Action Alert!

An Interpretation of Archbishop Lori’s DREAM

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Nov 13, 2012

Like Martin Luther King, I have a dream. My dream is that bishops will one day speak intelligently about the DREAM Act. Archbishop William Lori tried and failed at the USCCB’s Fall meeting.

Archbishop Lori wanted to show that (a) the DREAM Act represents “Gospel values taught to us by our Lord Jesus Christ”, just like the defense of marriage does; and (b) the Church’s support in Maryland of both the DREAM Act and marriage between one man and one woman—one a Democratic and the other a Republican cause—proves that the Church is wonderfully non-partisan because of her allegiance to “Gospel values taught to us by our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Point A is dubious. And because Point A is dubious, Point B is harmfully incorrect.

Whatever one may think of the DREAM Act’s provision of in-state tuition rates at Maryland universities and colleges for undocumented immigrant students, the Act can hardly be classed as one of the “Gospel values taught to us by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Moreover, support for the Act by the Church fails to address (or addresses in exactly the wrong way) the perils of throwing immigrants into greater dependency on the State, which is increasingly hostile to faith and morals.

One would think—by now!—that the Archbishop of Baltimore would be able to see that the Church should be more concerned with educating people herself than with ensuring that the State educates them. Another opportunity has been lazily tossed and lost.

And since the DREAM Act, whatever its merits, is not what Archbishop Lori claims it to be, it follows that to compare it with the Church’s defense of marriage, which is certainly one of the “Gospel values taught to us by our Lord Jesus Christ”, is to perpetuate the enormous confusion among Catholics about Gospel values which has so weakened both Catholic virtue and Catholic politics over the past fifty years.

Catholics may disagree about the DREAM Act, because Our Lord did not teach it. They may not disagree about marriage, because Our Lord did teach it. Conclusion? Archbishop Lori's remarks are a nightmare.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Nov. 14, 2012 9:35 PM ET USA

    I thank you very much for your comments on the dream act. It is past time that the church stands against the increase in governmental power by increasing the dependence of the populace on the welfare state. Catholic education would be a great help in the world's hour of need. A new generation must be reared that understands the fatality of dependence on anyone other than God.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Nov. 14, 2012 3:47 PM ET USA

    It's simple really: many bishops have lost the Faith even if they might venhemently deny it and may even believe firmly that they still have it. Many have forgotten that the Church's number one concern is to bring people to supernatural life in Christ so that they can love Him in this life and be happy with him in the next. Bishop Lori among others seems to have lost sight of the supernatural dimension of the Faith they claim to profess. Pray for him and all bishops.

  • Posted by: Barbnet - Nov. 14, 2012 2:05 AM ET USA

    Paul, is excessive debt moral? Please write about this thorny topic. In modern life, stealing is often done without a mask and pillow case. It is done in plain sight, and the government helps. The US Treasury is borrowing an average of $100 billion a month. The repayment plan sounds like theft to me, because our newborn babes are effectively bond servants Did Jesus endorse this? Giving free stuff to foreigners sounds charitable, but debt bondage of the young sounds like an unjust price.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Nov. 13, 2012 7:45 PM ET USA

    Nightmare is right! When will these bishops get over being Socialists? Do they think the taxpayers have money trees growing in their basements?

  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Nov. 13, 2012 7:19 PM ET USA

    Ugh! The Dream Act! Sinfully naive to call it a great achievement. Just a way to guarantee the conversion of large-family-loving people into Planned Parenthood customers.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 13, 2012 7:06 PM ET USA

    Amen, Amen, Amen!

  • Posted by: anne.mitzel3608 - Nov. 13, 2012 4:55 PM ET USA

    Does anybody else see repeated instances of bishops trying to find SOMETHING to agree with the Democrats about, or SOMETHING to disagree with the Republicans about, just so that they can show that they are nonpartisan? Like, "Biden is pro-abortion, but Ryan's budget doesn't care enough for the poor."