Action Alert!
Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

On immigration, the bishops are late...again

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | May 07, 2012

Over the years the US bishops’ conference has issued statements on dozens of political issues: a habit that I lamented in a comment last week. The statements keep coming, in seemingly endless profusion. But the USCCB’s enthusiasm for particular issues seems to wax and wane.

In the 1980s, for example, nuclear weapons were the hot issue du jour, and the US bishops’ conference issued a much-discussed pastoral letter criticizing the policy of “mutually assured destruction.” The bishops began drafting their pastoral letter just after the Reagan administration abandoned that doctrine, which had been in place for over 20 years.

During the past few years, perhaps the most pressing topic in the bishops’ political agenda has been immigration—which, in practice, means immigration from Mexico. The timing is interesting, in light of the realization that the rate of immigration from Mexico into the US has fallen near zero, and may now even be in negative numbers.

Once again, the US bishops’ conference has arrived on the scene just in time to issue moral guidance regarding a political issue that no longer exists in the same form.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jan. 09, 2019 1:23 AM ET USA

    Business as usual under Francis.

  • Posted by: DanS - Jan. 08, 2019 8:02 PM ET USA

    Bergoglio acts more and more like a tin-can despot than a pope.

  • Posted by: - May. 12, 2012 12:09 PM ET USA

    Slowly, slowly, you are becoming more accurate in referring to the USCCB. That organization was formed as an administrative tool to help the bishops. It was not meant to give opinions. In our Catholic system, each bishops is independent in his diocese. These general statements are the work of the left-leaning USCCB bureaucracy [which in cludes some bishops], as evidenced by the USCCB's Catholic News Service. With a bureaucracy like this, the Church does not need enemies.

  • Posted by: unum - May. 12, 2012 7:28 AM ET USA

    I have often states that many of our bishops have been educated beyond their capacity and long to share their wisdom with the world. Unfortunately, that is not what the job requires, so those of us who labor in the fields under their authority can only ask the Holy Spirit to send us shepherds who "know their sheep" and who are also aware of the boundaries of the pasture.

  • Posted by: - May. 12, 2012 12:07 AM ET USA

    The dissent from faith by many bishops in the NCCB is the single most destructive problem facing the American Cathlic Church. It has promoted dissent not only among clergy but “faithful” alike. Every bishop who does not teach the faith faithfully should be fired. If we rally want solid young priests then we must have solid bishops.