US Bishops Blast Steve Bannon Over Immigration Remarks

Trump’s former chief strategist says bishops benefit financially from illegal immigration

by Stephen Wynne • ChurchMilitant • September 8, 2017

WASHINGTON – The U.S. bishops are slamming Steve Bannon for suggesting they financially benefit from illegal immigration.

In an excerpt from a 60 Minutes interview broadcast Thursday, the former White House chief strategist said that because they’re unwilling to address root problems in the Church, the bishops “need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”

“It’s obvious on the face of it,” Bannon said. “They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration.”

A spokesman for theU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) responded by calling Bannon’s claim “absurd.”

In a statement issued Thursday, USCCB chief communications officer James Rogers responded, “It is preposterous to claim that justice for immigrants isn’t central to Catholic teaching … Immigrants and refugees are precisely the strangers we must welcome.”

On Sirius XM radio Thursday, Cdl. Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and former head of the USCCB, claimed he was “befuddled” by Bannon’s comments.

“I don’t care to go into what I think is a preposterous and rather insulting statement that the only reason we bishops care for immigrants is for the economic and because we want to fill our churches and get more money,” Dolan said. “That’s just so insulting and ridiculous that it doesn’t merit a comment.”

President Barack Obama and Cdl. Timothy Dolan

Bannon’s comments stem from the bishops’ condemnation of President Trump’s Tuesday announcement that he intends to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program within six months.

Launched by President Obama in 2012, DACA awards a two-year stay of deportation for so-called “Dreamers” — immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children. It is estimated that under DACA, 800,000 illegal immigrants have been allowed to remain in the country.

In a statement Tuesday, USCCB leaders slammed Trump’s plan to cancel DACA as “reprehensible.” Signatories included USCCB president Cdl. Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB vice president Abp. José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, Committee on Migration chairman Bp. Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers, Bp. Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima.

Cardinal Dolan echoed the USCCB statement Tuesday, asserting DACA’s nullification “is certainly not Christian, and I would contend it’s not American.”

The Church has a “special solicitude” for immigrants, he remarked. “[W]e are an immigrant church. They come to us first. The highest percentage of immigrants are — guess what? — Catholic.”

The USCCB’s Tuesday denunciation of Trump was not its first. In March, Catholic writer and broadcaster Deal Hudson observed, “Since Donald Trump became president, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has released 10 statements regarding immigration.”

“Each of these statements,” he pointed out, “oppose the policies of the new administration regarding travel restrictions, building a security barrier, immigration resettlement, deportation, and sanctuary cities.”

Hudson continued, “However, what none of these statements disclose is this: [T]he USCCB received more than $91 million for resettlement programs for Syrian refugees. The average Catholic who reads about the bishops’ ardent opposition to President Trump on immigration issues is not aware of this startling conflict of interest.

According to a 2014 WorldNetDaily report:

[O]ne of the largest recipients of government funds to resettle immigrant children is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB helps resettle not only unaccompanied alien children or UACs who enter the country illegally but also refugees fleeing persecution overseas who enter through legal channels. The USCCB is one of nine agencies that receive hundreds of millions in tax dollars to resettle refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. under contract with the federal government.

In 2015, Breitbart reported that roughly half of Catholic Charities’ funding — $2 billion — “comes from the federal government, through the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. A portion of that funding … estimated at in excess of $70 million, is part of the more than $1 billion the federal government spends on the refugee resettlement program.”

“The Obama years,” Hudson noted, “added to the largess … the $91,000,000 paid directly to the USCCB was unprecedented.”

Based on the money trail, Bannon is dismissing the bishops’ protests.

“This is not doctrine at all,” he declared. “I totally respect the pope, and I totally respect the Catholic bishops and cardinals on doctrine. This is not about doctrine. This is about the sovereignty of a nation. And in that regard, they’re just another guy with an opinion.”

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  1. Well, no, the U.S. Catholic bishops and cardinals are not just another guy with an opinion. For the most part, they are just another apostate with an opinion.
    And the matter does touch on doctrine; not dogma, but Catholic social doctrine, with which the USCCB is way out of line.
    Still, as only a comeback, it was a good one by Bannon.

  2. [“Battling Bill” is back in the fold (for context, see SEEING THROUGH THE DREAMERS MAZE – Is Bulldog Donohue deviating from the USCCCP line?)]

    Posted by Tancred on Thursday, September 7, 2017

    Professional Catholic Cancer Bill Donohue Attacks Steve Banon

    Edit: professional Catholics are the worst of the worst and anyone who’s been around this site for more than a few years knows that we really despise Bill Donohue. Like an inner-city youth leader defending the crimes of local “youth”, he’s on the scene to defend his constituents, no matter what evil they’ve perpetuated, he’ll jump to their defense. Instead of attacking the people pointing out how the Bishops hate their host nations, despise the West, despise the Catholic Faith, why not defend the Catholic Faith, instead, even though it’s not as lucrative…

    Steve Banon is absolutely correct about the bishops. They are a political extension of the DNC and like the DNC they see their political power enhanced by the invasion of immigrants. This is manifestly true and it’s the mission of Pro-Catholics like Donohue to keep the laity from seeing this obvious fact.

    Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a remark made by Steve Bannon that will air on “60 Minutes” on Sunday:

    There is nothing wrong about criticizing the bishops for any position they take on public policy, though when invidious motives are ascribed to them, such conjecture is unacceptable. That is what Steve Bannon has done with regard to their statements on immigration.

    It is certainly true that most of the bishops promote a liberal position on illegal immigration. That is open to fair criticism, but to say that their motive is to “fill the churches” is inaccurate and unfair. Indeed, it feeds the worst impulses of anti-Catholics. The bishops are making their case based on their compassion for the dispossessed.

  3. [John Nolte, a Catholic, smacks the bishops soundly at Breitbart.]
    Nolte: U.S. Conference of Bishops’ Ludicrous Response to Steve Bannon’s ’60 Minutes’ Interview

    As you can see, a whole lot of scripture is quoted [in the USCCCP reply], but there is absolutely nothing quoted about how Jesus said it was okay to burden others with your personal religious and political beliefs, which is exactly what the legalizing of illegal immigration does. In other words…

    Sorry, but I fail to see the Christian or Catholic compassion here.

    It is very easy to call for the legalizing of 800,000 or two million or 11 million or 25 million illegal immigrants when you will only personally benefit from these policies, both through fuller pews and the love of the mainstream media. The problem with this thinking is that it shows ZERO compassion for the victims of this sort of immigration policy — you know, those who lose their jobs to illegals, those whose wages are lowered by a flood of cheap labor, those whose children cannot get a decent education due to classrooms burdened with illegal children who cannot speak English. Good heavens, where to begin with the wave of crime these illegals have brought with them?

    And do you want to know who disproportionately suffers the negative and sometime tragic consequences of all this Catholic compassion?

    The poor.

    The working poor.

    And this includes legal immigrants trying to get their lives jump-started.

    The already-disenfranchised in America, the struggling working class, those who follow the rules, they are the ones disproportionately damaged by legalizing and incentivizing illegal immigration. And isn’t it interesting how the advocates of these policies always seem to be above it all, above the consequences of their own advocacy – how they never seem to be in the demographic that takes it in the neck because a bunch of do-gooders are doing good at someone else’s expense.

    Did Jesus not tell us to do unto others as you would have them do unto you?

    Please explain to me, then, exactly who would want the very real world consequences of legalizing illegal immigration “done to them,” and why are my Catholic leaders (I am a practicing Catholic) doing this “to others?”

    I am all in favor of treating illegal immigrants with compassion and mercy. I am all in favor of feeding those who are hungry, clothing those who are naked, offering medical help to those who are sick or injured. But as a good Catholic and Christian who cares about the poor, I am most certainly not in favor of using whatever influence I have on public opinion to virtue-signal at the expense of my neighbor’s job, wages, education, or safety.

    It simply is not compassion on your part when others pay the price for this so-called compassion.

    Why not do both? Why not show mercy for the migrant without hurting an innocent person? Because it is certainly within the teachings of Jesus to welcome, feed, clothe, and show compassion to those as we repatriate them back into their own country.

    I’m sorry, but calling for anything else is selfish, is vain, is screwing your neighbor, and is a violation of Christ’s teachings.

    • [More Nolte, re bishops on DACA repeal.]
      Nolte: Hypocritical Catholic Church Blasts Trump’s DACA Repeal as ‘Reprehensible’

      Anyway, as a practicing Catholic I am more than willing to call this statement out for the BS it is.

      On every other issue, including homosexuality and abortion, the Church shows enormous compassion and tolerance for the sinners, for those caught on the other side of the issue. As well they should. And that is one of the reasons I admire my Church.

      But on the issue of illegal immigration, the Church is not only dead wrong, they are too often strident, preachy, single-minded, insulting, and prideful.

      At least from where I sit, this to me is my Church selling a piece of its soul, selling out my country, violating the rule of law, pandering to a special interest, all in cynical effort to boost its number of customers.

      This is especially galling coming from a faith headquartered in a city completely surrounded by mighty walls, fences, and manned checkpoints.

      If the Catholic Church wants to lead by example, it will start by tearing down the walls surrounding Vatican City. We all know what the consequence would be, the destruction of that of that ancient city. But maybe that would be a good thing. Maybe in the aftermath the Church would have a little empathy and show a little compassion for the countless victims of illegal immigration.

  4. “The bishops are making their case based on their compassion for the dispossessed.” You must be kidding. The dispossesed are traditonal Catholics who have to put up with these creeps who see Change as their one and only Master. We traditional Catholics have long ago retreated to priests who value Tradition and celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, codified for all time by St. Pius V in 1570. (The same goes for the bishops who have joined the Modernist camp which, it appears, are nearly 100% of the hierarchy.)

  5. [More from Breitbart, this time Michael Patrick Leahy who did excellent investigations into the Fake Indian Liz Warren.]
    Cardinal Dolan Bears False Witness Against Steve Bannon as Catholic Bishops Choose ‘Social Justice’ over Constitution on Illegal Immigration

    [A long article–some excerpts]
    But Dolan mischaracterized Bannon’s actual comments, as a look at the transcript of Bannon’s interview with CBS’s Charlie Rose on that topic clearly shows.

    Bannon did not say “the only reason [Catholic] bishops care for immigrants is for the economic, because we want to fill our churches and get more money,” as Dolan incorrectly asserted.

    Bannon’s actual words were: “The [Catholic] bishops have been terrible about this [DACA]. You know why? Because unable to really . . . come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens, they need illegal aliens to fill the churches. . . They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration.”

    The statement that the Catholic Church has “an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration” is factually correct as it pertains to both unlimited immigration and unlimited illegal immigration.

    As for the Catholic Church’s economic interest in unlimited legal immigration, one need look no further than the hundreds of millions of dollars paid each year by the federal government to Catholic Charities, one of the nine leading voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) who resettle the tens of thousands of refugees who arrive in the country each year under the Refugee Admissions Program.

    The Catholic Church’s economic interest in unlimited illegal immigration arises from the fact that the majority of the estimated 11 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States are from Mexico and other Latin American countries, which are largely Catholic, though an increasing number have left the Catholic Church for a variety of Evangelical Christian churches.

    [Pew research] Catholics are more likely than other Americans to be immigrants or children of immigrants. Indeed, more than a quarter of U.S. Catholic adults (27%) were born outside the country, compared with 15% of U.S. adults overall; most of these Catholic immigrants (22% of all U.S. Catholics) are from elsewhere in the Americas.

    In a report issued this week by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) titled “America’s Changing Religous Identity: Findings from the 2016 American Values Atlas,” researchers Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox found that “The Catholic Church is experiencing an ethnic transformation. Twenty-five years ago, nearly nine in ten (87%) Catholics were white, non-Hispanic, compared to 55% today. Fewer than four in ten (36%) Catholics under the age of 30 are white, non-Hispanic; 52% are Hispanic.”

    Dolan conceded that Bannon was probably correct when he stated the position of the Catholic bishops supporting the continuation of the unconstitutional DACA program was “probably not Catholic doctrine.” [But bash Bannon anyhow!!! -Cyprian]

    “I do appreciate the attempt to clarify his [Bannon’s] statement this is not an issue of Catholic doctrine and that the bishops are only giving opinion here,” Dolan said.

    “As a matter of fact he may be right. It’s not an issue of Catholic doctrine because it comes from the Bible itself. We Catholics are people of the book,” he continued in his interview with Fulwiler:

    • See what his eminence is doing? By pitting Catholic doctrine versus the Bible, he’s underlining the mistaken Protestant notion that the two are unrelated. No wonder these guys in the hierarchy praise Luther! Of course, there’s the Bible and then there’s the “Bible.” I mean we are bound to “welcome the foreigner” [Lev 19:34] but not to avoid divorce [Matt. 19:9]. IIRC, wasn’t it Dolan who said during the conclave that elected Bergoglio and commented “He talks like Jesus!” meaning he disses organized religion, particularly the moral life – exactly what many liberals & free-thinkers imagine Jesus to have been all about!

  6. Pigs squeal the loudest when denied their accustomed swill from the trough !

  7. [Gotta love Steve Bannon. He’s draining the swamp at the USCCCP, and tonight on “60 Minutes” he took on the DC swamp. Recall when Dubya Bush launched the “preemptive strike” on Iraq, we trad types, especially the Remnant, went ballistic. Bannon agrees.]

    Bannon on 60 Minutes: I Hold Bush Admin ‘Geniuses’ in ‘Complete Contempt’

    Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon blasted the “geniuses” in former President George W. Bush’s administration for selling out American workers and getting the country stuck in the Middle East in a 60 Minutes interview with CBS anchor Charlie Rose.

    Bannon took offense at establishment Republicans associated with the Bush administration who went out of their way to question President Donald Trump’s competence during the 2016 campaign even though nearly all of their “genius” ideas—like Paul Wolfowitz’s brand of nation-building and neoconservatism—turned out to be disastrous.

    I hold these people in contempt, total and complete contempt,” Bannon told Rose, adding that the former Bush administration officials get him riled up with anger like nothing else. “They’re idiots, and they’ve gotten us in this situation, and they question a good man like Donald Trump.”

    Bannon blasted “the geniuses in the Bush administration that let China in the W.T.O.,” and reminded Rose that the “genius in the Bush administration told us, ‘Hey, they’re going to be a liberal democracy. They’re going to be free-market capitalism.’ The same geniuses that got us into Iraq.”

    Bannon also denounced George W. Bush and “his entire national security apparatus,” which included people like Condi Rice, Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell and Dick Cheney.

    Consistent with the disdain he has always had for the bipartisan permanent political class in Washington’s “Boomtown,” Bannon also blasted “the Obama crowd,” which he said was “almost the same.”

    “Clinton crowd, almost the same,” he continued. “It’s three administrations.”

    [read more of Bannon’s interview at ]

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