An Easter Reminder to Roger, Cardinal Mahony—Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness
McMahon was a former Maryknoll
missionary and I, as
a young man, had wanted to be a priest.
Although we had both fallen away
from the church, McMahon and I agreed that it was
impossible to leave Catholicism fully behind us.
So when Holy Days like
Easter roll around, my thoughts inevitably return to
the time when during the three-day period from
Good Friday to Easter Sunday, I served as an
altar boy and spent a large part of each day at
This Easter my attention is still
focused on Catholicism, albeit on an entirely different
aspect of its activities.
I am dumbfounded at the church`s
encouraging lawlessness and promoting open borders.
And, specifically, Roger Cardinal
Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, appalls me with
his promise to defy (and to push others to
join him in his defiance)
H.R. 4437 should it become law.
[Email can be sent to
Mahony has long been an advocate of
more immigration and, posturing as a civil rights
crusader, an activist for, as he calls it, "justice
Hollywood in 1936, Mahony claims that his empathy
for aliens began early in his life. When he was 12,
Mahony says that while working at his father`s
poultry plant in the San Fernando Valley, an INS
raid became the foundation for his pro-immigrant
never forget them bursting through the doors. I was
terrified by it. And I thought, these poor people;
they`re here making a living supporting their families.
It had a very deep impact on me throughout the years."
Joins Fight for Undocumented Workers Rights,"
Washington Post, April 6, 2006]
Throughout his early to middle
adult life, Mahony was always close to California`s
agricultural pulse. He attended the
seminary in Camarillo, was ordained in the
Fresno Diocese in 1962, named first Chairman of the
California state Agricultural Labor Relations Board in
1975 and appointed Bishop of
Stockton in 1980.
Curiously though, during Mahoney`s
formative years the Catholic Church—which you would
assume had a powerful influence on his thinking—was an
pro-American worker and
anti-bracero force. (The
Bracero program was a
guest labor scheme in which 1-2 million Mexican
worked temporarily in the United States. It was
jointly operated by the U.S. and Mexican government and
lasted from 1942 to
In 1964, shortly after Mahony was
ordained and as the bracero program was ending, because
of U.S. labor union opposition, the Catholic Church
began a vigorous national campaign to support American
farm workers. (My source for what follows: Bracero
Politics: Longest Crap Game in California`s Agricultural
History, by William Turner,
September 1965, not online.)
At a labor hearing,
Jesuit James L. Vizzard of the National Catholic
Rural Life Conference said:
no tears to waste on those who have been
crying disaster at the prospect of losing the
previously readily available agricultural workers from
Mexico but who in the meantime have taken no realistic
steps to secure an adequate and dependable U.S. labor
Then Vizzard took aim at the
only deplore those politicians who
feel they must cooperate with the growers in their
continued refusal to face the demands of individual
justice and the common good…Since these growers show no
signs of self-reform, they need to be told emphatically
and with finality that the approximation of
slave-labor conditions which they have perpetuated
will no longer be tolerated by this nation. They need to
understand in what century and in what kind of economy
and society they are living and operating."
must be made to realize that to exploit the
poverty of other nations in order to beat down and
crush the poor of our own country is the grossest kind
That was in the 1960s, remember!
But Vizzard was not a lone voice in his scathing (and
still valid) denunciation of the
abuse by growers of agricultural workers at the
Supporting Vizzard were
Msgr. George Higgins of the National Catholic
Welfare Council, Reverend Wayne C. Hartmire, Jr. of the
California Migrant Ministry of the National Council of
Churches and Father Thomas McCullough, an activist
Catholic priest who rallied on behalf of American farm
But even putting this Catholic
tradition aside, Cardinal Mahony`s sixty-year-old memory
of the INS raid hardly seems sufficient reason for his
ultra-radical stance on giving
amnesty to illegal aliens today.
Mahony has repeatedly and knowingly
lied about what the federal government proposes in new
In his March 22nd New
York Times op-ed titled "Called
by God to Help," Mahony deceitfully wrote (and
shame on the NYT for letting it pass unedited)
that H.R. 4437, if enacted:
subject [priests], as well as other church and
humanitarian workers, to criminal penalties. Providing
humanitarian assistance to those in need should not be
made a crime, as the House bill decrees. As written, the
proposed law is so broad that it would criminalize even
minor acts of mercy like offering a meal or
administering first aid."
As Mahony certainly knows, his
Indeed, Mahony has been so
consistently outrageous and inaccurate on the proposed
legislation that on April 5th Chairman of the
F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman of the House
Homeland Security Committee Peter T. King and Chairman
of the House International Relations Committee
Henry J. Hyde wrote an open letter to the U.S.
The letter (read it
here) can best be summarized as a plea to stop lying
about the provisions of H.R. 4437 although its formal
language politely requested "a thoughtful and
respectful dialogue"—something that Mahoney is not
Here are the key points in the
"Many have misconstrued the
House`s good-faith effort to bring human traffickers
to justice as a way to criminalize humanitarian
assistance efforts. The House bill does no such
thing, nor did it intend to."
"Just as under current law,
religious organizations would not have to `card`
soup kitchens and
homeless shelters under the House bill`s
anti-smuggling provisions. Prosecutors would no
sooner prosecute good Samaritans for `assisting`
illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. under the
House bill than they would prosecute such persons
for `encouraging` illegal immigrants to remain in
the U.S. under current law, which has existed for
nearly 20 years."
"We know many of you are
concerned about the House bill`s provision making
illegal presence a felony. We share that concern. As
you should know, during the House debate, Chairman
Sensenbrenner offered an amendment to reduce the
bill`s penalty for illegal presence from a felony to
a misdemeanor. Unfortunately, this amendment was
unsuccessful, primarily because all but eight of our
Democratic colleagues decided to play political
games by voting to make all illegal immigrants
felons. A felony penalty is neither appropriate nor
workable. We remain committed to reducing this
penalty and working with you to this end."
The letter closes with an offer to
"work together"—which, according to a
conversation I had with the House Judiciary Committee`s
media relations department, has not been accepted.
(Note: the provision in the House
bill that illegal presence in the U.S. would be a felony
Mahony`s cavalier attitude to the
H.R. 4437 should be no surprise. Although some
readers will regard this as a low blow, it must be said
that a similar pattern emerged during Mahony`s 2004
deposition regarding the allegations of sexual abuse by
priests of minors. In his LA Weekly News article
"Cardinal Untruths" (December 16,
2004) Jeffrey Anderson reports that the Cardinal
was caught in numerous lies and evasions.
Psychotherapist and former priest A.W. Richard Sipe, who
witnessed the deposition, concluded of Mahony`s
"Lawyers might call that perjury, but a lay person would
say, `My God, that`s a lie.` Even if he [Mahony] had a
genuine memory lapse it raises questions about his
ability to lead."
And in a broader indictment, Sipe
are seeing the philosophy of the Catholic hierarchy,
which is, `I only lie when I have to.`"
Yet despite Mahony`s
two decade involvement in the cover up and
mismanagement of multiple incidents of pedophilia among
his priests, the
MSM treats him with kid gloves when he promotes
Yet Mahony remains one of the
leaders of the no-credibility cabal. His is a case of
preaching to the choir—literally.
Here`s the Easter question: Who
among us is the sinner?
Or is it us who promote obeying the
law and working for
America`s common good?
Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.