Catholic Church Sues State of Alabama Over Immigration Law

immigrationThe Catholic Church and the Department of Justice have both filed lawsuits against the state of Alabama’s new immigration law, scheduled to take effect September 1st.  The law “requires law enforcement officers to attempt to determine the immigration status of a person who they suspect is an unauthorized alien of this country,” said Alabama Republicans.  It also makes it illegal to transport, conceal, harbor or house unauthorized aliens.  Additionally, school districts are now required to check the immigration status of new enrollees.

The DOJ’s lawsuit claims the law intrudes on the federal government’s immigration policies and responsibilities.  I haven’t seen the lawsuit but I’m sure it makes no mention of the feds lack of enforcement of those policies and responsibilities.

The Catholic Church claims the law criminalizes the Church’s mission and interferes with the right to the free exercise of religion.  Archbishop Thomas Rodi of Mobile, AL said, “No law is just which prevents the proclamation of the Gospel message, the baptizing of believers, or love shown to a neighbor in need.”

Rodi further said, “This new Alabama law makes it illegal for a Catholic priest to baptize, hear the confession of, celebrate the anointing of the sick with, or preach the word of God to, an undocumented immigrant.  Nor can we encourage them to attend Mass or give them a ride to Mass. It is illegal to allow them to attend adult scripture study groups, or attend CCD or Sunday school classes.  It is illegal for the clergy to counsel them in times of difficulty or in preparation for marriage. It is illegal for them to come to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings or other recovery groups at our churches.”

Are there no Catholic churches where the illegal immigrants come from?  Do they have to enter the United States illegally before they have access to a priest?  Rubbish.

Rodi needs to read the first five verses of the 13th chapter of Romans, where Paul reminds Christians that they are to obey worldly authority:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

Mexico and fifteen other Central and South American countries have all filed briefs against the Alabama law.  Mexico said it wants to ensure its citizens are treated fairly while in the United States.

“Mexico has an interest in protecting its citizens and ensuring that their ethnicity is not used as basis for state-sanctioned acts of bias and discrimination,” the brief says.

As Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com points out, “If Mexico, and the 15 other countries suing Alabama were really concerned about their citizens being treated fairly, government officials in those countries would take steps to improve their citizens’ situation at home so they don’t have to come to America for economic opportunity.”

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2 comments to Catholic Church Sues State of Alabama Over Immigration Law

  • LD Jackson

    The Catholic Church’s lawsuit is bad enough, because the law simply does not do what they claim. Add the briefs and complaints by Mexico and other South American countries, and the irony grows even sharper.

    Mexico’s immigration policy is much stricter than America’s, yet they want to complain that their citizens aren’t treated fairly in our country? When they are here illegally? Give me a break.

  • Ditto that. I wonder how they’d like it if we had the exact same immigration laws they have.

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