April 21, 2014
Download a PDF of this blog series
The most astonishing moral declaration I've ever heard from a member of the Catholic clergy was made at a 2004 conference on immigration at the University of Notre Dame. The speaker was Bishop Thomas Wenski, who was then chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration. Said Wenski:
I think we can make a summary of Catholic social teaching in one phrase: No human being can ever be considered as a problem. When we consider a human being as a problem, we depersonalize him, we offend his human dignity. When we allow any class of human beings to be categorized as a problem, then we give ourselves permission to look for solutions. And as the history of the 20th century has proven, sometimes we look for final solutions.
I listened in stunned disbelief. A leader of the Catholic Church, my church, was warning that concerns about immigration were so fraught with peril that they must be rejected lest they produce horrors akin to the extermination campaign with which Hitler pursued his "final solution to the Jewish problem"? Read more...