CRF Blog

Archbishop Speaks Up On Immigration

by Damon Huss

José H. Gomez, the new Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, spoke about immigration to a group at the “Catholics in the Next America” conference in Napa, Calif., on July 28. Author Marie Friedmann Marquardt reported about Archbishop Gomez’s speech in an essay at Religion Dispatches:

In the past, when Americans have experienced this collective amnesia, he reminds his listeners, the results have been such unsavory historical events as the mistreatment of Native Americans, slavery, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two, and recurring outbreaks of nativism and anti-Catholicism.

Which brings him to the second point: Who is best equipped to remind America of this more complex history? Catholics, who “have a special duty today to be the guardians of the truth about the American spirit and our national identity.” In fact, Archbishop Gomez argues, immigrant Catholics “without proper documentation,” who share the values of “faith, family, and community” are “the key to American renewal.” Yes, Archbishop Gomez is arguing that unauthorized immigrants not only deserve the chance to adjust their status to live legally in the United States, but also hold the promise of a renewed and reinvigorated “next America.” [more]