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Cardinal Dolan: Illegal Immigration “Helps Our Church”

January 5, 2024 Frontpage No Comments


Regardless of any motions that the bishops might adopt every four years affirming the “preeminent issue of abortion,” immigration continues to consume most of their energy.

One factor is money.  Our bishops receive no federal funding to support their opposition to abortion, but for their Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) operations facilitating Joe Biden’s immigration policies, they receive millions in taxpayer dollars every year.

That funding, and the myriads of the USCCB’s secular operations that it pays for, have drawn increasing attention in recent years.

Last month, Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York offered a valuable insight into how this all fits into the current agenda of the American hierarchy.

On December 21, in a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Center for Migration Studies of New York, Cardinal Dolan painted an intriguing picture of the USCCB’s approach to immigration.

And he didn’t mention the money at all.

Mario Russell, discussion host and the Center’s Executive Director, opened the conversation by asking, is today’s immigration wave any different from those we’ve experienced earlier in history? “I would say no,” he says. But “something does feel different now … Perhaps it’s a gradual letting go of empathy, or compassion … Many have [been] using demeaning, derogatory and dehumanizing rhetoric that stirs nothing but fear, difference and division.”


But millions of Americans who object to the flood of illegal aliens that are swarming over our borders aren’t buying it. And now that they’ve learned more about the role of our bishops in that invasion, they are not at all pleased.

For Cardinal Dolan, these illegals are no different than his own Irish forbearers. But his Irish grandfather and mine were legal immigrants, of course, unlike the tens of millions of illegal aliens now residing in the United States.

Dolan dubs these illegals “immigrants” because the label confers on them his apostolic blessing: for the cardinal, they are here legally – and permanently.

It’s magisterial.

But what’s really behind the bishops’ pro-illegal crusade?

“It is good for us as a country and a church to welcome the immigrants,” Dolan says. “We’re at our best, it calls forth what is most noble within us, and it helps our nation and it helps our Church.”

How interesting. “It helps our Church.”

The Struggle To Fill The Pews

Of course, the taxpayer millions certainly “help our church,” but the tack Dolan takes is even more intriguing. When it comes to “help,” the archbishop focuses on a practical factor that our shepherds seldom mention.

In the “northeastern quadrant” of American Catholicism, Dolan says, “the Catholic population is diminishing – [but] not in New York. Why? Well, I wish I could say it was because it’s converts. I wish I could say because it’s birth(s).  Uh-Uh! It’s because of the immigrants. So the immigrants make our church strong. The immigrant makes New York City strong, the immigrant makes our country strong.”

So Cardinal Dolan is convinced. But let’s pause for a moment to listen to what he just told us.

Consider: In October, America Magazine featured an interview with Papal Nuncio Cardinal Christophe Pierre about his approaching meeting with the USCCB.

“I know the bishops,” Pierre said. “They are all struggling. They are all struggling in their own corner. They are all good people. Their desire is to evangelize. Some feel one way, some another way. They are overwhelmed by big problems. They have the problem of the abuse, and now the lawyers are emptying the money from their dioceses. Many bishops are in bankruptcy. So they are struggling. It’s not easy for them.”

The bishops are trying to evangelize, says Cardinal Pierre, but Cardinal Dolan just told us that there are no converts. Moreover, some 50 million Americans now call themselves “ex-Catholics.” As a result, In the New York archdiocese alone, dozens of churches and schools have been shut down.

Dolan then mentions “births.” Catholics are not having children, not even enough to maintain the 2.2 children per family that would preserve at least a stable number of Catholic faithful.

But there too, our bishops have failed to evangelize. In 2012, then USCCB-President Cardinal Dolan told the Wall Street Journal why:

“The church’s sex-abuse scandal,” he said, “‘intensified our laryngitis over speaking about issues of chastity and sexual morality, because we almost thought, ‘I’ll blush if I do. . . . After what some priests and some bishops, albeit a tiny minority, have done, how will I have any credibility in speaking on that?’” [WSJ, March 31, 2012]

So our bishops, faced by the disaster wrought by their failure to preach Humanae Vitae since it was promulgated in 1968, didn’t face the music, recharge their engines, and get to work; instead, they threw in the towel. They didn’t preach on marriage, family, children, purity, and openness to life.

That is, on Humanae Vitae

And, Cardinal Dolan observes, their silence “intensifies.”

Result? There are not enough converts. Not enough babies.

And what’s their solution?

Over 50% of today’s Catholics under 30 are Hispanic, we are told. And Cardinal Dolan wants to keep that pipeline flowing.

“The lawyers are emptying the money from their dioceses,” says Cardinal Pierre. Well, the taxpayers are filling them back up. So money’s not a problem.

But money doesn’t fill the pews. So the only way for the Church to grow is to import more Catholics from other countries, and, Cardinal Dolan tells us, it’s working. New York’s Catholic population is growing – thanks to immigration!

And he’s proud of it. He’s an All-American.“My constitution, of the country that I love, allows me the free exercise of my religion,” he says. “And a big part of that is to welcome and to aid and defend the immigrant.”

Again, he doesn’t mention money. Why not?

Well, let’s ask, where do those taxpayer millions come from?

From Congress.

That’s in the Constitution too. But here Dolan gets his Irish up: “When I hear bigots in our Congress sue Catholic Charities, when I hear bigots in our Congress suggest that we’re the ones who are not patriotic and unAmerican, I’m saying, ‘Where have you ever read the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights’”?

Curious. Epithets are often a vital ingredient of the USCCB’s opposition to the Rule of Law. El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz brands elected officials who support the law “hypocrites” and “Pharisees.”

Now they’re “bigots.”

Does “Religious Liberty” Condone Malfeasance?

“You also might know that the last three years I had the honor of … serving as the chair of the bishops’ committee on religious liberty,” he says.

So “religious liberty” gives him right to spend taxpayer funds any way he wants?

In that spirit, we must note that, while the cardinal’s beloved Constitution affirms his right to exercise his religious liberty, the First Amendment does not contradict Article One. The Congress has not only the power to authorize disbursement of taxpayer funds to secular NGO’s like Catholic Charities, USA, but also has the responsibility to exercise responsible oversight over the way those taxpayer dollars are spent.

To use our shepherds’ own language regarding the abuse-and-coverup scandals, the Congress must require a grantee to exercise “transparency” and “accountability” for the use of the public funds it receives.

But Cardinal Pierre says the bishops are “struggling. It’s not easy for them.”

Poor Cardinal Dolan. He’s a victim! He’s struggling! Those guys in Congress, they have no empathy, no compassion!

They might give his NGO’s a couple of billion a year, but hey, so what? They’re just “bigots.”

We’ve got to fix this. But the bishops won’t.

Cardinal Pierre is right. They’re struggling.

They need the money.

It’s up to the laity.

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