American Thinker Blog

Not the Homily I expected ,   July 5 2010 

Anthony Ughetti

It appears that the Catholic Diocese of Galveston Houston decided to hijack July 3-4 homilies across the Houston area to push liberal theories of immigration down the throats of the congregants.

It certainly was not what I was expecting on our Independence Day.

It appears Catholics were not alone in being lectured to on liberal talking points.

According to the Houston Chronicle, a group calling itself The Metropolitan Organization made a “coordinated effort” to “organize churches to pressure government  to change immigration laws.”

Obviously the group got to Cardinal DiNardo, the leader of the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston.

According to our parish priest, all priests in the diocese were instructed that their homily on July 4 must discuss immigration issues.

It was difficult to listen to our priest proclaim that we must accept and respect the illegal immigrant in our midst, because it is he who is willing to do jobs normal Americans would find unpalatable.

It was hard for me to rectify that logic, what with unemployment in our country well above 9 percent. The congregation was also told we must respect and treat with dignity all illegal aliens in our midst.  It was odd to hear a Texas priest tell a Texas congregation that he has read the Arizona law and, in his opinion, the law is likely to lead to “abuse” of illegals. Lastly, we were lectured that immigration is a natural human right, and that we all needed to examine our own stories as children and grandchildren of immigrants to understand we are they and they are we.              Let’s examine these sentiments in reverse order.                                                               My grandfather Louis was a legal immigrant.                                                                        He came to America on a boat and was processed through Ellis Island in 1905, not overland under cover of stealth and darkness while evading authorities.                  He attained his citizenship through legal channels and worked as a bread delivery truck driver to eke out a meager living in a Midwestern town.                                          He did not speak Italian in the home, send his paycheck back to Italy, nor fly an Italian flag in his front yard.  On the contrary, he assimilated, as did most immigrants of his generation.                                                                                                           So I feel it is quite specious for a priest to stand on the altar and attempt to shame me into accepting illegal immigration because “we are all children of immigrants.”  His statement carries no weight. As to his opinion that the Arizona law will lead to “abuse,” I defy him to show me any law which does not have the potential for abuse in its enforcement.                                                                                                                                         A quick review of YouTube will reveal any number of videos depicting traffic stops devolving into brutal beatings, SWAT dynamic entries gone awry, and the like.

Any law can be “abused” as long as imperfect humanity is enforcing it.

Shall we then eliminate all laws so that there is no risk of abuse? That would be a silly as suspending all offshore oil drilling after having an issue with one well.           I cannot accept the priest’s suggestion that we must accept illegal immigration on the grounds that “they do the work that wouldn’t get done without their labor.”

Seems like in my childhood grass got mowed, hotel rooms got cleaned,  construction projects were completed, and other so-called “menial” tasks were completed without the need for illegal immigrants.  Oddly, unemployment in our nation was also lower than it is now. Where is the logic in suggesting that we accept illegality for convenience? In my opinion, it is a slippery slope if we begin to accept illegality as a norm for the sake of convenience. If we allow the rule of law to break down, anarchy will ensue. Currently, the Catechism of the Catholic Church prohibits participation in Communion for those under mortal sin. Maybe our priest would like us just to ignore that edict, as we ignore the illegal aliens in our midst?  Why is it that, when pushing “comprehensive immigration reform” (a phrase our priest used multiple times during him homily,) that term is never defined as closing our borders, enforcing current laws regarding illegal immigration, and returning those identified as illegal to their home country? Of all the manifold topics which could have been preached on Independence Day, it rankled me to be preached at that I must accept illegal immigration as a beneficial part of present-day Americana. I would much rather have been preached to on the topics of baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, or Chevrolet.


No need to  divide this excellent article in paragraphs and then comment them one by one. Anthony Ughetti is very eloquent and very measured in his criticism of current Catholic church practice, or malpractice. The cause for that malpractice is the impreparedness of bishops. In the field of migration issues the Catholic Church does not exercise any oversight on the utterings of bishops in various countries.

In Rome there is no central reflexion on the complexity of migration questions and all the angles which should be touched: economic, social, financial, environmental. cultural, and even military (since warlike conflict in Africa generates migration streams to Europe and elsewhere. In Rome there is only a Pontifical Council on Pastoral care for migrants, but it does not cover the angles needed to understand the migratuion issues   Without sufficient, also  geo-political analysis, the bishops and therefore priests are sometimes at a loss. Ughetti shows that clearly and we should thank him.

Anton Smitsendonk (see on that website for further material on migration questions. We are re-assured that very often the migration problems on both sides of the Atlantic are similar.)


About dutasia

Former Ambassador of the Netherlands, presently National Commissioner for Thailand and for Indonesia in the ICC, the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Business Organization. Chairman of China Carbon Forum in Beijing, China.
This entry was posted in Catholic views on immigration, immigration into the United States of America, Migration issues and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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