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Cardinal Mahony's May Day

5-4-10 Posted by admin in Blog, Featured Articles, Gallery, Recent Articles 3 Comments

By: Anne Hendershott

In his continuing quest to bring attention to himself, Cardinal Mahony was one of the most vocal protestors of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law at the May Day Rally in Los Angeles.  Chanting with protestors from atop a flatbed truck at the start of the rally, Cardinal Mahony was described by the Los Angeles Times as being “enlivened by the throngs of adoring supporters who kissed his hand and asked to be blessed.”

Cardinal Mahony has become a hero in the Latino community.  Claiming that Arizona was becoming like “Nazi Germany,” the Cardinal spent the past week criticizing policymakers who passed a law which would target those with “brown skin, black hair and listen to ranchera music.”

Indeed, in a series of statements that made many Catholics cringe, the Cardinal was described by a Los Angeles Times reporter as saying that the Arizona legislation has a positive side because it is “an important part of moving on.”  The Times reporter claimed that the Cardinal was referring to the fact that the immigration issue “gives the Catholic Church a welcome break from criticism of its handling of sexual abuse allegations against priests.”

Now Cardinal Mahony has a new website called which calls on Catholics to refuse to be “side-tracked by heated rhetoric and political posturing.”  Perhaps he should take some of that advice himself.  Comparing Arizona to Nazi Germany might qualify as “heated rhetoric.”  Still, the Cardinal makes some good points on the website where he provides the actual stories of the immigrants themselves.

The stories of struggling families—fearful of deportation and separation from loved ones—are poignant.  As Catholics, we have to listen to these stories.  Immigration is not just about the violent drug smugglers and the lawlessness at the border.  Having lived for more than 15 years in San Diego, I agree with Cardinal Mahony that we need to “take the time to open our minds and hearts to hear the actual stories of the immigrants themselves.”

There are many hard-working immigrants who came here to find better lives for themselves.  These hard-working, taxpaying immigrants deserve our attention and our help in bringing them out of the shadows.  There really can be a middle ground between Cardinal Mahony and Republican lawmaker, Tom Tancredo, who in 2006 said he would like to “shut off all immigration.”

But, we first need to secure the borders.  The Arizona legislation is what happens when the federal government fails to act.  The citizens of Arizona have gotten to the point where they believe they needed to take matters into their own hands.  Most of us cannot blame them—they are protecting their families, their farms, and their economy.  The Arizona legislation is a start because it may help move federal immigration reform.  And, it is not helpful for Cardinal Mahony to compare them to Nazis.

Anne Hendershott is chair of the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program at The King’s College in New York City, and the author of Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education(Transaction).

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3 Responses to Cardinal Mahony's May Day

  1. steve says:

    The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, of which Mahony is for 3 more weeks it’s Cardinal, is only trolling for a financial future.

    The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has allowed the local Mission San Buenaventura to build a school house on top of the 3,850 Mission Cemetery graves and allowed the local city council to turn the 1,000 grave St. Mary’s Cemetery into a ‘dog’ park because these 4,850 past Catholic parishioners no longer grace the donation basket at Sunday Mass.

    The Archdiocese of Los Angeles will dump the illegal immigrants just as soon as they too, prove not to be a good financial investment.

  2. Tim says:

    “Immigration is not just about the violent drug smugglers and the lawlessness at the border.”

    When is the Catholic church and even a conservative Catholic organization such as this one going to admit that they all our law breakers.

    Even the ones that come here for a better way of life broke the law in doing so.

    We expect these individuals to even consider following any of the laws that the rest of this country abides by if the first thing they did by coming here illegally is broke the law.

    The Catholic church even by its tenets subscribes by the theory that as long as you confess your sins or crimes everything is alright.

    Would the Catholic church have the same attitude toward these illegals if they were 20 million Mormons crossing the border?

    I think not.

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Cardinal Mahoney is invited to leave his opulent residence for a vacation in one of the Tent Cities in the West where unemployed, homeless American families are living and then re-read the Bible. Jesus would never condone breaking the law under any circumstance. Jesus clearly teaches that we should give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God and St. Paul preached to the disciples and to us to adhere to the Governments’ laws. Is the Cardinal attempting to change the Word of God? Americans would gladly accept the Hispanic community to migrate to this country providing they come into this country legally, i.e. through the proper channels of our Immigration Department, getting fully checked out so that their entry is approved and the American People are not jeopradized in any way by their entry. According to Father John Corapi, almost a year ago in his wonderful teachings in Buffalo, NY, he states that over 300 cities in the United States are infiltrated with Mexican Drug Cartel. Furthermore, an illegal Peruvian with a rare form of tuberculosis was discovered in Florida and an unknown species of cockroach was discovered in NYC. These are only a few of the published or spoken about scenarios. There must be more that the liberal media has withheld from the public…for political reasons. We, the American people know that this amnesty program is just a ploy for votes and is not a humanitarian jesture. We also know that this administration is not concerned one bit with the welfare of the American people. This position that the Cardinal is advocating is certainly not of God! My daughter (PhD) and granddaughter (student at the University of Arizona) both have been harrassed, robbed, threatened, etc. As a therapist, it is impossible for my daughter to treat the rebellious, demanding attitudes of the illegals (wife beaters, child molesters, substance abusers, drug dealers, criminals of all varieties.) with an attitude of entitlement…Duh! Unless you walk in the Arizonians shoes and you come to the realization that you are insisting upon changing the Word of God, you must re-think your position. It is not only the Mexicans coming over the border…Do you not care about the American People? Moreover, are you sure that you want to keep the President of Death in power by handing him all these votes?

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