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Chris Manion

Opinion, ,

U.S. bishops want federal money, and lots of it

Chris Manion

February 16, 2018 (The Wanderer) – Senate Democrat Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) told the media that President Trump used a dirty word when describing Third World countries, and American prelates quickly joined in the chorus of manufactured outrage. Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski found the Catholic Durbin’s report “disappointing,” and then added a curious observation: “[Trump’s] remarks laid bare the true motivation of those that want to close the doors of our nations [sic] to immigrants and hopefully his remarks have also discredited the restrictionists’ position and freed Congress to move ahead and ignore the restrictionists.”
 
Abp. Wenski’s remark to a USCCB news site reveals what Dr. Charles Kenny, the bishop conference’s lead pollster, calls a “right-brain” moment – in layman’s language, a surprisingly candid and honest response, not about the question, but about something else. The archbishop, when asked about Trump, actually answers this question: “Your Excellency, tell us what you really think about the millions of Catholics and other Americans who oppose amnesty for illegal aliens.” The archbishop deftly shelves the sanctimony and gets straight to the point, condemning the malicious hearts of his political opponents. In other words, he setting aside the Gospel as he goes for the jugular – all so Obama’s unconstitutional DACA amnesty can be made legal.
 
“Who is he to judge?” Well, only Jesus can read hearts (see Mark’s Gospel, above), but Abp. Wenski is not alone, and neither is Bp. Mark Seitz, who insists in the name of Jesus that Catholic pro-life attorneys general from several states are “hypocrites” and “Pharisees” because they oppose DACA. Alas, in recent years a number of prelates have condemned amnesty opponents,drawing on an ample liberal lexicon; they are “xenophobes,” “nativists,” “bigots,” and of course “racists.”
 
At least they haven't called Trump “another Hitler” – well, not yet, anyway.

Sauce for the Gander? No Way!
 
On hearing Durbin’s report, Boston’s Cardinal Seán O’Malley lamented “the tenor and language of much of the debate about immigration in our country today. At times it is harsh, not welcoming, and deeply suspicious.” (For the record, we do not allege that the cardinal was addressing Abp. Wenski’sremarks). 
 
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan also used the “unlovely” occasion to criticize Trump, and therein lies a contradiction which he and Trump’s other clerical critics have never answered: “Your Excellencies, when did you ever criticize Obama with such vigor, such scorn, such contempt?”

RELATED: Bishops ask US gov’t to ‘fully fund’ agency that gives millions to Planned Parenthood

Consider: Obama was the most radical pro-abortion president in history. He shoved the perverted LGBT manifesto down the throats of American schools, workplaces, the military, and of course the government bureaucracy. He championed sodomy and the destruction of marriage. He fanned the flames of race and class warfare. 
 
But we can remember no instance of Archbishops Wenski, O’Malley, or Dolan ever condemning Obama or the “true motivation” of his supporters. Quite the contrary. In fact, speaking as President of the USCCB in December 2013, Cardinal Dolan complained on Meet The Press that Obamacare did not cover illegal aliens, nor did it protect the unborn. He then recounted what he had told Obama: “Mr. President, please, you're really kind of pushing aside some of your greatest supporters here. We want to be with you, we want to be strong. And if you keep doing this, we're not going to be able to be one of your cheerleaders." 
 
Let that sink in. Obama the apostle of Herod; Trump the champion of the unborn. Yet, when has any USCCB leader ever called the bishops “some of President Trump’s greatest supporters”? When have they cheered his numerous efforts on behalf of the unborn and religious freedom?
 
As Ben Stein said to the snoozing students in Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, “Class? Anybody? Anybody? ... Buehler?”
 
Meanwhile, the USCCB lobbyists huddle with their allies in the pro-abortion party in Congress in pursuit of legislation that will confer amnesty on millionsof illegals. We can’t read hearts, but from the evidence it appears that our bishops want to be their cheerleaders too.
 
 
DoubleThink
 
President Trump has said that conditions are “unlovely” in many countries that are home to millions of immigrants, legal and illegal, who now live in the United States. Our beloved shepherds reprove him: “Say it isn’t so!”
 
Well, that’s what they say when talking to the media. But when they talk to Congress, they’re wearing the hat not of the pirouetting prude, but of the pandering panhandler. They want federal money, and lots of it. Why? 
 
Well, in a word, because Donald Trump is right. Countless countries in the world are dangerous, disease-ridden, crime-ridden, war-torn disaster areas, impoverished by tyranny and corruption and just plain … unlovely.

RELATED: U.S. foreign aid is a ‘weapon for population control’: pro-life leader

Is this news to Abps. Wenski, Dolan, and O’Malley? No. In fact, as leaders of the Catholic Conference they are at the head of the parade of lobbyists using that unlovely fact to solicit more taxpayer funding for Catholic welfare agencies in the U.S. and abroad. These agencies received billions during the Obama years to “care for” foreign aliens, immigrants, and refugees here in the U.S. and to alleviate the, yes, disastrous conditions in the impoverished,corrupt, and unlovely countries their wards come from. 
 
And they’re afraid that President Donald Trump is going to shut their water off.
 
So their language no longer oozes over how wonderful are those places so unjustly maligned by the prejudiced president. No, they up the ante – constantly demanding more funding of their domestic and foreign operations because, after all, the Third World is such a terrible place, and people there need us desperately!
 
And then, recognizing that Trump has strong support for his demand for the rule of law, the bishops switch horses on the way to Capitol Hill. Suddenly they agree – we have to keep those millions of potential migrants at home where they belong!
 
How? Well, the best way to do it, of course, is to give the bishops more money!
 
Sean Callahan, CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which received billions of federal dollars during the Obama years, told a USCCB news site that by giving more money to the bishops, “you'll find that keeping undocumented immigrants out of the U.S. becomes a whole lot easier ... don't do it, and it won't really matter what walls you try to put up. Building bigger walls is not going to keep people out.”
 
And what “unlovely” realities do we want to “keep out”? Mr. Callahan explains. “We saw it with the Ebola virus … if we don’t address it in Africa, it’s going to come here. If we don’t address Zika overseas, it’s going to come home. We need to deal with [problems] where they’re happening, rather than waiting for them to cross our borders,” he said.
 
We repeat: Mr. Callahan is not a Trump Administration spokesman. He heads the bishops’ largest welfare agency. Yet he candidly reinforces Mr. Trump’s view with personal, on-the-ground realism.
 
He continues. CRS staff families in South Sudan “have fled to Uganda as well, because they just didn’t feel they were safe.” In Venezuela, “the statistics are harrowing - people have lost an average of 17 pounds in the last year, or 8 kilos, and malnutrition among babies and toddlers is at 13 percent and growing by one percentage point a month.”
 
Whatever term President Trump used to describe these countries, Mr. Callahan brings the picture vividly to life. But, like the bishops, his goal is not to Make America Great Again, it is to preserve and enlarge the federal funding that CRS receives through contracts with the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), which happens to be the most pro-abortion, pro-population control agency in Washington as well as CRS’s paymaster.
 
But Mr. Callahan does not stress that reality. Instead, he focuses on action: “People… can pray, they can call their Congressmen,” he says, urging them to keep funding AID and CRS.
 
In this tawdry appeal, CRS is no different from thousands of other organizations feeding at the federal trough. Each touts its good works, each insists that without them the places they serve will continue to be “unlovely.” 
 
After all, if Trump’s observation isn’t true, they wouldn’t need the money. But don’t tell the bishops. 

This article was originally published in The Wanderer newspaper and is re-published with permission.

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