The New York Times reports that Catholic bishops will fight President-elect Donald Trump on his promised illegal immigration crackdown. The times cites several reasons for this report starting with the recent election of Archbishop José H. Gomez to be vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Two nights after Trump won the presidential election, Gomez gave a homily at an interfaith prayer service at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles and vowed not to abandon children and parents who are living in fear that Mr. Trump will follow through on his promise to deport millions of illegal immigrants:
This should not be happening in America. We are not this kind of people. We are better than this.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also endorsed a strongly worded letter to Trump that congratulated him, but in addition, put Trump on notice that the church is committed to resettling refugees and keeping immigrant families intact.
According to the Times, the bishops may find common cause with Trump, such as opposing abortion, eliminating ObamaCare’s contraception mandate religious freedom. Nevertheless the Bishops see the protection of immigrants not only as a biblical imperative for Catholic leaders but also a matter of pastoral care — one-third of American Catholics are now Latinos.
A recent Pew Research Center analysis showed that not only is the country polarized, but so is the church. White Catholics preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton, 60 percent to 37 percent, while Hispanic Catholics favored Hillary over Trump, 67 percent to 26 percent. The Catholic Church is the largest in the country, with 68 million members — about 23 percent of the electorate.