Friday, September 8, 2023


 Vatican News has an interview with Cardinal-elect and Papal Nuncio to the USA, Archbishop Pierre

He does a great job trying to mitigate the damage Pope Francis’ did with his less than diplomatic remarks about the USA and so-called ideologies of Catholics in the USA.

Cardinal Elect Pierre also does a nice diplomatic response to the Synod on the Synod, but he misses the mark on who is causing the polarization in the USA as it concerns this papacy. 

Here are a couple of answers from the Cardinal elect with my astute insights imbedded in RED:

Q: Pope Francis recently mentioned the risk of polarization within the Church in the United States. How do you believe that this can be mitigated? Is this polarization a broader issue in America as a whole?

Let’s take one example, which is very, very important in the United States, the problem of migration. It's amazing to see that as soon as we speak about migration, politicians fight between themselves, and should not because, as you know, the United States has always been a country of migrants. This is the richness. This is the beauty of this country.
But the problem is that instead of considering the reality, we escape from the reality, and we take refuge in ideas, and these ideas, became ideologies. If you remain at the level of the idea of the ideology, necessarily, the person who does not share your idea, becomes your enemy. And so, you have to resolve the problem of your relationship with your enemy, which is impossible.
The polarization comes from there. There is a danger and we can observe it. This polarization, which is overwhelming at times, you see that in the political debate we have and we will have, in the next year or so. It's reproduced at times at all levels of the society, even in the Church. So, the Church is supposed to be inside the society, a place where we can dialogue, and in doing so, help the society to resolve its problem. (The biggest problem of migration to this country is between two realities, legal and illegal immigration. I am the child of two immigrants and I am also an immigrant. My father was a Canadian and legally became an American Citizen after more than 15 years in this country. My mother was an Italian immigrant and legally became an American Citizen. I was born in Italy prior to my mother’s citizenship and I have naturalization papers. Most Catholics and most Americans want legal migration not illegal. Politics has entered into it by encouraging illegal immigration which is a mortal sin and should be a crime. The other thing that polarizes in the religious sense, is when religious leaders castigate countries who do not accept migrants as they enter illegally without ever castigating the countries these people flee and challenging those countries to create a country where people want to stay and others want to go!)
(This is a wonderful comment and the Pope could learn from the good Cardinal elect how to be positive rather than so negative:) The Catholic Church has always been in the last 50 years remarkable in the fight against abortion, for example, and the pro-life groups and so forth. There has also been the huge generosity of the American Catholics to help the poor, and offer solidarity with the world. It’s amazing how the Catholic Church is helping the poor all over the place. It’s beautiful. I'm very happy to be the Nuncio in the United States for that reason.
Q: The first of the two Synod General Assemblies on synodality is set to begin in just a few days. At first glance, the topic may seem a little technical and internal to the Church: synodality. How is it being perceived in the United States?
Well, this is maybe the problem. We may be victim of this polarization which has been created inside the Church and which many groups try to feed to and frighten the people. I'm amazed to listen to so many people who are just rejecting the idea of synodality, of the Synod, not knowing what it is all about and thinking that the Pope has been elected Pope just to destroy the Church and to destroy the beauty of the Church. The Holy Father is not. And he has said that many times. On the contrary, he calls precisely a Synod on synodality. (Here the good cardinal elect needs to be challenged. We live in the Information Age, that a reality which the synodal Church must accept and confirm. But if people think that “the pope has been elected Pope just to destroy the Church and to destroy the beauty of the Church” they have gotten this idea directly from the Pope himself, his incoherence, his choosing of pro-abortion people to be in significant roles in the Church and choosing as an advisor Fr. James Martin who is a very polarizing figure in the Church of the USA. An ideologue might point this out but it is true despite the source!)
It's a moment when a number of Bishops representing the Bishops of the world, the laypeople at all levels of the Church, will consider, examine what has been done already at all levels of the Church, in order to evangelize better the people. This is the reason why. They are not meeting to invent a new Church or to create new structures. No, [they are meeting] just to examine what has been tried to evangelize better at the grassroots, and to see this works, or that is not working, and we will see. But the method will be listening, examining, discerning and listening to the Holy Spirit. This is what the Pope has repeated over and over and over. But some people don't want to listen to that. (The Pope has said he doesn’t want a new Church but a”different Church”. It is obvious from the facts that despite the pope’s insistent that this isn’t a political process, it is a political process and will politicize the Church as any country already is, especially the USA. Then the pope complains that people use methods appropriate to politics to lobby for their political bias—that is very American and we are good at it!)
Q: As a future cardinal, what are your expectations for the Synod on synodality?
I'm full of trust. I think it will work. It’s quite an undertaking. When John XXIII launched Vatican II, that was quite an undertaking. And if you want to be Christian today, one has to take some risks. We take risks not to destroy the Church but to build the Church.
Let's be honest, the society today and the Church lives in a kind of crisis. A lot of people, especially young people, are abandoning the Church because society is changing. The connection between faith and culture is less and less apparent. The transmission of the faith is not so easy today at all levels. For example, from parents, children, from teachers, students, from politicians, society and so forth. So, we need to reorganize a kind of connection, and synodality is about connection.
It's funny because we live in a society where we speak of connections all the time and people are more and more isolated, and more and more fascinated by their own idea. It's a kind of narcissism organized at the level of the world, and the method of justice, anti-narcissism, get together. (For the most part, it seems to me that the main point of this synod on synodality is to promote the LGBTQ+++ ideological agenda, to bring it to the Church and its highest levels of magisterium. In this regard it is all about narcissism applied to the Church’s anthropology of humanity created in the image and likeness of God, male and female. To change this anthropology for the ideology of the LGBTQ+++ lobby in the Church and world is to then change everything about the Church to include the Deposit of Faith, the nature of the Sacraments and the morality of the Church. In many ways this will lead to the anti-Church emptied of Scripture and Tradition. It will make us like the Anglican Community which has devolved into irrelevance for everyone.)


TJM said...

Every day we read stories of US citizens being robbed, raped or murdered by illegal aliens. Now the crybaby mayor of New York City, an alleged "Sanctuary City" is crying over the pittance of illegal aliens he has to deal with compared with the States which border Mexico. All he has to do is to pick up the phone and tell China Joe, enough is enough. Maybe if the Vatican would get overrun with illegal aliens, they would get a clue.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Politics has entered into it by encouraging illegal immigration which is a mortal sin and should be a crime."

This is patent nonsense.

Politics can't "enter" the immigration question since politics is part of the question from the beginning.

Politicians of all stripes simply have refused to show the courageous leadership needed to enact comprehensive immigration reform as has been called for by the USCCB and others for decades. They prefer to keep the status quo so that can engage in political theater, hoping to score points with their supporters.

Supporting illegal immigration is not a mortal sin. It is a violation of civil law and MAY be immoral, but does not rise to the level of being a mortal sin.

" when religious leaders castigate countries who do not accept migrants as they enter illegally without ever castigating the countries these people flee and challenging those countries to create a country where people want to stay and others want to go!"

More nonsense.

In statement after statement the USCCB (and other religious leaders) have called upon other countries to address the root causes of illegal immigration.

For Example: "Additionally, the Catholic bishops recognize that the conditions that compel people to leave their homes out of desperation and lack of opportunities to provide for themselves and their families, must be addressed if an effective and comprehensive response to migration is to be achieved. Therefore, the Justice for Immigrants campaign will work closely with the Catholic Campaign Against Global Poverty, initiated by the USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace and Catholic Relief Services. That Campaign aims to reduce poverty through trade, aid, and debt reforms. The Justice for Immigrants and Global Poverty campaigns are integrally related in that one addresses the rights and needs of migrants in the U.S., while the other addresses the rights and needs of persons living in their native countries."

Bob said...

That nuncio has been in the middle of several situations regarding sexual abuse allegations of both proven and patently false varieties, and has made the wrong decisions every time, run investigations of more orthodox folk given the boot and also suddenly contradictory and waffling on later recollections of those instances. I trust him as far as I can throw him.

TJM said...

Fr K Orwell,

You are welcome to house them and feed them at your residence on your dime.I hope you don’t get mugged by reality

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald said..."The other thing that polarizes in the religious sense, is when religious leaders castigate countries who do not accept migrants as they enter illegally without ever castigating the countries these people flee and challenging those countries to create a country where people want to stay and others want to go!)"

Just four months ago, Pope Francis has noted that many countries, via destructive economic inequality, persecutions, as well as political instability, have created millions of migrants.

Pope Francis said that people should be free to remain in their homelands. He also insisted that migrants have the right to expect to "return to their country of origin..."

Pope Francis noted that the establishment of "Christian economies," to replace dreadful economic policies, is imperative should we wish to allow people to remain in their homes.

Pope Francis, in line with Pope Saint John Paul II insisted that people have "the right not to emigrate, that is, the right to live in peace and dignity in one's own country."

"By means of a farsighted local and national administration, more equitable trade and supportive international cooperation, it is possible for every country to guarantee its own population, in addition to freedom of expression and movement, the possibility to satisfy basic needs such as food, health care, work, housing and education; the frustration of these needs forces many into a position where their only option is to emigrate."


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald said..." when religious leaders castigate countries who do not accept migrants as they enter illegally without ever castigating the countries these people flee and challenging those countries to create a country where people want to stay and others want to go!"

Father Kavanaugh said..."In statement after statement the USCCB (and other religious leaders) have called upon other countries to address the root causes of illegal immigration."

Father Kavanaugh is correct. Our Popes, as well as bishops, have called upon nations repeatedly to address the reasons as to why millions of people have abandoned this or that country.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Holy Mother Church has taught us the following in regard to the rights, as well as monumental dignity, that each displaced person enjoys:

From Pope Benedict XVI, 2006 A.D:

"Dear Brothers and Sisters!

"On the occasion of the coming World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and looking at the Holy Family of Nazareth, icon of all families, I would like to invite you to reflect on the condition of the migrant family."

"The evangelist Matthew narrates that shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph was forced to leave for Egypt by night, taking the child and his mother with him, in order to flee the persecution of king Herod."

"Making a comment on this page of the Gospel, my venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God Pope Pius XII, wrote in 1952:

"The family of Nazareth in exile, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, emigrants and taking refuge in Egypt to escape the fury of an evil king, are the model, the example and the support of all emigrants and pilgrims of every age and every country, of all refugees of any condition who, compelled by persecution and need, are forced to abandon their homeland, their beloved relatives, their neighbors, their dear friends, and move to a foreign land."

"In this misfortune experienced by the Family of Nazareth, obliged to take refuge in Egypt, we can catch a glimpse of the painful condition in which all migrants live, especially, refugees, exiles, evacuees, internally displaced persons, those who are persecuted."

"We can take a quick look at the difficulties that every migrant family lives through, the hardships and humiliations, the deprivation and fragility of millions and millions of migrants, refugees and internally displaced people."

"The Family of Nazareth reflects the image of God safeguarded in the heart of every human family, even if disfigured and weakened by emigration"


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Our holy Popes have insisted that people have the right to expect economic, as well as political stability. That would assure that millions of folks would not opt in desperation to migrate.

But in regard to those among God's Children who opt to migrate:

In 1952 A.D., Pope Venerable Pius XII sided with displaced persons when he noted the following:

"Therefore, when Senators from the United States, who were members of a Committee on Immigration, visited Rome a few years ago, we again urged them to try to administer as liberally as possible the overly restrictive provisions of their immigration laws."

"Nor did we neglect to state and urge this same principle in an audience to which we were pleased to admit also eminent American Congressmen in charge of European refugee affairs...We reaffirmed that stand very recently, on June 4th of this year, in our paternal address to our dear people of Brazil."

"In an address of July 2, 1951, to the members of an International Catholic Congress for the Improvement of Rural Living Conditions, held in Rome, we said that there would be very great benefits from international regulations in favor of emigration and immigration."


Mark Thomas

William said...

Drop whatever you're doing and watch this short, eye-opening video. Please.

Mark said...


Thank you for the link. As you urged, I dropped what I was doing (talking about this thread on immigration with my wife as it so happens) and watched the video. The speaker is, of course, quite correct that the United States cannot solve world poverty through immigration and urges, not unreasonably, that we should instead help people in their home countries. Three points:

(1) The one million immigrants to the United States per year he refers to are legal immigrants. Our legal immigration policy is based on two primary values: family reunification and U.S. economic needs. Most of those entering illegally through the southern border have no legal avenue to immigrate (except in the small minority of cases in which they qualify for asylum). (By the way, one of the most ignorant comments I read all the time is: “Why don’t they get in line?” Well, there is no line for the great majority of them to get in, that’s why.)

(2) Regarding the undocumented immigration that is of the greatest concern to the United States, that is, immigration through the southern border, our focus is on the countries in this hemisphere, not the rest of the world. There is undeniably a serious problem, but the solution lies with Congress, which needs to get off its backside and do its job of governing instead of playing politics and perpetual electioneering. Many bipartisan proposals for regularizing and controlling the flow of such migrants have been made over the past two decades. And any solution MUST also include legalizing the situation of the so-called Dreamers. It is a scandal and a gross injustice to leave that specific group of undocumented immigrants in limbo. More generally, many Dreamers as well as others entering or seeking to enter through the southern border are fellow Catholics, a point that does not get nearly enough attention in discussions here. In fact, it is very likely a sizeable majority.

(3) Regarding the more general problem of world poverty, don’t the USCCB statement and other statements addressed earlier in this thread urge improvement in their home countries in addition to some increased immigration (which, it should be added, is in the self-interest of admitting countries in the face of declining populations)? It is a multi-pronged strategy that is needed.