The United States immigration system could use improvement, but is not as unjust or restrictive as many believe. A very strong case can be made for the exact opposite.

Did you know that our foreign-born population has tripled following the 1965 Hart-Cellar immigration act? Per US census data, in only 4 decades from 1970 it increased as follows: 9,619,302 to 14,079,906 to 19,767,316 and 31,107,889 (in 2000). By 2015 it reached 45 million and is on-track for a staggering 78 million by 2065.

Since the 1965 law, almost 59 million people have immigrated to America (so far). This is much more than at any other time in our history by a wide margin. It is 4 times more than any other country. We alone account for almost 20% of worldwide immigration per year.

Where are all the new immigrants from? Latin America mostly (51% – 30% from Mexico alone). When President Kennedy signed the 1965 immigration act, he said “it will not upset the ethnic mix of our society.” That was true of immigration before the 1965 law, but is far from true today. The ethnicity of the population has shifted significantly and will continue that trend. The ethnic makeup of 2100 will be nothing like 1900.

The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

We are unique in the world by welcoming a flood of immigrants year after year. Many countries accept few permanent immigrants as citizens. Mexico, for instance, has had a terrible record on immigration. Even with our generous welcome, illegal immigration is huge, holding at a level of 10 million since 2004 (annual deportation is less than 5% of that). The US is one of only two developed countries that automatically grant citizenship to children of illegal immigrants (“anchor babies”).

Before the 1965 law, the poverty rate among immigrants was about the same as non-immigrants. Today it is almost double, thus requiring a significantly larger portion of taxpayer support.

Immigration to the United States is supported at a steep cost. A whopping 52% of legal immigrants receive welfare and, perhaps surprising to many, 71% of illegal immigrants receive this expensive taxpayer support. It costs California alone $12.3 BILLION dollars per year to educate just the illegal immigrants. The net cost (welfare, less any taxes paid) averages over $14,000 per household of illegal immigrants. This currently costs taxpayers about $113 BILLION per year. Of course, all the money spent in support of legal and illegal immigrants is money not spent on our veterans, on our failing infrastructure, on improving education, on healthcare or on our senior citizens. It contributes to our already monumental national debt. Let that sink in. We must BORROW over $14,000 per year for each of these households. That is money we do not have, debt that saps opportunity from the economy and a burden for us and future generations.

Additionally, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) reports that while illegal aliens are 3.5% of our population, they account for 36.7% of federal convictions. These convictions are primarily for drug trafficking, kidnapping/hostage taking, drug possession, money laundering and murder.

All this is not to say we should seal our borders, prohibit immigration or fail the persecuted. What this does say is that we are very generous and anyone who says otherwise is at best, irresponsibly misinformed.

Moreover, it is right and just that we consider who to welcome into our home and support by the sacrifices of our people. Should it be those closest to our borders and willing to violate our laws to enter uninvited? –OR– should it be those in most desperate need around the world who are literally perishing under the most extreme poverty or by the sword of radical Islam? Which is most just?

Consider also our capacity to welcome immigrants. It is not unlimited. Yes, we can always accept one more, but not without incremental risk little different than continuously adding just one more to a life boat — until it sinks. This boat is already packed and taking on water. If it sinks, no one is helped but many are unjustly harmed.

Sacrilege in the Vatican

Sacrilege In The Vatican

This is monumentally bad. Heaven weeps.

According to many reliable reports (National Catholic Register, LifeSiteNews, Christian Today) visiting Lutheran dignitaries were purposely given the Most Holy Eucharist at a Vatican Mass following ecumenical talks. The Lutherans approached with their arm crossed — even THEY knew that they were not properly disposed to receive (see my piece: The Body of Christ).

Sacrilege is in general the violation or injurious treatment of a sacred object. (The Catholic Encyclopedia calls this real sacrilege “the worst of all sacrileges”). IF priests knowingly gave the Eucharist to non-Catholics who could not possibly have been in a proper disposition to receive the Blessed Sacrament – then they profaned the Body of Christ, possibly incurred a latae sententiae excommunication and would be subject to possible dismissal:

A person who throws away the consecrated species or takes or retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; moreover, a cleric can be punished with another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.

Canon 1367

This is more serious than attempting to “marry” gays or attempting to ordain a woman. This is hugely scandalous to the faithful, a threat to unity and worse of all – a direct crime against God Almighty. We must not sugar-coat this.

There are many sects of Lutherans (they call synods) who, like many other Protestant denominations, believe different things from each other. This was a Finnish synod with which I am not familiar. In the United States, most Lutherans are in the largest synod here which is the ELCA. Among other things, they:

  1. do NOT have apostolic succession and thus no valid holy orders
  2. their worship service, while superficially similar those times when communion is offered, is not sacrificial as is our Mass
  3. their understanding of the real presence is very different than ours
  4. regardless of their belief, lacking valid holy orders, their hosts are unchanged
  5. there is no tabernacle or reservation of consecrated hosts
  6. all baptized may receive (Lutheran or non-Lutheran; state of grace only loosely)
  7. they do not recognize sacraments as Catholics or Orthodox do
  8. they have many women pastors and “bishops”
  9. they embrace open homosexuality even among their clergy (who are free to marry)
  10. divorce and “re-marriage” is completely accepted
  11. they use the abridged Protestant Bible
  12. they believe in sola scriptura (rejecting both Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium)
  13. their clergy health care plans include full abortion coverage
  14. becoming a Lutheran (like most Protestant denominations) is a snap
  15. many other differences from Catholicism

I in no way hope to demean Lutherans. My family and many relatives are Lutherans, as was I for almost 60 years. They sincerely hold their beliefs and dearly love the Lord. I pray that they may one day be fully reunited with Christ’s Church. The point is that Lutheran beliefs have become significantly separated from Catholicism. There is no valid analogy between the Orthodox and Lutherans. The Orthodox are very close to Catholicism while Lutherans are far. In fact, Lutherans move further and further away from Catholicism every year (see my piece: Protestantism trainwreck).

So, in what ways were they not properly disposed to receive?

  • they are not Catholic or even claim to be

That should completely suffice, but to expand on the obvious:

  • they are not in communion with the Church and do not profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God (not even close)
  • in this incident, they acknowledged improper disposition by crossing their arm
  • they do not believe the communion species have transformed (only taken on, possibly temporarily, a dual nature)
  • not having confession (sacramental or otherwise), they easily may not be in a state of grace

Some have already suggested that this represents a first step in officially recognizing Lutherans as “close enough” for inter-communion. That thought leaves me (and probably all other Lutheran converts) dumbfounded and alarmed. It would herald a very dark time of many serious consequences including to our unity. As a thought experiment, imagine we were to officially welcome Lutherans to communion. Consider, besides the grave, on-going sacrilege:

  • there would be little incentive for converts to bother with the RCIA process if their goal is to join us fully at Mass – becoming Lutheran is quick and easy, then come and celebrate the Most Holy Eucharist with us
  • “married” gay Lutherans, no problem
  • Lutherans on their third or fourth spouse, no problem
  • Lutheran and an abortion provider? no problem
  • don’t like Sunday obligation? become Lutheran and come when you like
  • opposed to Catholic moral theology in other ways? keep your favorite sins and come as a Lutheran (what Lutherans consider sins and what Catholics consider sins are not the same)
  • presumably Sacraments of Penance and Anointing the Sick would also be opened too
  • such a new “tier 2” Catholicism might appeal to cafeteria Catholics and others with objections to Church teaching
  • would Catholics currently unable to receive communion be able to simply become Lutheran?
  • if Lutherans, why not Episcopalians and all other Anglicans who are at least as “close”?

Our fervent hopes and prayers are that Lutherans become truly reunited with us at the Eucharistic table of our Lord. That happens when they become Catholic. This is what converts do, what I did, what Anglicans do en masse via the ordinariate. The purpose of true ecumenical dialog is to lead others to the fullness of the Christian faith. Affirming them where they are, with no need to change accomplishes exactly the opposite and fulfills Satan’s desires not God’s.

Also reference this analysis on a previous sacrilege against the Eucharist.

Our brave new world

Our Brave New World


Women in the United States of America are forced by law to a life of servitude in support of unwanted biomass known as “toddlers.” Yes, small pre-person clumps of tissue who contribute nothing to society but who pollute the environment and tax the healthcare system. Enslaved women suffering loss of time, space, financial resources, sleep and emotional distress are forced to turn to illegal methods of post-birth abortions to free themselves of these burdens.

The Supreme Court must act to stop this war on women! It is truly uncivilized to recognize the right to terminate these things at any point prior to their emergence from the birth canal, then arbitrarily criminalize the same termination methods upon exit. Compassion, not prosecution; healthcare, not judgment!

Yes, these are difficult decisions women must make, but no one has the right to infringe on their lives. It is their choice. Once legalized, healthcare professionals will be able to safely provide the same full spectrum of pregnancy services both before and AFTER the pregnancy period ends. Pharmacies will stock “Plan C” (those who refuse to will be swiftly punished). This is basic healthcare and as such, will also be mandated for all government sanctioned health plans.

OK, that is not literally a manifesto of most pro-choice supporters — yet. Pro-life readers are horrified at such an outrageous idea while more than a few on the “pro-choice” side see some sense in it. This lady for instance:

It has been 4 years since the Journal of Medical Ethics published an academic paper on the topic. The abstract explains:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call “after-birth abortion” (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

If this idea only popped-up once, we could dismiss it. It is persistent and a logical, progressive step. 50 years ago no one thought abortion would be legal, sodomites would be celebrated (and legally marry), or discrimination against Christians would be essentially legalized and encouraged. If the pro-life movement fails, expect this next.

Planned Parenthood, the abortion industry’s most enthusiastic promoter and largest beneficiary, sees the obvious business opportunity. Here, their lobbyist testified that PP believes (post birth abortion) should be left up to the woman and her abortion doctor. Of course.

We need to get back to a point where movements such as this, all abortion and all euthanasia are inconceivable.

March for Life 2016

…this Friday

Does truth matter?

People are confused by gobs of secular group-think. At one time, folks held knowledge of truth (and living consistently with it) in high regard. Now, whatever the topic, it seems to go through a quick filter of “does it matter to me one way or the other?” If not, then go with the flow, live and let live, to each his own and who am I to judge? Truth is no longer an immutable fact, but equated with preference. What is right for you might not be right for me — so, truth is assumed to be relative.

We see this played-out in abortion politics. If a wanted child is killed in utero, that is considered murder (in most states). If that same child is unwanted and “terminated” by her mother at an even later stage, it is considered choice. The humanity of that child is true or false depending on it being wanted.

Most people today are atheists, agnostics or “nones.” Atheists at least have thought about God and have come to a conclusion, albeit an incorrect one. Agnostics and nones are more interesting because they simply do not care enough to find out. If there is a God, what could possibly be more important? The implications for everything are huge! It would seem that those who have not figured it out would spend as much effort as necessary to move themselves either to the faith or to the atheist column, yet do not bother.

There is a wide spectrum of those who claim faith. Many have confused religious belief with affirmation of whatever their fallen will desires. They will engage whatever faith community is easiest, most welcoming / accepting / affirming of their lifestyle and (current) values, involving no inconvenience and calling for no amendment of their life. It is also valued if “worship” is entertaining and fun. Social interactions with useful business or political networking is a plus. In reality, this is not so much about God as it is about themselves. Truth has little to do with it.

Moving further in the faith direction we come to those who hold a firm belief in a “higher power.” Just that, nothing more — no need to dig deeper or think anything through. Believers at this very low level are barely outside the agnostic / none camp. They move between Christian and broader faith communities with ease. Many would proudly describe themselves as “spiritual” and hold that all religions are equal. Their car bumpers typically sport “coexist” stickers.

At last we come to true Christians! By grace we are Christian believers, but have sadly landed in numerous, separated ecclesial communities. A large chunk of us believe in the Trinity and that the cross somehow saves us but know little more. There is, even among Christians, a common assumption that being a good person (just about everyone thinks they are one) is good enough (or at least not requiring much more than that). To my mind, such folks appear to be banking on their invincible ignorance to be sufficient. Like non-believers, they sadly miss lives blessed by abundant grace.

Distinct from these brothers and sisters, are those who care about and seek truth. In an ideal world, we would all be in this group! Devout Christians are open to the Holy Spirit, seek to know and understand what God has revealed, place God at the center of their lives, seek continuous conversion of themselves and a closer relationship with our Creator. This is the narrow road of truth that leads to eternal life.

Those of us who are baptized and confirmed are priests, prophets and kings. We have responsibility, not only to get ourselves to heaven but to bring as many others as possible along with us. That can only be done by keeping ourselves in that last group while evangelizing in love, those in all the others. This can not be done solely by example.

Preach the gospel at all times — if necessary, use words.

Something St. Francis of Assisi never said.


UPDATE: See also Karlo Broussard’s piece for Catholic Answers: Is It True that There Is No Truth?.

Very Messy Church Synod

Messy Church Synod

The Catholic Church is a very messy place. It is full of flawed people (well over a billion). We all hope to become saints, but for now we are all sinners, every one of us.

That is why we need the Church.

Her mission is to spread the Good News, without distortion, in order to help as many people as possible get to Heaven.

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.

When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

There is no other institution like the Catholic Church. Absolutely none. This is the institution Christ himself founded, the only one.

What is a synod?

Simply put, a synod is nothing more than a fancy word for an advisory committee. Nothing more. It includes only a small fraction of the Magisterium. At its conclusion, it will make recommendations to the Holy Father.

The current Synod on the Family

I have avoided writing about this, hoping and praying that numerous reports are over-reacting. You might find this hard to believe. It is certainly deeply disappointing, but please try to keep it in perspective..

This synod, very unfortunately, is a failure. If you have been following faithful Catholic media, you are already aware of the myriad of problems. These include:

  • non-representative participation – the synod members (“synod fathers”) are not drawn from the vast majority (the good shepherds) who represent worldwide Catholicism of the ages, but instead skew heavily toward the modernist “progressive” end of the spectrum; some members have openly promoted heretical positions long before their invitation to the synod.
  • non-transparency – information flow has been anything but open. Press credentials are given to new (even non-Catholic) media with apparent heterodox agendas while actually revoked from other long-standing faithful media (even clergy). Transcripts are not provided. Official translators, mostly from progressive ranks, give their own personal summaries which have been shown to exaggerate progressive views while omitting traditional, faithful ones which were (often strongly) expressed.
  • “shadow synods” – groups pushing progressive agendas have been working in a political style, in private, strategizing how to steer the result.
  • pre-determined results – credible reports of at least draft forms of the final synod recommendations are persistent, including prior to the synod starting.
  • extraordinary synod experiences – the shennigans from the preparatory synod last Fall are legion and quite well documented. This has NOT resulted in effective reforms for the synod itself. If anything, circumstances are worse.
  • synod rules – differ from previous synods and are a major facilitator of the problems.
  • wide ranging issues – the purpose of this synod is to strengthen the family, yet non-related homosexual issues and women’s ordination to the diaconate have been permitted while faithful bishops have been shutdown when supporting the continuous teaching of the Church.

Response of the Faithful

Over 800,000 people, including many Bishops and Cardinals, have signed an extraordinary Filial Appeal to Pope Francis asking for clarification.

During the synod, a group of Cardinals (including Cardinal Dolan of New York City) have written to Pope Francis expressing their alarm.

Numerous books by groups of faithful Cardinals and Bishops have been authored in response to the false, dangerous proposals some have made in the last few years which are coming to a climax now.

Probable Outcome

Doctrine is inerrant and therefore can not be changed (ever), so accept that as a given.

The synod itself may or may not produce a public final report. If it does, expect it to be ambiguous and contradictory. The committee tasked with writing it is clearly stacked. Pope Francis might take no action. If he does, expect approval of “pastoral responses” to “certain needs” which he either specifies OR leaves up to national bishop conferences.

Either way, the net result of this in much of Europe (Germany for sure while Poland not at all) and certain non-European areas (including parts of the US), will be an increase in significant abuses. This is similar to the pattern that followed Vatican II. People will be led away from truth to their eternal detriment.

There is talk of this causing schism (that won’t happen, but true unity will suffer). Bishops are being urged to walk away from the synod should it be necessary for them to show their strongest disagreement with its often outrageous conduct and false conclusions.

YET, the Church will survive. We may see harmful turmoil, but in the end the Church will pull together, possibly smaller, but stronger than ever. Perhaps it will be under a different pope and not in our lifetimes. This remains the Church Christ founded, it can be wounded, but the gates of Hell can not prevail.

As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?”

He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve.

For now, pray. Pray for the faithful bishops who fight against this stacked deck. Pray for the heterodox bishops who seek compromise with the fallen world under a banner of false mercy. Pray for Pope Francis, that he strongly and clearly lead the Church in the truth of Christ.