Why does Cardinal Kasper hate illegal immigrants?

July 26, 2014 § 36 Comments

There is an important distinction between immigration law and sacramental doctrine: the former is a matter of positive law, which can be changed; while the latter is not.

The position of most of the American bishops on illegal immigration ‘works’ by distinguishing between what the positive law requires and de-facto practice. Illegal immigration may be formally against the law, but the de-facto practice of the powers that be has encouraged it. People have settled in and built their lives in the place where they were encouraged to do so by the people in charge. The proposed just solution, then is some iteration of an amnesty for those who formally broke the law, followed by a change in the law, so that they can remain in the homes they have made for themselves.

Whatever one thinks of all that, the same sort of approach will not work with admission to the Sacraments. The hierarchy has winked at divorce and annulment for long enough now that, in a kind of doctrinal parallel of illegal immigration, many Catholics “know better” than to take explicit sacramental doctrine on marriage seriously.

But unlike the case of illegal immigration, granting sacramental amnesty to heretics and adulterers – even heretics and adulterers who have settled in the home they have because of the winking and encouragement of the powers that be – literally cannot, per impossibile, be followed by a change in sacramental reality.

They may well have walked into a trap set by negligent and even wicked elites and leaders. But springing the trap on them won’t save them from the predicament.

§ 36 Responses to Why does Cardinal Kasper hate illegal immigrants?

  • Karl says:

    None of it matters, if God is all forgiving.

    I, then, have wasted my time on faithfulness.

    Karl

  • Zippy says:

    7 And to you who are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with the angels of his power: 8 In a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

  • Zippy says:

    4 And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will shew you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him. – Luke 12:4-5

  • Zippy says:

    Karl:
    FWIW I did consider including the spiritual extermination of abandoned spouses in the OP. But in my usual fashion I was trying to keep things relatively simple and clear, and I did discuss that in another post on the topic.

    As has been the case for a number of years now, you and your children continue to be in my prayers.

  • CJ says:

    Zippy –

    What do you mean by “spiritual extermination of abandoned spouses?” I didn’t find anything searching the site.

  • Zippy says:

    CJ:
    I was specifically referring to people like Karl (IIRC — he is welcome to correct my characterization if doing so interests him, but the point is more general): people whose wives divorced them and then (the wives, the poor dear things) went on to get rewarded for their crime with all sorts of support and affirmation from clergy, up to and including annulment and permission to ‘remarry’, who went on to ‘re-marry’ with the support of clergy, etc.

    That is, people who have not only been betrayed by their spouses but who have also been betrayed by Church juridical and pastoral praxis: who have had their material and spiritual foundations devastated by their traitor spouses, and have had the material and spiritual battlefield on which that took place violated and burned and salted by clergy and bishops, leaving them alone in the world on the desecrated plains of Mordor to face the violent demonic spiritual assault of Hell.

    Trying to compare different kinds of victims is an exercise in weighing the incommensurable. But if someone had the idea that (say) covering up the homosexual clerical victimization of teenage boys is ‘worse’ than the annulment mill, well … lets just say I think I can almost see St. Michael starting to scowl. And anyone who does not flee in terror at that sight is simply ignorant.

    I didn’t use those precise words, but that is the kind of vicious cruelty (done in the name of compassion, of course) on the part of clergy I was referring to in this post and this one.

  • Karl says:

    I seriously doubt that I could correct you about what you post. I have abiding respect for the things you have said in matters related to marriage, divorce, adultery, remarriage and annulments.

    In fact, I have referred our oldest daughter to this blog. She is a reader now and impressed. She actually sent me a link to the post which preceded this one, asking me to read it and describing you in positive terms. You have two generations of followers from my family.

    I have been and remain thankful for your prayers and your kindness.

  • Mike T says:

    There is an important distinction between immigration law and sacramental doctrine: the former is a matter of positive law, which can be changed; while the latter is not.

    There is an important similarity as well: they’re both based in God’s order and no winking and nodding by the elite can mitigate an intentional violation of them (except in the most extreme cases with immigration law). Immigration law, deriving from the natural authority of the nation to safeguard its borders and culture, is a positive law based in a very basic moral right/authority of natural law. It is thus binding in absolute terms on all illegal immigrants short of being chased by genocidal death squads into another nation’s borders. The illegal immigrant has a duty to obey the law irrespective of the authorities’ winking and nodding and no “I’m teh poorz” or some other lame excuse that applies to >95% of the human race since recorded time is sufficient to overcome that.

    Were it politically feasible, I think we could solve two problems at once by charging Catholic bishops like Kasper with sedition or even treason (not constitutionally possible–yet) for their advocacy of a migration that has had terrible deleterious effects on the US native population.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    Kasper is German, just FYI (Catholic inside baseball I guess).

  • Mike T says:

    Speaking of this issue, Jeff Culbreath and I had it out on W4 over him advocating a migration in the name of helping the poor. I asked him how he would deal with the immediate catastrophic damage to the wages of the working poor. No solution, but damned did he have charity in his heart! Sadly, mainstream and conservative Catholics often seem to have a “the details will sort themselves out later” on how to actually fund the welfare state, not have it encourage mortal sin by subsidies and various immigration related moves that will foreseeably destroy wages for the native poor.

  • Mike T says:

    Kasper is German, just FYI (Catholic inside baseball I guess).

    Replace Kasper with a random selection of American bishops…

  • Catholic Economist says:

    Replace Kasper with a random selection of American bishops…

    How about Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley? If he’s not busy getting “blessings” from the priestesses of false religions, you can find him saying mass at the US-Mexico border.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Immigration law, deriving from the natural authority of the nation to safeguard its borders and culture, is a positive law based in a very basic moral right/authority of natural law. It is thus binding in absolute terms on all illegal immigrants short of being chased by genocidal death squads into another nation’s borders. The illegal immigrant has a duty to obey the law irrespective of the authorities’ winking and nodding …

    I think that is just a farrago of nonsense. Differences between what is formally on the books and actual practice by the people in charge can’t be handwaved away like that.

    If what is paramount is what is on the books that nobody reads, as soon as Congress passes an amnesty and changes the law all of the objections to mass immigration disappear.

  • John 6:60-70 says:

    Zippy is obviously right to describe Kasper’s proposal as cruelty in the name of compassion. I cannot understand how Kasper could propose what he does and also believe what the Church teaches about the indissolubility of sacramental marriage. If the Holy Father were to confirm this change in pastoral practice, the doctrinal implications would shake my perilously-weak faith. The Gospel is full of hard sayings. If Peter himself cannot listen to this one, where do I go? And why should I believe anything else the Church teaches?

    When I was thinking of converting to Orthodoxy, I decided against it because the Orthodox practice of penitential remarriage seemed so absurd.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy, whether they’re settled in and have “formed communities” is irrelevant. If the corrupt authorities are removed, the new ones are well within their rights to put an end to said communities and force them to return to their ancestral homelands. Likewise, they are morally justified in punishing anyone who provided assistance to said migration into the nation’s borders, even going so far as to execute the most culpable for treason.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    No, they are not.

  • Mike T says:

    Every native population has a moral right to eject invaders. The US has the same right to eject Mexican migrants that the Spanish did to eject all of the Moors and miscellaneous Muslim peoples who immigrated after the Islamic conquest of the Iberian peninsula.

  • CJ says:

    One of my pet peeves is the way people casually toss around the word “treason” wrt to US law. On 24 the President’s chief of staff forged his signature on an extraordinary rendition order. When POTUS finds out, he arrests him for “treason.” Batman and Superman steal Kryptonite from President Lex Luthor, Luthor threatens to arrest them for treason.

    These examples are ridiculous, but labeling failure to enforce immigration laws as treason is equally so. You cannot, without doing violence to the language, make those actions (or inaction) fit the Constitutional definition of “levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    The last thing anyone skeptical of the government should do is play fast and loose with fundamental laws designed to limit the government’s power to declare people traitors.

  • Mike T says:

    CJ,

    I should have been clearer. I was not limiting my critique to the US. A new elite would be justified in conducting a purge of the old elite that supported the treason of allowing a wholesale invasion by foreigners into the borders of the country.

    It may surprise many of you to know that when I learned the truth about the Spanish Inquisition, I actually came to support it. The King of Spain was justified in punishing and driving out the collaborators of the Moors who tried to hide and save their status by subterfuge.

    You cannot, without doing violence to the language, make those actions (or inaction) fit the Constitutional definition of “levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    Mexico is actually not an ally of the US and previous Mexican leaders have made territorial assertions well into our national borders. They’ve also encouraged what amounts to colonization; every great empire of the past would recognize their actions as colonization and colonization is an act of war against the targeted population. It merely replaces armies of soldiers with armies of civilians intent upon replacing the targeted population through less explicitly aggressive means.

    If you think that’s a stretch, go ask a Hawaiian native whether or not being turned into a < 40% population by American and East Asian colonists was not an act of aggression against them.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    It isn’t as simple as what you are proposing.

    If a previous sovereign encouraged a group of people to come and settle – as unwise or even suicidal a policy as that may have been – it is not perfunctorily morally licit to just pop the big machine into reverse and deport all the undesirables, any more than abortion in the case of rape is perfunctorily morally licit.

    Morally we always have to start the war from here, and people who are willing to do evil will always have more straightforward and efficient means to their ends.

  • Zippy says:

    As I pointed out at W4 (in response to pro-Mexican ‘nation of immigrants’ mythologizing), reductionist treatment of immigration as paint-by-numbers iconography is a category error.

  • Mike T says:

    it is not perfunctorily morally licit to just pop the big machine into reverse and deport all the undesirables, any more than abortion in the case of rape is perfunctorily morally licit.

    In previous threads, you’ve chided me for comparing murder to lesser forms of injustice. Even presupposing that deporting an only partially assimilated descendant of an illegal immigrant is unjust, by your own reasoning it is not comparable in a meaningful way.

    That said, if my grandfather stole by force of arms the home of another man, his grandchildren would be morally justified in using every morally licit means to reclaim title. Removal of the migrants does not necessarily entail unjust means; Eisenhower proved that aggressive repatriation alone could convince many to leave on their own accord.

    If the Mexicans successfully annexed the Southwest, I’d support military intervention but not act morally outraged. At some level, the right of conquest between nations is different from outright theft within a culture.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Even presupposing that deporting an only partially assimilated descendant of an illegal immigrant is unjust, by your own reasoning it is not comparable in a meaningful way.

    You missed the point of the comparison, which was not to suggest equivalent moral gravity. The point was that regrettable or even terrible injustices giving rise to particular circumstances does not make it morally licit to use unjust means to extricate ourselves from those particular circumstances.

    If you concede that it is (or can be) unjust, then it is by definition something we ought not do (when it is unjust).

  • Mike T says:

    The point was that regrettable or even terrible injustices giving rise to particular circumstances does not make it morally licit to use unjust means to extricate ourselves from those particular circumstances.

    Well it’s not been established that unjust means are necessary or that descendants of an illegal migration are entitled to remain in the host country. If you consider that those who break just laws are not entitled to any fruits from the violation, then it naturally follows that illegal immigrants are not allowed to stay or confer residency status on their children. Since jus soil in the US is based on a flawed reading of the 14th amendment, it follows that the state may be legally and morally entitled to remove them using morally just means (arrest, detention, mass deportation, asset forfeiture, etc.).

  • CJ says:

    For some reason I’ve turned into the positive law guy on this thread. Nonetheless, I’ll point out that deporting the descendants of illegal immigrants is problematic because they’re citizens under the 14th amendment. It will require a Constitutional amendment to revoke that status. Again, I don’t want to give the government the tools to revoke a person’s citizenship based on who their parents happen to be.

  • Mike T says:

    The 14th amendment is rather misunderstood by many legal theorists, much like how they cannot understand that the 2nd amendment really means that no, the feds cannot lawfully pass a single gun control bill effective within the territory of the United States except to regulate the armed forces and security of federal buildings (wherein the feds have property claims against gun rights).

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    …or that descendants of an illegal migration are entitled to remain in the host country …

    So we are back the the point of the OP: you are assuming that justice is fully specified in texts that nobody reads, independent of the actual practices of the authorities in charge.

  • CJ says:

    Mike T – I’m aware of the discussions regarding “subject to the jurisdiction.” Suffice to say that the analysis isn’t clear cut when our government gives them transfer payments and local governments pass laws giving them benefits like driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, and even prohibit law enforcement from reporting their status.

    FWIW, I’m in favor of strict border enforcement, deportation, and fining the living hell out of corporations and individuals who employ illegals.

  • Mike T says:

    So we are back the the point of the OP: you are assuming that justice is fully specified in texts that nobody reads, independent of the actual practices of the authorities in charge.

    I’m saying that Catholic laymen have a duty to obey church doctrine irrespective of their elites’ conduct. Illegal immigrants are likewise obliged to respect our laws irrespective of any winking and nodding. Child prostitution is formally illegal in Thailand but the Thai government effectively lets it slide. A pedophile who goes to Thailand has no one to blame but himself when a particular Thai official throws the book at him.

  • […] central point of my post below may have gotten lost in discussion of the particulars of illegal immigration. So at the risk of […]

  • jf12 says:

    re: “Morally we always have to start the war from here”

    As you know, you go to war with the morality you have, not the morality you might want or wish to have at a later time.

  • Zippy says:

    jf12:

    As you know, you go to war with the morality you have, not the morality you might want or wish to have at a later time.

    How delightfully relativist.

  • Mike T says:

    The justice of the reconquista is a matter of relativism. The Muslims are still bemoaning those vicious Spanish infidels who expelled the descendants of the Moors and refused to accept the rule by Muslim monarchs.

  • Zippy says:

    As an argument proceeds on this blog, the probability of someone asserting moral relativism approaches one.

  • CJ says:

    As you know, you go to war with the morality you have, not the morality you might want or wish to have at a later time.

    How delightfully relativist.

    I think this was snark derived from Rumsfeld’s Iraq comments.

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