Zenit, are three lucid articles from three different leaders of the
Church on important subjects. Father Lombardi, the Vatican Public
spokesman, can learn a lot from this approach as contrasted with
The world seen from Rome
and the Next America
Father in Heaven Does Not Make Some Nationalities or Racial Groups
SEPT. 17, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is an adapted version of an
given by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles on July 28 at the
L'Osservatore Romano published this version Aug. 11.
political debate about immigration in America frustrates me. Often
we are just talking around the edges of the real issues. Both sides of
argument are inspired by a beautiful, patriotic idea of America's
values. But lately I've been starting to wonder: What America are we
is changing and it has been changing for a long time. The
globalization are changing our economy and forcing us to rethink the
purpose of our government. Threats from outside enemies are changing
of national sovereignty. America is changing on the inside, too.
culture is changing. We have a legal structure that allows, and
for, the killing of babies in the womb. Our courts and legislatures are
redefining the natural institutions of marriage and the family. We have
elite culture -- in government, the media and academia -- that is
hostile to religious faith.
is becoming a fundamentally different country. It is time for
all of us
to recognize this -- no matter what our position is on the political
immigration. We need to recognize that immigration is part of a larger
questions about our national identity and destiny. What is America?
it mean to be an American? Who are we as a people, and where are we
a country? What will the next America look like?
Catholics who are faithful citizens in America we have to answer
questions within a larger frame of reference. As Catholics, we have to
remember that there is more to the life of any nation than the demands
moment in politics, economics and culture. We have to consider all of
demands and the debates about them in light of God's plan for the
is a big challenge for us in this culture. Our culture pushes us
privatize our faith, to separate our faith from our life in society. We
have to resist that temptation. We are called to live our faith in our
homes and communities, and in our participation in public life. That
have to bring a Catholic faith perspective to this debate about
cannot just think about this issue as Democrats or Republicans or as
think we all know the teachings of our Church on immigration. What we
understand better is how to see immigration in light of America's
purposes, as seen through the perspective of our Catholic faith. When
understand immigration from this perspective we can see that
immigration is not
a problem for America. It's an opportunity. Immigration is a key to our
of the problems we have today is that we have lost the sense of
national story. If our people know our history at all, what they know
incomplete. And when we don't know the whole story, we end up with the
assumptions about American identity and culture.
American story that most of us know is set in New England. It is
of the pilgrims and the Mayflower, the first Thanksgiving, and John
sermon about a city upon a hill.
is the story of great men like Washington, Jefferson and Madison.
story of great documents like the Declaration of Independence and the
Rights. It is a beautiful story. It is also true. Every American should
these characters and the ideals and principles they fought for. From
we learn that our American identity and culture are rooted in
Christian beliefs about the dignity of the human person.
the story of the founding fathers and the truths they held to be
self-evident is not the whole story about America. The rest of the
more than a century before the pilgrims. It starts in the 1520s in
in the 1540s here in California.
is the story not of colonial settlement and political and economic
opportunity. It is the story of exploration and evangelization. This
not Anglo-Protestant but Hispanic-Catholic. It is centered, not in New
but in Nueva España -- New Spain -- at opposite corners of the
this story we learn that before this land had a name its
being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. The people of this land
Christians before they were called Americans. And they were called this
the Spanish, French and English tongues.
this history, we learn that long before the Boston Tea Party,
missionaries were celebrating the holy Mass on the soil of this
Catholics founded America's oldest settlement, in St. Augustine,
1565. Immigrant missionaries were naming this continent's rivers and
and territories for saints, sacraments and articles of the faith.
take these names for granted now. But our American geography
our nation was born from the encounter with Jesus Christ. Sacramento
Sacrament). Las Cruces (the Cross). Corpus Christi (Body of Christ).
Sangre de Cristo Mountains, named for the precious blood of Christ.
19th-century historian John Gilmary Shea said it beautifully.
were houses in this land, there were altars: Mass was said to hallow
and draw down the blessing of heaven before the first step was taken to
human habitation. The altar was older than the hearth.
is the missing piece of American history. And today more than
need to know this heritage of holiness and service -- especially as
Catholics. Along with Washington and Jefferson, we need to know the
these great apostles of America. We need to know the French
Mother Joseph and the Jesuits St. Isaac Jogues and Father Jacques
who came down from Canada to bring the faith to the northern half of
country. We need to know the Hispanic missionaries like the Franciscan
Catalá and the Jesuit Father Eusebio Kino, who came up from
evangelize the Southwest and the Northwest territories.
should know the stories of people like Venerable Antonio Margil. He
Franciscan priest and is one of my favorite figures from the first
evangelization of America. Venerable Antonio left his homeland in Spain
to the New World in 1683. He told his mother he was coming here --
millions of souls [were] lost for want of priests to dispel the
used to call him the Flying Padre. He traveled 40 or 50 miles
walking barefoot. Fray Antonio had a truly continental sense of
mission. He established
churches in Texas and Louisiana, and also in Costa Rica, Nicaragua,
was a priest of great courage and love. He escaped death many times
hands of the native peoples he came to evangelize. Once he faced a
of a dozen Indians armed with bows and arrows. Another time he was
burned alive at the stake.
came to know about Fray Antonio when I was the Archbishop of San
preached there in 1719-1720 and founded the San José Mission
there. He used to
talk about San Antonio as the center of the evangelization of America.
San Antonio … will be the headquarters of all the missions which God
will establish … that in his good time all of this New World may be
to his holy Catholic faith.
is the real reason for America, when we consider our history in
God's plan for the nations. America is intended to be a place of
the living Jesus Christ. This was the motivation of the missionaries
here first. America's national character and spirit are deeply marked
Gospel values they brought to this land. These values are what make the
founding documents of our government so special.
founded by Christians, America has become home to an amazing
of cultures, religions and ways of life. This diversity flourishes
because our nation's founders had a Christian vision of the human
freedom, and truth.
K. Chesterton said famously that America is the only nation in the
that is founded on a creed. And that creed, as he recognized, is
Christian. It is the basic American belief that all men and women are
equal -- with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
other nation in history has been established on the basis of
territory and ethnicity -- the ties of land and kinship. America
based on this Christian ideal, on this creed that reflects the amazing
universalism of the Gospel. As a result, we have always been a nation
nationalities. E pluribus unum. One people made from peoples of many
races, and creeds.
our history, problems have always arisen when we have taken
American creed for granted. Or when we have tried to limit it in some
That's why it is essential that today we remember the missionary
America -- and rededicate ourselves to the vision of America's founding
we forget our country's roots in the Hispanic-Catholic mission to
world, we end up with distorted ideas about our national identity. We
with an idea that Americans are descended from only white Europeans and
our culture is based only on the individualism, work ethic and rule of
we inherited from our Anglo-Protestant forebears.
that has happened in the past it has led to those episodes in our
that we are least proud of -- the mistreatment of Native Americans;
the recurring outbreaks of nativism and anti-Catholicism; the
Japanese Americans during World War ii; the misadventures of manifest
are, of course, far more complicated causes behind these moments
history. But at the root, I think we can see a common factor -- a
that real Americans are of some particular race, class, religion or
worry that in today's political debates over immigration we are
a new period of nativism. The intellectual justification for this new
was set out a few years ago in an influential book by the late Samuel
Huntington of Harvard, called Who Are We?. He made a lot of
sophisticated-sounding arguments, but his basic argument was that
identity and culture are threatened by Mexican immigration.
American identity was the product of the distinct
culture of the founding settlers of America in the 17th and 18th
according to Huntington. By contrast, Mexicans' values are rooted in a
fundamentally incompatible culture of Catholicism which, Huntington
does not value self-initiative or the work ethic, and instead
passivity and an acceptance of poverty.
are old and familiar nativist claims, and they are easy to
could point to the glorious legacy of Hispanic literature and art, or
Mexican-Americans' and Hispanic-Americans' accomplishments in business,
government, medicine and other areas. Unfortunately, today we hear
Huntington's being repeated on cable TV and talk radio -- and sometimes
some of our political leaders.
is no denying significant differences between Hispanic-Catholic
Anglo-Protestant cultural assumptions. This kind of bigoted thinking
an incomplete understanding of American history. Historically, both
have a rightful claim to a place in our national story -- and in the
of an authentic American identity and national character.
believe American Catholics have a special duty today to be the
the truth about the American spirit and our national identity. I
falls to us to be witnesses to a new kind of American patriotism.
are called to bring out all that is noble in the American spirit. We
also called to challenge those who would diminish or downsize America's
identity. Since I came to California, I have been thinking a lot about
Junípero Serra, the Franciscan immigrant who came from Spain via
evangelize this great state.
Junípero loved the native peoples of this continent. He
local languages, customs and beliefs. He translated the Gospel and the
and teachings of the faith so that everyone could hear the mighty works
in their own native tongue! He used to trace the sign of the cross on
foreheads and say to them, Amar a Dios! Love God!
is a good way to understand our duty as Catholics in our culture
need to find a way to translate the Gospel of love for the people of
We need to remind our brothers and sisters of the truths taught by
Junípero and his brother missionaries. That we are all children
of the same
Father in heaven. That our Father in heaven does not make some
racial groups to be inferior or less worthy of his blessings.
need to lead our country to a new spirit of empathy. We need
our brothers and sisters to start seeing the strangers among us for who
truly are -- and not according to political or ideological categories
definitions rooted in our own fears.
is difficult, I know. I know it is a particular challenge to see
humanity of those immigrants who are here illegally. But the truth is
few people choose to leave their homelands. Emigration is almost always
upon people by the dire conditions they face in their lives.
of the men and women who are living in America without proper
documentation have traveled hundreds, even thousands of miles. They
everything behind, risked their safety and their lives. They have done
not for their own comfort or selfish interests. They have done this to
their loved ones. To be good mothers and fathers. To be loving sons and
immigrants -- no matter how they came here -- are people of
aspiration. They are people who are not afraid of hard work or
are nothing like the people Prof. Huntington and others are describing!
men and women have courage and the other virtues. The vast majority of
believe in Jesus Christ and love our Catholic Church. They share
American values of faith, family and community.
is why I believe our immigrant brothers and sisters are the key to
American renewal. And we all know that America is in need of renewal --
economic and political, but also spiritual, moral and cultural renewal.
believe these men and women who are coming to this country will bring a
youthful entrepreneurial spirit of hard work to our economy. I also
will help renew the soul of America.
his last book, Memory and Identity, written the year he died,
Paul II said: The history of all nations is called to take its place in
history of salvation. We must look at immigration in the context of
need for renewal. And we need to consider both immigration and American
in light of God's plan for salvation and the history of the nations.
promise of America is that we can be one nation where men and women
every race, creed and national background may live as brothers and
Each one of us is a child of that promise. If we trace the genealogies
almost everyone in America, the lines of descent will lead us out
borders to some foreign land where each of our ancestors originally
inheritance comes to American Catholics now as a gift and as a
are called to make our own contributions to this nation -- through the
live our faith in Jesus Christ as citizens. Our history shows us that
was born from the Church's mission to the nations. The next America
determined by the choices we make as Christian disciples and as
citizens. By our attitudes and actions, by the decisions we make, we
writing the next chapters of our American story.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of the Americas, obtain for us
courage we need to do what our good Lord requires.
then there is this counter-point offered by my son Perrin".
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Cardinal Piacenza on Women Priests, Celibacy and the Power of Rome
Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy Speaks on Service and Unity
By Antonio Gaspari
ROME, SEPT. 18, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of
Congregation for the Clergy, rarely intervenes in public debates. He is
rather, for his quiet and untiring work and his insightful observations
The 67-year-old Italian will next month complete his first year as head
Vatican's clergy congregation.
He spoke with ZENIT about what power in the Church really is and what
could be doing to offer their feminine genius to Church leadership.
Part 2 of this interview, on celibacy and increasing vocations to the
priesthood, will be published Monday.
ZENIT: Your Eminence, over the past decades, with surprising
same set of ecclesial questions resurface in public debate like
can we explain this?
Cardinal Piacenza: There have always been in the history of the Church
centrifugal movements, attempts to normalize the extraordinary Event of
and of his Living Body in history, the Church. A normalized Church
all of its prophetic force; she would no longer say anything to man and
world and, in fact, she would betray her Lord. The major difference in
contemporary age is media-related and, at the same time, doctrinal.
Doctrinally, there is an effort to justify sin, not entrusting oneself
mercy, but trusting in a dangerous autonomy that has the odor of
atheism. With regard to the media, in recent decades, the physiological
centrifugal forces receive attention and inappropriate amplification
media, which in a certain way, lives on conflict.
ZENIT: Is women's ordination to be understood as a doctrinal question?
Cardinal Piacenza: Certainly, and -- as everyone knows -- the question
clearly confronted by both Paul VI and Blessed John Paul II and, the
with the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of 1994 definitively
the question. Indeed there it is stated: Wherefore, in order that all
be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which
the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of
the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority
whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this
judgment is to
be definitively held by all the Church's faithful. Some, grasping at
have spoken since then of a relative definitiveness of the doctrine,
frankly, the thesis is so odd as to lack any foundation.
ZENIT: So, is there no place for women in the Church?
Cardinal Piacenza: On the contrary, women have a most important place
ecclesial Body and they could have one that is even more evident. The
founded by Christ and we human beings cannot decide on its form;
hierarchical constitution is linked to the ministerial priesthood,
reserved to men. But there is absolutely nothing to prevent the valuing
feminine genius is roles that are not linked with the exercise of Holy
Who would stop, for example, a great woman economist from being head of
administration of the Holy See? Who would prevent a competent woman
from being the spokesman of the Vatican press office? The examples
multiplied for all the offices that are not connected with Holy Orders.
are tasks in which the feminine genius could make a specific
It is another thing to think of service as power and try, as the world
meet the quota for this power. I maintain, furthermore, that the
the great mystery of maternity, which has been the modus operandi of
dominant culture, has a related role in the general disorientation of
The ideology of profit has stooped to the instrumentalization of women,
recognizing the greatest contribution that -- incontrovertibly -- they
to society and to the world.
Also, the Church is not a political government in which it is right to
adequate representation. The Church is something quite different; the
the Body of Christ and, in her, each one is a part according to what
established. Moreover, in the Church it is not a question of masculine
feminine roles but rather of roles that by divine will do or do not
ordination. Whatever a layman can do, so can a laywoman. What is
having the specific and proper formation, then being a man or a woman
ZENIT: But can someone really participate in the life of the Church
having effective power and responsibility?
Cardinal Piacenza: Who said that participation in the life of the
Church is a
question of power? If this were the case, we would unmask the real
in conceiving the Church herself not as she is -- human and divine --
simply as one of the many human associations, maybe the greatest and
noble, given her history; she would then have to be administered by a
of power. Nothing is further from reality! The hierarchy in the Church,
being of divine institution, is always to be understood as a service to
communion. Only an equivocation, historically stemming from the
dictatorships, could make one think of the ecclesiastical hierarchy as
exercise in absolute power. This is known to be false by those who,
are called to assist the Pope in his personal responsibility for the
Church! So many and such are the mediations, the consultations, the
of real collegiality that practically no act of governance is t
he fruit of an individual will, but always the outcome of a long
listening to the Holy Spirit and the precious contributions of many
First of all the bishops and bishops' conferences of the world.
not a socio-historical concept, but derives from the common Eucharist,
affectus that is born from taking the one Bread and from living the one
from being united to Christ: Way, Truth and Life; and Christ is the
yesterday, today and forever!
ZENIT: Doesn't Rome have too much power?
Cardinal Piacenza: To say Rome is simply to say catholicity and
Rome is the city chosen by providence as the place of the martyrdom of
Apostles Peter and Paul and communion with this Church has always
meant communion with the universal Church, unity, mission and doctrinal
certainty. Rome is at the service of all the Churches, she loves all
Churches and, not infrequently, she protects the Churches most
the power of the world and of governments who are not completely
that inalienable human and natural right that is freedom of
The Church must be seen from the perspective of the dogmatic
Vatican Council II Lumen Gentium, obviously including the note attached
document. There the early Church is described, the Church of the
Church of all ages, which is our Church of today, without
is the Church of Christ. Rome is called to preside in Charity and in
sole sources of authentic Christian peace. The Church's unity is not
with the world and its mentality, rather it is the result, given by
our fidelity to truth and to charity that we will be capable of
I think that it is indicative, in this regard, that today only the
no other, defends man and his reason, his capacity to know the real and
enter into relationship with it, in sum man in his totality. Rome is at
service of the whole Church of God that is in the world and that is an
window on the world. A window that gives a voice to all those who do
not have a
voice, that calls everyone to a continual conversion and through this
contributes -- often in silence and in suffering, paying the price
even being unpopular -- to building a better world, the civilization of
ZENIT: Doesn't this role that Rome plays hinder unity and ecumenism?
Cardinal Piacenza: On the contrary, it is their necessary
Ecumenism is a priority for the life of the Church and it is an
exigency that flows from the prayer itself of the Lord: Ut unum sint,
becomes for every true Christian the commandment of unity. In sincere
in the spirit of continual interior conversion, in fidelity to one's
identity and in the common striving for the perfect charity bestowed by
is necessary to commit oneself with conviction to seeing to it that
no setbacks on the journey of the ecumenical movement. The world needs
unity; it is therefore urgent that we continue to engage in the
faith with all our Christian brothers, so that Christ be a leaven in
It is also urgent that we work together with non-Christians, that is,
intercultural dialogue to contribute together to the building of a
world, collaborating in good works and making a new and more human
ible. Even in that task Rome has a unique role of propulsion. There is
for division; our time and energies must be spent in seeking unity.
[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]
[Part 2 of this interview will be published Monday]
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Cardinal Piacenza on Women Priests, Celibacy and the Power of Rome
Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy Speaks on What's Behind the
By Antonio Gaspari
ROME, SEPT. 19, 2011 (Zenit.org).- It is often proposed that celibacy
blame for a lack of vocations to the priesthood.
But according to the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy,
not the problem at all.
ZENIT spoke with Cardinal Mauro Piacenza about the lack of priestly
and the true remedies for the problem.
Part 1 of this interview, on the role of women in the Church, was
ZENIT: Who are the priests in this Catholic Church and what is their
Cardinal Piacenza: They are not social workers and even less are they
functionaries of God! The identity crisis is especially acute in the
secularized contexts in which it seems that there is no space for God.
priests are what they have always been; they are always what Christ
to be! The priestly identity is Christocentric and therefore
Eucharistic. It is
Christocentric because, as the Holy Father has recalled many times, in
ministerial priesthood Christ draws us into himself, involving himself
and involving us in his own existence. This real attraction happens
sacramentally, and so in an objective and unsurpassable manner, in the
Eucharist -- of which priests are ministers, that is servants and
ZENIT: But is the law of celibacy so absolute? Can it really not be
Cardinal Piacenza: It is not a mere law! The law is the consequence of
higher reality that is grasped only in a living relationship with
says: He who understands, must understand. Holy celibacy is never
progress beyond, rather it is always new, in the sense that, even
the life of the priest is renewed, because it is always given, in a
that has its root in God and its fruition in the blossoming of human
The true problem is in the contemporary inability to make definitive
in the dramatic reduction of human freedom that has become so fragile
as not to
pursue the good, not even when it is recognized and intuited as a
for one's own existence. Celibacy is not the problem, nor can the
and weakness of certain priests be the criterion of judgment.
us that more than 40% of marriages fail. But 2% of priests fail in
the solution would not be in making holy celibacy optional. Should we
instead stop interpreting freedom as the absence of ties and of
and begin to discover that the true realization of human felicity
precisely in the definitiveness of the gift to the other and to God?
ZENIT: What about vocations? Would they not increase if celibacy were
Cardinal Piacenza: No! The Christian confessions in which, because
there is no
ordained priesthood, there is no doctrine and discipline of celibacy,
themselves in a state of deep crisis regarding vocations to the
the community. There is also a crisis in the sacrament of marriage as
one and indissoluble.
The crisis from which, in reality, we are slowly emerging, is linked,
fundamentally, to the crisis of faith in the West. It is in making
that we must be engaged. This is the point. In the same spheres the
sanctification of the feast is in crisis, confession is in crisis,
in crisis, etc…
Secularization and the consequent loss of the sense of the sacred, of
its practice have brought about and continue to bring about a
diminution in the
number of candidates to the priesthood. Along with these distinctively
theological and ecclesial causes, there are also some of a sociological
character: first of all, the evident decline in births, with the
diminution in the number of young men and, thus, also of priestly
This too is a factor that cannot be ignored. Everything is connected.
the premises are laid down and then one does not want to accept the
consequences, but these are inevitable.
The first and undeniable remedy for the drop in vocations Jesus himself
suggested: Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send workers into the
(Matthew 9:38). This is the realism of pastoral work in vocations.
vocations, an intense, universal, widespread network of prayer and
adoration that envelops the whole world, is the only possible answer to
crisis of the acceptance of vocations. Wherever such a prayerful
attitude has a
stable existence, one sees that a real turnaround is occurring. It is
fundamental to watch over the identity and specificity in ecclesial
priests, religious (in the uniqueness of the foundational charisms of
to which they belong) and faithful laity, so that each may truly, in
understand and welcome the vocation that God has in mind for him. But
must be himself and must work every day more and more to become what he
ZENIT: Your Eminence, in this moment in history how would you sum
Cardinal Piacenza: Our project must not be to stay afloat at all costs,
desire the applause of public opinion: We must only serve our neighbor,
he is, out of love and with the love of our God, remembering that only
the Savior. We must let him pass, speak, act through our poor persons
daily work. We must not put ourselves forward but him. We must not be
frightened in the face of situations, not even the worst. The Lord is
aboard the Barque of Peter even if he seems to be sleeping; he is here!
act with energy, as if everything depended on us but with the peace of
who know that everything depends on the Lord. Therefore, we must
the name of love in time is fidelity!
The believer knows that He is the Way, the Truth, the Life and not just
a truth, a life. This is why the key to the mission in our society is
courage of truth at the cost of insults and scorn; it is this courage
one with love, with pastoral charity, which must be recovered and that
the Christian vocation more attractive today than ever. I would like to
the words in which the Council of the Evangelical Church summed up its
in Stuttgart in 1945: To proclaim with more courage, to pray with more
confidence, to believe with more joy, to love with more passion.
[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Prelate Criticizes Obama Insinuation of American Bigotry
Says Voter Defense of Marriage Can't Be Likened to Racism
WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The leader of the U.S.
has told Barack Obama that the federal government should not be
majority of its citizens are morally blind.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States
of Catholic Bishops, said this in a letter to the president Tuesday
the administration's move to attack the constitutionality of the
Marriage Act (DOMA).
DOMA was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and it defines
marriage as a
legal union between one man and one woman.
Mr. President, I respectfully urge you to push the reset button on your
administration's approach to DOMA, the archbishop wrote.
He called it particularly upsetting, that the administration attributes
those who support DOMA a motivation rooted in prejudice and bias. It is
especially wrong and unfair to equate opposition to redefining marriage
either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination, as your
administration insists on doing.
Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent or moral
the part of the overwhelming majority of its citizens, millions of whom
gone to the polls to directly support DOMAs in their states and have
endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman, Archbishop Dolan
should a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be treated by
officials as a federal offense.
Mom and Dad
The New York prelate pointed out that Obama has shown support for the
marriage. He referred to the president's messages for Mother's Day and
Day, calling them perceptive and heartening statements, in which the
correctly emphasize(s) the critical role played by both a mom and a dad
I believe therefore that you would agree that every child has the right
loved by both a mother and a father, the prelate continued. The
marriage is built on this truth, which goes to the core of what the
bishops of the United States, and the millions of citizens who stand
with us on
this issue, want for all children and for the common good of society.
Archbishop Dolan reiterated the Church's rejection of all hatred and
treatment against any person.
Our profound regard for marriage as the complementary and fruitful
union of a
man and a woman does not negate our concern for the well-being of all
but reinforces it, he said. While all persons merit our full respect,
relationships provide for the common good what marriage between husband
provides. The law should reflect this reality.
--- --- ---
On the Net:
Full text: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/dolan-to-obama-doma-letter-sept-20-2011.pdf
Wow! Where do I
begin? I promise, I'll keep my
response shorter than the original essay. Jeez Louise, how could
Much of what is written
by Archbishop Gomez is opinion,
so I won't bother with that. My concern is his attempt to label
advocacy of anti-ILlegal immigration as anti-ALL immigration (if not
racism); and as unpatriotic and/or ignorant of American history.
to support this with the the notion that America's creation
origins in "Hispanic-Catholic and Anglo-Protestant cultural
assumptions". He writes, "Historically, both cultures have
a rightful claim to a place in our national story -- and in the
formation of an
authentic American identity and national character." He claims
Samuel Huntington favors Anglo-Protestant "self-initiative or
the work ethic" as THE catalyst of our original national and
<>Guess what, Huntington is
correct. And, Gomez is
incorrect in declaring, "This kind of bigoted thinking stems from an
incomplete understanding of American history." His examples
Hispanic and Mexican contributions to business and culture on this
regard commercial innovation, civilization, and cultural expansion
specifically served the Catholic Church, the Crown of
both. It is true that equivalent endeavors in the English
influence evolved into commercial ventures for
But, as opposed to Hispanic commercial exploration/exploitation and
expansion of the Americas, English settlement originated from
religious motivation to divest FROM Europe, NOT to enrich it or
Church. Within 150 years of first settling here, English
decided that self-determination was what they wanted and
For approximately 400 years, from 1492 until the mid-to-late 19th
Century, those in the (albeit dwindling) Spanish sphere of
maintained their loyalties to Spain and the Catholic Church, NOT to a
American national and governmental identity.
This is a BIG
difference that seems to elude Archbishop
Gomez. Although Spain is out of the picture, the Catholic
influence is as strong as ever in its former empire. The same has
been true in the original colonies or the rest of what has become the
States. I don't know if he is simply incorrect in
his historical conclusions, or if he consciously uses the term
in a derogatory manner to attempt to guilt Americans into thinking
Mexican/Hispanic culture is as American as apple pie; because it is
And, the facts support this claim. If it is indeed the latter, he
'slick as snot', as they say. Frankly, his use of the word
his hand, as far as I'm concerned. My guess is that he knows
nationwide effort to welcome with open arms an increasing number of
faithful Catholics to America (regardless of their legal
imagine) more easily and quickly increases the value of his stock,
and figuratively. That is his tribe, on two counts. It is
understandable that he would want what he thinks is best for them,
himself; although, we all know what such advocacy has and is
in this country, politically, culturally, and economically.
<>I just want to make sure that the
truth is clear, backed up
I hope I didn't bore
any of you. I'm just a fan of