Monday, September 11, 2017


In his 60 Minutes interview, Steve Bannon -- a cradle Catholic -- attacked the church for its response to President Trump's termination of DACA.
"The bishops have been terrible on this," Steve Bannon ... said in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes." "You know why? Because, unable to come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens. They need illegal aliens to fill the churches. ... They have an economic interest."
Bishops were not pleased:
James Rogers, the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops'] chief spokesman, called Bannon's comments "preposterous" and accused the conservative agitator of presenting a false choice between compassion and security.

"Our pro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God's word and honors the American dream. For anyone to suggest that it is out of sordid motives of statistics or financial gain is outrageous and insulting."

In an interview on Sirius Radio, [Cardinal Timothy] Dolan [of New York] responded in kind. "I don't really care to go into what I think is a preposterous and rather insulting statement that the only reason we bishops care for immigrants is for the economic because we want to fill our churches and get more money."
But what about that organization called the Catholic League? What about the guy who runs that group -- Bill Donohue? He never seems to be shy when he thinks Catholics have been insulted. Surely he was infuriated by this -- right?

Um, not exactly. Here's his response. It starts out negative:

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a remark made by Steve Bannon that will air on “60 Minutes” on Sunday:

There is nothing wrong about criticizing the bishops for any position they take on public policy, though when invidious motives are ascribed to them, such conjecture is unacceptable. That is what Steve Bannon has done with regard to their statements on immigration.
And then it becomes rather ... conciliatory toward Bannon:
It is certainly true that most of the bishops promote a liberal position on illegal immigration. That is open to fair criticism, but to say that their motive is to “fill the churches” is inaccurate and unfair. Indeed, it feeds the worst impulses of anti-Catholics. The bishops are making their case based on their compassion for the dispossessed.

Is the compassion overwrought? Is it dismissive of the rights of those who have waited legally on line to enter the United States? Is it insensitive to the abuses of power exercised by President Obama to deal with this issue? Is it neglectful of a whole host of cultural and economic issues attendant to illegal immigration?

There are many legitimate issues that can be raised about the approach that the bishops have taken, but not among them is the old saw about filling the pews.
Oh. So, according to Donohue, undocumented immigrants really are a menace, and so are those who support them, but their supporters in the church back them out of blinkered idiocy, not a mercenary motive.

Donohue's final sentence is the kicker:
Besides, if filling the pews were the driving force, only a delinquent pastor would choose to attract those least likely to donate to, and most likely to draw on, parish funds.
Translation: The bishops are acting out of a profound desire to be generous -- and boy, those parasites will suck up that generosity if you give them half a chance.

That's precisely what Jesus would have said, I'm sure.

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