Thursday, January 10, 2019


American Wall (done in bad taste)

Vatican Wall (done with good taste)

Don't get me wrong. I preach on love of God and neighbor as the Church teaches. But in areas of morality, there are different approaches to how one loves others. There is an enabling of bad behavior love and then there is tough love that moves people away from bad behavior or they get the wrath of justice before the balm of mercy.

The current immigration debacle in our country and in Europe is that what needs to be addressed is not being addressed politically or religiously. The foundation of the immigration problem has to do with the problems in the native lands these people are fleeing and trying to fix that or at least calling for fixes. Has anyone heard about this aspect from Pope Francis, our bishops or our political leaders?

I am a naturalized citizen. My father at the age of 16 and two of his older brothers, 17 and 20 immigrated from Canada to Detroit in 1926 for job opportunities at Ford Motors. They did so legally. My father did not become an American citizen until 1942 but was in this country legally the whole time prior to that and went through the proper channels to become an American.

My mother is an immigrant from Italy as am I. She became an American citizen the proper way in 1958, despite the fact that her three American children threatened to have her deported if she was to hard on us.

Walls work but have to have moral civil laws behind it. The Catholic Church teaches that we must obey legitimate civil authority, not blindly but there is that duty.

No one has a right to live in America who wasn't born here. Deportation is always a possibility even for those here legally, especially naturalized citizens who break the law. 

Yes, if there is a crisis, like in Syria and Iraq where Christians are being slaughtered and they must escape, the gate to the wall needs to be opened. But most of these kinds of immigrants don't want to leave their own country and would return once it is safe for them to do so.

Msgr. Pope has a good article on this. Press the title. What do you think?

Is There a Catholic View on the Border Wall?

Catholic teaching says that we must balance between the duty of a nation to welcome immigrants, and the duty of immigrants to obey a nation’s laws.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Has anyone heard about this aspect from Pope Francis, our bishops or our political leaders?"

Yes, regularly. Read our bishops' statements about the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

"Walls work..."

Do they? Think of the Berlin wall, the Great Wall of China, or the walls around the Warsaw Ghetto.

Gene said...

We do not need a wall...we need to mine the damn border.

TJM said...

Berlin Wall - designed to keep people trapped in the socialist hellhole of East Germany
Great Wall - designed to protect the country's borders
Warsaw Ghetto - designed to keep the Jews in their place.

Of course, liberals can never distinguish between defensive walls and oppressive ones. If walls don't work, I suggest Barack Obama remove his, followed by PF.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Berlin Wall - designed to keep people trapped in the socialist hellhole of East Germany."

Didn't work, people escaped, wall demolished.

"Great Wall - designed to protect the country's borders.

Didn't work - breached numerous times by Manchu, Mongolians, others. Now a tourist attraction.

"Warsaw Ghetto - designed to keep the Jews in their place."

No, it was designed as a holding pen for Jews before their planned extermination. Didn't work. Jews are still with us, thanks be to God.

TJM said...

Berlin Wall - worked admirably well, very few escaped, and many were killed escaping. No thanks to YOUR political party which was happy to keep the East Germans in the soviet sphere, taking a Republican President, allied with Lady Thatcher and John Paul II, to bring about the downfall of Communism which now appears to be alive and well in the modern Democratic Party.

But that's all beside the point, it was not defensive or protective but oppressive.

Great Wall - was defensive and worked well over the centuries.

Warsaw Ghetto - I see you are playing a semantics game. As a wall of oppression, it did keep them in their place until they were hauled off to the ovens. However, you need to keep up with modern Democratic orthodoxy, Jews are now bad, they need to go away.

A wall on the southern border of the US would be defensive. But since the Dems support abortion on demand they need to import voters dependent on the Dems for their daily bread.

Православный физик said...

Immigration, and the problems thereof, are matters of prudential judgement. Therefore there can be two different solutions that are totally Catholic. My thoughts:

Those that don't support the wall should unlock all of their doors, and tear their walls down. One might as well practice what one preaches.

I don't think the wall will get built during Trumps's presidency though....

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Those that don't support the wall should unlock all of their doors, and tear their walls down. One might as well practice what one preaches."

Joe, your false assumption is that those who do not support building a wall on our Mexican border are opposed to legitimate immigration laws and policies.

That is an utterly false assumption.

Most of us understand that the wall is unnecessary. The vast majority of those in the country illegally come with legitimate visas and overstay the time limits. The wall will do nothing to reduce or stop this.

The vast majority of illegal drugs that get into our country is smuggled in through legal entry points. The wall will do nothing to reduce or stop this.

The vast majority of murders on our streets are committed by American citizens, not "illegal" aliens. The wall will do nothing to stop or reduce this.

Building the wall is a folly.

Those of us opposed to the wall WANT legitimate enforcement of our laws and policies. Moreover, with our bishops, we WANT comprehensive immigration law reforms.

TJM said...


Thanks for sharing the Abortion Party's talking points, designed to obfuscate and mislead.

If Immigration laws were enforced, there would be millions less Abortion Party voters and you and your party know it. This is about raw power, nothing more.

Just a few short years ago, Pelosi, Schumer, Obama and CLinton wanted a wall and voted for it (because Dem union voters were for it).But then they figured out that millions of new voters dependent on government was more important than the safety of American citizens (including union members) and controlling the public purse.

You can deny reality all you want, but you aren't fooling anyone. If walls are not important, I would think that you would be the first to demand that your little, wooden god, Obama, tear his down.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - What I stated are the facts, all supported by information from the Trump administration.

"But data from his own administration repeatedly show that a rising number of smuggled drugs, especially more potent ones like heroin and cocaine, are increasingly seized at legal ports of entry, which are not impacted by a wall."

Customs and Border Patrol, Last update was September 2018.

Visa Overstays


These are not talking points. They are data from the Trump administration.

TJM said...



Your point about drug smuggling is irrelevant. Drugs can get smuggled in at ports of entry but they also flow across the border where there is no wall. Also, murderers and rapists
are flowing in, where there is no wall, compliments of the Abortion Party!!

You would fit in with the fraudsters at CNN who refused to interview locals in San Diego who said the wall there is effective:

By the way, just like Mark Thomas, you are avoiding my point on Obama's wall. Shouldn't he tear it down, so illegals can be welcome in his home? Sounds like a typical lib, do as I say, not as I do

Anonymous said...

Well, in the spirit of bipartisanship, I will criticize both sides. As for the Democrats, Pelosi's statement that a wall is "immorality" is among the dumber statements of this "I'm personally opposed, but...." Catholic. And Democrats do not seem to care about border security. On the other hand, I do recall when Obama was president, the Senate handily passed an immigration bill, and the House? Well, they sat on it, never brought it to a vote (I guess because some of the hard liners feared the bill would pass, not because it might fail.) If memory serves me well, Republicans had control of the House during the 2017-2018 session and did not pass a bill---they did not need a single Democratic vote to do so. Of course now Trump is in a weakened position because his party lost 40 seats in the House---the worst GOP House losses since the Watergate debacle of 1974. Any explanation in a good economy and relative peace why Republicans lost so many seats?

It is hard to know where to go to get objective information on this issue. On the Left, CNN is a relentless critic of Trump, never finding anything he has done right, and FOX never utters any criticism of Trump---he can do no wrong. so understandable to folks like me that it looks like each side is "playing politics" to stoke up their base.

TJM said...


The Republicans lost more seats in the House, probably since Watergate, but expanded their majority in the Senate, hence the Blue Wave did not materialize. In contrast, Clinton and Obama suffered the worst House losses in modern history.

Republicans lost seats because they were almost 40 retirements. Without those retirements, the Republicans may have held the House by a slim majority or lost it by a slim majority. Hatred of Trump motivated the left (good economy and record numbers of minorities being employed be damned) and of course, there was massive voter fraud in states like California, where miraculously 8 Republican House members who "won" their seats by election eve, lost them through "vote harvesting" following the election. That is why the sentient amongst believe votes that have not arrived by election day should not be counted.

In terms of Fox, Shep Smith, is its resident Never Trumper, and Judge Nappy is a close second.In contrast, CNN is 100% Never Trump.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - One of Trump's MAIN reasons for demanding a wall is to stop drug smuggling. Yet you suggest it is irrelevant. I would provide a dozen quotes attesting to that, but you would ignore them.

Like Trump, you assert that the Congressional elections were a triumph for him. It wasn't, but that is of no consequence to someone whose connection to reality is minimal, at best.

I'm not going to respond to you henceforth. It is pointless. That won't stop you from making absurd statements, from accusing falsely those, like me, who disagree with you, or for turning discussions about immigration policy, science, scriptural interpretation, alleged voter fraud, etc., into stupendously absurd rants about abortion.

May God bless and keep you from harm and give you peace.

Anonymous said...

TJM, the blue wave most certainly did materialize---the worst Republican losses in the House not "probably" since Watergate, but definitely since then. As for the Senate, only a third of it is up every year, so it is not really a good barometer of the national mood. Furthermore, the electoral map in the Senate favored the Republicans this time---although Republicans did not pick up any states that backed Clinton last time.

In the Atlanta area, Republicans lost 14 State House seats despite the good economy up here, many of those in more moderate areas who favor neither redistribution of wealth nor boorish behavior and inflammatory rhetoric. Voter fraud there too? It is not just the so-called "Hard Left" that has issues with Trump.

As for a wall, yes in places, but please not in the middle of the Rio Grande! And come up with legislation which goes just beyond a wall---oh, but that would require both parties to quit playing politics on the issue. LOL.......

TJM said...


A blue wave would have cost the Republicans the senate, period. When Obama cost the Dems the House, the Senate, and almost 1000 state wide seats did you refer to it as a "red wave?" Very doubtful.

No Catholic should glory in the Abortion Party winning anything (which also supports other intrinsic evils like gay marriage). That Party needs to go the way of the Whigs

John Nolan said...

To modify one commentator's cavalier approach to history:

Before the Berlin Wall was built in August 1961 the numbers fleeing East Germany via west Berlin had increased to 15,000 a month. Overnight this haemorrhage ceased and east Berlin was effectively sealed off. It also made it less likely that the Soviet Union would take military action over Berlin, which Khrushchev had been threatening. In Cold War terms the Wall had a stabilizing effect, and it lasted for nearly thirty years, falling only when the régime which built and sustained it collapsed.

Hadrian's Wall gave the Roman Empire a defensible frontier for over three centuries. It served to pacify a volatile region and also served as a customs barrier. In medieval times towns and cities had walls for both defensive and revenue purposes. Thanks to its walls Vienna was able to withstand two sieges by the Ottoman Turks in 1529 and 1683. They were demolished in the 19th century to make way for the Ringstraße because the city had outgrown them and they no longer had a strategic significance.

To take two present-day examples, whatever the rights and wrongs of the Israeli West Bank Barrier, it has been successful in dramatically reducing the number of terrorist incidents and therefore in saving lives. And as of 2017 there are 21 miles of 'interface barriers' or 'peace walls' in Northern Ireland, most of them in Belfast and most of them built since the Good Friday agreement of 1997 which ended the Troubles. Those living on either side feel more secure, which is the main reason they are still there.

Walls, whether temporary or permanent, do indeed work.

Anonymous said...

“Walls work” maybe — for oppressive totalitarian regimes that will kill to keep innocent people in or out. Do they work for free societies and free people? Do they uphold the dignity of all people? Do they help America develop a just & humane immigration policy? Do they really help keep us safer? I think we all know the answers to those questions. Trump & fellow Republicans don’t care because they’re not really interested in any of those things. We’re America. Let’s be America.

John Nolan said...


I'm not America. I don't want to be America. I don't care whether Trump has his wall or not. I have, however, made an assessment about walls generally, based on historical examples. Those like you who pose rhetorical questions assume (wrongly) that the answers are self-evident. They are not.