Lowlife vermin? Immigration debate reaches archbishop’s mailbox

It’s not often that an archbishop gives you a glimpse into his mailbox, but Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver does just that in a column in the Denver Catholic Register urging support for an immigration-reform compromise that he calls imperfect but a sensible first step.

“When you get an email that says, ‘Goddamn your soul to hell for protecting those lowlife filthy (illegal immigrant) vermin’ — as I did just last week — it gets your attention for its sheer mental illness,” writes Archbishop Chaput.

There are legitimate differences on immigration reform, he says. “But if we conduct that debate in a stupid and vindictive way — these are exactly the right adjectives for it — we demean ourselves. If we behave like bigots, we eventually become bigots.”

Song comforts students after Va. Tech tragedy

The morning after the Virginia Tech shootings, a man awoke with a song of God’s love in his heart, reports The Catholic Virginian in the Diocese of Richmond. What happened next helped comfort students at another Virginia public university and moved a campus minister to tears. The paper also provides a link to the My Space page where the song can be heard and downloaded.

In a related story, the Catholic Standard in the Archdiocese of Washington interviewed some local Virginia Tech-bound Catholic high school seniors on why the tragedy strengthened their resolve to attend the university.

Orthodoxy’s ‘dry drunks’

Effective modern-day prophets are those who manifest God’s love, not those “who hold all the ‘right’ positions and say all the ‘right’ things, yet exhibit an angry, sour attitude that seems the opposite of Christian joy or an evangelizing spirit,” writes the president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, Greg Erlandson, in a commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of “dynamic orthodoxy” in the church today.

The Catholic role in health care

All Catholics, not just those who work in health care, should be concerned about health care issues, the president of the Catholic Health Association tells St. Anthony Messenger magazine. Sister Carol Keehan points to some startling statistics beyond the oft-heard numbers of Americans without health insurance.

My R.S.V.P. to Rudy Giuliani

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., takes on Rudy Giuliani in a column in the Rhode Island Catholic diocesan newspaper. The bishop says Giuliani’s statements on abortion “are pathetic and confusing. Even worse, they’re hypocritical.”

Blessed Damien honored in Hawaii

Damien Day was celebrated in Hawaii earlier this spring, a chance to honor Father Damien de Veuster, the famed priest (now beatified) who served at the leper colony of Molokai from 1873 until his death in 1889. The Hawaii Catholic Herald covered the day’s events and, in a separate piece, also tells the story of how the Father Damien Memorial Statue came to stand front of the Hawaii State Capitol after years of campaigning and disputes.

More links …

Latest ‘Origins’ covers Iraq, pope on abortion, immigration, Eucharist

Another variety of interesting texts in the newest edition of Origins: CNS Documentary Service:

  • American troops should stay in Iraq “only as long as their presence contributes to a responsible transition,” says the head of the military services archdiocese, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, in a Memorial Day message to Catholics in the U.S. armed forces. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The Vatican transcript of what Pope Benedict XVI said aboard the papal plane to Brazil about Catholic politicians and abortion. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The U.S. bishops see more that they like in the House version of immigration reform legislation than in the Senate’s, Orlando Bishop Thomas G. Wenski tells a House subcommittee. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The church offers the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist to a world on the path to globalization in the hope that this movement will be one of humanization and not one of alienation and injustice, says Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet. (Subscribers: click here)
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