Several Cardinals and hundreds of others are attending the 2008 National Migration Conference in Washington, advocating for the rights of immigrants.
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles (that’s him) was highly critical of U.S. immigration policy, which he said is trying to create “such a dangerous and unwelcoming atmosphere that immigrants and their families leave the United States because they have no other choice.” According to Catholic News Service, he said such policy is “doomed to fail.”
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, said in his homily:
I see our challenge as one of shouting out the message of the Gospel, the words of the holy fathers, the unchanging teaching of the church, and in the profound conviction of our nation’s history that the real heart of America has not changed, that its willingness to right a wrong has not faulted, that it needs only continuous courage, unwavering confidence in the goodness of people and a trust in God’s love for the poor and the stranger.
Cardinal Egan has been among those in attendance.
There’s no question that the leadership of the Catholic Church in the U.S. has attempted to provide a clear voice in favor of immigrants’ rights. But I still wonder whether this voice has seeped down into the parishes. I’ve rarely heard diocesan priests in New York talk about the great immigration debate, and many Catholics I know seem unsure where their church stands.