administration to do everything within its legitimate authority to bring relief and justice to our immigrant brothers and sisters,” Elizondo continued. “As pastors, we welcome any efforts within these limits that protect individuals and protect and reunite families and vulnerable children.”
Similarly, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky and president of the USCCB, said regarding Obama’s executive amnesty, “There is an urgent pastoral need for a more humane view of immigrants and a legal process that respects each person’s dignity, protects human rights, and upholds the rule of law.”
“As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, said so eloquently: ‘Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected, and loved.'”
Writing at National Catholic Register, Catholic journalist Patrick Archbold described the USCCB statement on Obama’s executive amnesty as “awful.”
“How much longer we will have to endure this sort of disingenuous dreck of what amounts to little more than Catholic cover of democrat party initiatives?” Archbold wrote.
He observed that the bishops’ “welcome” for this action – which Obama himself has claimed numerous times in the past lacks legitimate authority – demonstrates their “‘by any means necessary’ approach to public policy preferences.”
“That the action lacks legitimacy and authority is implicitly acknowledged and dismissively side-stepped in the double ‘doth protest too much’ reference of the statement to legitimacy and limits,” wrote Archbold. “The apparatchiks at the USCCB know full well that the President lacks the authority to conduct this action, they just don’t care. In this way, they are just like the progressives whom they unflaggingly support.”
Asserting that, in its statement, the USCCB continues to give “short shrift, no shrift (or mere lip service) to the legitimate rights of sovereign nations to protect their borders,” Archbold wrote the bishops once again are showing they are “willing to use the visage of episcopal approbation to promote the public policy preferences of the leftists that run it, by any means necessary.”
“By doing so, the USSCB proves that it is out of its depth, out of its competence, and out of its mind,” he concluded.