The Political Pope

The pontiff’s criticism of U.S. immigration policy is untimely, off base

Eternal, infernal combatants in American politics took a few days off from ringing each other’s throats over politics this past week as another humanitarian nightmare encircled America.

 

Not the pope, though.

Even as the country’s second major hurricane in weeks enveloped the Southeast U.S., Pope Francis just had to weigh in on American immigration policy and climate change.

On the latter, he said history – not God, apparently – will judge climate change skeptics.

On the former, the pope issued his opinion against President Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era “DACA” program in which a unilateral – and quite likely unconstitutional – executive order temporarily delayed deportation for those brought here illegally as minors.

In his remarks – in which he essentially said if Trump is “a good pro-lifer,” then he would support DACA – the pope seemed to suggest one cannot be pro-life and anti-illegal immigration.

Besides the non sequitur – and the sweeping judgment of those who hold opposing political views, contrary to Christianity’s “judge not lest ye be judged” doctrine – what is the pope doing? He’s more political than many politicians.

Granted, his predecessor John Paul II was very political – but primarily when it came to confronting the evils of communism and the occupation of his native Poland by the Soviet Union. This pope, by contrast, is more judgmental about free peoples.

Rather than attack an American president for seeking orderly and legal immigration, why not question why so many are risking their lives to escape certain areas of the world? Could it be because of oppression and tyranny in many countries – i.e., the lack of human freedom – that leads to economic and spiritual desperation?

The pontiff also has a very different view of compassion than many. We don’t happen to think it’s compassionate to invite, encourage and reward the very hazardous and unfair “system” of illegal immigration that has grown up here over decades. People die, people are exploited, as human smugglers shake down illegals, for morally unconscionable sums, to help them jump in line in front of those who have worked and waited years to enter the U.S. legally.

What about that equation is moral? Is that “pro-life”? Or just cynically “for profit”?

Notwithstanding the artlessness of being so political in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, his inveighing against an orderly immigration system here runs smack dab into the political cautions he sent to Italy, closer to home: to manage its own immigration crisis “with prudence” – “taking into account how many people it can successfully integrate into its society,” as the Associated Press put it.

Goodness. Isn’t that precisely what we’re trying to do here?

The world was reminded of the dire need for orderly, cautious migration after yet another terrorist attack at a train station in London Friday — the fifth terror attack in Britain this year alone.

The rest of us are “DREAMERS” too. We dream of being able to go about our daily business without the threat of attacks by murderous misanthropes who despise us and our culture.

With all due respect, for we consider this pope to be a great man: If he’s going to be political, he should at least have some perspective: No nation on Earth has been more welcoming or more humane to immigrants, legal and otherwise. Is it too much to ask to have some room to manage it?

We think one can be pro-life and pro-law.

 

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