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Harry Griego: Comments on Pope’s statements on immigration

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harry griegoAs a Catholic, I have several concerns about the Holy Father’s criticism of the United States immigration policy. It clearly sounds as if he wants the U.S. Border to be open and porous so that the poor, the very poor, can come and work here illegally.  I understand why the very poor want to come to the United States. I have been to some of these countries and have seen the poverty that people there live in.

However, as a believer in limited government and personal responsibility, a believer in the commands of God that we see in his Word, I have a number of questions for the Holy Father.

Does the United States have a right to be sovereign? 

Pope John Paul II once said, “the United States has the right to be sovereign”. I fully agree that it does. Walls and defenses are not necessarily bad. When Israel returned from Babylon, the first thing they were told to do was to build a wall.

Is it the sole responsibility of the American Tax Payer to take care of these people?

I do not believe it is the responsibility of our fellow taxpayers to foot the bill for this. The Church and charities have an important role to play in our care for the poor, one that Christ commands of His church, and one that we as believers should feel compelled to do for others as a result of what Christ has done for us. That does not, however, mean that the government mandates us to do it, or that we should use the government to force other people to do their donating for us.

Why has Church Leadership abdicated their responsibility in providing Charity to these people?

Government programs would not be a reality if the Church, and the Catholic Church specifically, had not in many regards agreed to turn the administration of its biblical mandates over to the government. Churches must return to a focus on doing God’s work and showing love and kindness to the poor among us in every area. That is a responsibility that God has tasked us with as members of the Church, and not for the purposes of having the government do it instead.

What is the Church’s role with this issue?

I consider this to be perhaps the most important issue. Why hasn’t the Church Leadership taken this issue directly to the corrupt governments in Latin America? After all, the Church claims to be a great part of Latin American Culture.

Is it Christo-centric to point a finger only to the American Tax Payer and simultaneously not claim any responsibility for this issue?

Catholics of the United States are the most generous donors to the Church in the world (John Paul II). What about Venezuela where the Church is by far the pre-eminent religion, yet a socialist dictatorship has pushed the country into ruin? Where is the Holy Father demanding that the state halt its oppression of its citizens? Where is the Holy Father telling these countries to stop creating the conditions that make its citizens wish to flee their homes? Are we as Americans less equal than those from Latin American countries? No. Clearly there is no lack of Charity coming from the people here in the United States.

We in the United States have a God-given right to be sovereign. Our fellow citizens have the God-given right to keep what they earn. These are clearly biblical principles and commands, and I will fight for them as your Congressman.

Harry Griego is a candidate for the Sixth District Republican congressional nomination. His campaign website can be found at www.HarryGriego.com.

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