Mary, Queen of the Anglos?


“In my
own jog-trot journalistic existence, I have generally
tried to keep this balance, and to distribute abuse
and vituperation in such elegant and well chosen
proportions, that no nobody can be offended or feel
that he has been left out of the fun.”

G. K.
Chesterton

As
I Was Saying

(I
criticized
 the
Catholic hierarchy quite recently; perhaps I can find
something bad to say about Presbyterians fairly soon,
in order to achieve “balance”. But once again,
I`m not attacking Catholicism, but its Bishops.)

A
correspondent wishing to remain anonymous (and
remember to tell us if you don`t want your name and
e-mail address published) writes:

I
still think the reconquista
stuff is easy to exaggerate, but I was looking at the
L.A. Roman Catholic Archdiocese web
page
today and found something interesting.
There`s Spanish all over the place, obviously, but
that`s not what`s most notable. In the English version
of the pull-down navigation menu (top right corner),
there is a listing for "Ethnic
Groups Ministry
". In visiting the page, you
see reference to the "Asian Pacific, Native
American Indians, Arab Catholics, and European groups
within the Archdiocese", but
not Hispanics
. Likewise in the listing of "Religious
Ethnic Feast Days,"
which lists Polish,
Filipino, you name it, but no Mexican holidays, like
the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe (St. Stephen`s
Day is an "Irish/Italian" holiday, while
various English and Scottish are also generously
included).

Why?
Apparently Mexicans are not an ethnic group warranting
outreach but rather the native people of L.A. (though
how did the Indians turn into "ethnics"?).
In other words, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los
Angeles considers itself a Mexican church which has
special ministries for those out of the mainstream,
such as "Europeans." This is almost comical,
because despite the nominal Catholicism of most
Mexicans, they are relatively indifferent to the
institutions of the Church. This does appear, though,
to reflect the worldview of the Church elite in L.A.
that Mexicans, however recently they may have snuck
across the border, are indigenous while Americans and
other immigrants are guests.

It may be that
the Archdiocesan office is not including the
Spanish-Americans in their English-language ethnic
section because they don`t expect them to speak
English.

The LA hierarchy
is certainly committed to continued immigration. The Cardinal, Roger Mahony, Bishop
Nicholas DiMarzio, and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney
signed a joint
letter
on immigration, which proclaims that
“Immigrant workers, regardless of their status,
are vital participants in our economy,” and calls
for “the legalization of immigrant workers and their
families, especially those who come to the United
States fleeing oppression and destitution."

Cardinal
Mahony called
for an immigration amnesty last year. On the website
of an immigrationist
organization, you can find him complaining that
Congress should correct a 1997 law that allows
Nicaraguans and Cubans to apply for permanent
residence, "but leaves other similarly situated but
less politically popular groups without similar
access."

Of course, the
difference that makes the anti-communist Nicaraguans
and Cubans “politically popular” is that they are friends
of the United States. The “less politically
popular” groups include enemies
of the United States.

Our
correspondent (above), asks if the Church thinks of
itself as a Mexican Church, in partibus anglicanis. It`s true that the diocesan history
makes no mention of the change from Mexican territory
to American statehood. According to the Catholic
Encyclopedia
, the diocese didn`t get an
American-born bishop until 1896, 48 years after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
All previous bishops had been born in Spain.

Of course, the
Catholic Church is meant to be an international body,
on the perfectly valid principle that Christ came to
save all mankind. In America, Catholics have proved
themselves loyal to their nation (including, of
course, loyalty to the South
during the Civil War). American Catholics like Father
John Courtney Murray, as First
Things
 Editor Richard Neuhaus puts it, made
"the case,
finally ratified by the Church, that the kind of
democratic pluralism experienced in the United States
is compatible with Catholic teaching.

But in the
last century clergymen of all faiths have been moving
leftward (it`s the "nature of the priest"), and
are abandoning salvation in order to create a "preferential option for the poor,"
"social
justice
," and other happy phrases for a social
system that "starts with a `C` and ends with the
fall of the Iron Curtain" as Scott
Adams
puts it.

For example,
the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has published on its
website a “Mission Statement.” It does not mention
“sin.”  But
it does state that as part of the church`s apostolic
mission:

With
Christ, we affirm the bonds that unite us. We commit
ourselves to remove the barriers that divide people in
the large, complex, and multicultural society of
Southern California.

Looks
as if, for the LA hierarchy, one of those
“barriers” is the Mexican border.

June 20, 2001