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The Bishop And Farmer`s Branch
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February 08, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Rod Dreher has a post on BeliefNet about Bishop Charles V. Grahmann of Dallas, who recently said

"I often wonder if Joseph, Mary and Jesus would find a place in Farmers Branch. They would probably be told they would have to find another place."

Farmer`s Branch, like Hazleton, PA, is trying to stop landlords from renting to illegals.

He`s talking about a story in his paper about how annoyed patriotic, law-abiding Catholics are with the Bishop who said this, pointing out that the Holy Family weren`t criminals when the fled into Egypt. [Faith, politics cross in debate When religious leaders address immigration, some take offense February 6, 2007 By Jeffrey Weiss And Stella M. Chávez , The Dallas Morning News ]

Dreher suggests that Bishop has chosen the wrong side:

The piece takes up the question of whether or not religious leaders are right to speak out in favor of going easy on immigrants in the country illegally. My sense is that unless these migrants are fleeing persecution, religious leaders should stand up for the law, and not the lawbreakers. Are laws regulating immigration inherently unjust? If that`s what Bp. Grahmann and other believe, I understand their stance, though I disagree with it. But if immigration laws are just, and the Farmers Branch city council is simply trying to come up with a way of enforcing the law that the federal government is unwilling or unable to enforce, in what sense is their ordinance requiring renters to prove that they are in the US illegally an unjust law? I don`t get it.

I don`t see why it`s so hard for the Bishops to come out against illegal immigration, which, when you come to think of it, is after all a sin, as well as a crime, involving stealing, false witness, and coveting your neighbor`s house.. Calvin Coolidge is said, perhaps apocryphally, to have described the topic of a sermon as "Sin," and, when asked to extend his remarks beyond a monosyllable, explained "He was against it." It seems Bishop Grahmann is for it.