One of the six Catholic cardinals in the United States took issue with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's remark that the Catholic Church only supports immigrant-friendly legislation for economic reasons.
The saga began when Bannon sat down for an interview with CBS that is slated to air this weekend. During that interview, Bannon took a harsh view of the Catholic Church and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which will end in six months.
"They need illegal aliens to fill the churches," Bannon said. "It's obvious on the face of it. . . . They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who leads the Archdiocese of New York, fired back on Sirius XM's Catholic Channel on Thursday.
"You might imagine I was rather befuddled to see [Bannon's comments]," Dolan said. "I don't care to go into it, but I think it's a preposterous and rather insulting statement that the only reason we bishops care for immigrants is for the economic [benefit] because we want to fill our churches and get more money. That's insulting, and that's just so ridiculous that it doesn't merit a comment."
Dolan went on to explain that showing compassion to immigrants is in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testament.
"The Bible is so clear, so clear to treat the immigrant with dignity and respect," Dolan said. "To make sure that society is just in its treatment of the immigrant is biblical mandate. It's clear in the Old Testament, my Jewish neighbors remind me of that all the time, and it's clear from the lips of Jesus."
The Department of Justice announced plans this week to end DACA in March. The program allows people who illegally came to the United States as children with their parents to stay in America under certain conditions.
President Donald Trump said he took issue with the fact DACA was an executive order signed by former President Barack Obama in 2012, rather than lawful legislation put together by Congress. Members of both political parties are now tasked with writing and passing legislation that would serve as a permanent replacement for DACA.
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