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August 23rd, 2013
10:12 AM ET

Note to all Catholic lawmakers: expect to be getting a call from your local archdiocese.

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN)–With the goal of urging the House to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Catholic Church is organizing a targeted effort to push immigration reform in the pews and target Catholic lawmakers – particularly Republicans – who may be on the fence over the politically tenuous bill.

The movement, which was first reported in The New York Times, will include coordinated immigration reform sermons on September 8, as well as targeted messaging of Catholic lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential candidate.

“It is a critical time for the fate of the bill,” said Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The House is dragging its feet and a lot of those who are on the fence are Catholic. They need to hear the message of the church on this.”

Talk of immigration – for the most part – has been quiet this summer. After the Senate passed an immigration reform bill, the House left Washington for vacation in July after not bringing up the plan. Many Republicans have cast doubt on passing an immigration bill.

The Catholic Church has been outspoken about the issue since it was discussed after the 2012 presidential election. “We pray for a heart which will embrace immigrants. God will judge us upon how we have treated the most needy,” Pope Francis tweeted in July.

For the church, embracing immigration reform serves two purposes, said Appleby: supporting the gospel and responding to “the institutional issues of the church.”

Hispanics – a group widely associated with immigration reform – make up nearly 40 percent of Catholic Church. And according to church figures, since 1960, 71% of the U.S. Catholic population growth has been due to the growth in the number of Hispanics in the U.S. population overall.

“We would be derelict in our duties,” said Appleby, “if we didn’t respond to people in our pews that need our help.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Immigration • Mass • United States

soundoff (288 Responses)
  1. Phelix Unger

    How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

    I'm looking for an honest answer, jesus, mohammed, god.

    Just like I figured, none of them could answer the important questions.

    August 24, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Phelix at least provide some additional data about the woodchuck and the wood.

      August 24, 2013 at 12:11 am |
      • Phelix Unger

        Ahh, but what is chucking?

        August 24, 2013 at 12:33 am |
        • Apple Bush

          You brought it, serve it.

          August 24, 2013 at 12:46 am |
      • Phelix Unger

        Un uh, you know the Star Trek directive, don't interfere in primitive societies.

        August 24, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • Mirosal

      I recall reading something about this years ago. It seems that veterenarians and physiologists studied that very question. Based on skeletal and muscular configurations and densities, they came up with an answer of about 2.4 pounds. There.. no god needed to answer it.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:02 am |
  2. Apple Bush

    Bunnikinesis:
    Using undiscovered evidence, non-scientists’ suggest that rabbits a.k.a “bunnies” or [Lepus curpaeums] have the ability to remove treats from a bag using only their minds.

    ~wikipoops.com

    August 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
  3. Mirosal

    Note to Catholic Church ... start paying your fvcking taxes if you want to enter the political lobby arena!!!!

    August 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      One rock
      Large porous spaces
      Edges
      Grass and critters. Critters crawling by; Crawling
      Tiny little holes; giant tiny holes
      Absorbing and spinning and crashing
      One narrative of all perception; the position can’t change
      You are right there

      August 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Sara

      They still wouldn't have to pay taxes as long as they disclosed their donors...that's what they don't want to have to do.

      August 24, 2013 at 12:41 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Oh I think we all know who the donors are at the Catholic Church.

        August 24, 2013 at 12:42 am |
        • Sara

          It would seriously impact donations, though. If the Church X is officially supporty Mary Smith for president, ever donor to the church could be identified as belonging to a certain church and monetarily supporting a specific candidate. This would be a problem for many people interested in privacy for employment and other purposes.

          August 24, 2013 at 12:47 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Unenforceable laws are what they are.

          August 24, 2013 at 1:00 am |
        • Talk sense

          You got a crystal ball?
          I get pig sick of Yank know-it-alls who think they know everything without benefit of facts or knowledge.

          August 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Talk sense

      50% of Americans don't pay taxes.
      They still vote
      They still have a voice in politics
      They still have minds.
      Shut up and please put your brain in 2nd gear before opening your juvenile, ill-informed mouth!

      August 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  4. GFHFGHFGHFGHDFGHGFDFGHGFUIYUI

    AHORA PARA TODOS LOS PSIQUIATRAS QUE ESTAN DEL OTRO LADO EN EL CASO QUE ESTOS MENSAJES SE VEAN DE LO CUAL TENEMOS DUDAS POR QUE LO HEMOS HECHO 13.000 VECES Y AVECES HACKEAN.

    SI NO LO HUBIESEMOS HECHO DE ESTA MANERA AUN CON LOS VIDEOS DE NANO COMPUTADORAS USTEDES QUE HUBIESEN HECHO.

    AHORA USTED ESTA MANIPULADO O NO?.

    PSYCHIATRISTS NOW FOR ALL WHO ARE THE OTHER SIDE IF YOU SEE THESE MESSAGES OF QUESTIONS FOR WHICH WE HAVE DONE THAT SOMETIMES AND SOMETIMES hacked 13,000.

    If we had not EVEN THUS DONE WITH NANO CLIPS COMPUTER THAT YOU HAD DONE.

    NOW YOU ARE HANDLING OR NOT.
    DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

    August 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Well, no, not really... Do you have an implant, by chance?

      August 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  5. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    In the spirit of political convenience, why not let the Catholic church push some congressmen off the fence?

    It is clear what the "right" thing to do is.

    Immigration reform needs to happen. If the Catholic church is the beneficiary with more full pews, but the injustice to inmigrants is reduced, everybody wins.

    August 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • ME II

      @Abenago,
      After you return to whatever rock you crawled out from under.

      August 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Trollspotter

      Found one. A racist one, at that.

      August 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  6. Tom

    What happened to churches staying out of politics. Any church that wan't to stick their nose in political matters should have their tax exempt status revoked. I'm particularly sick of the Roman Catholic Church shoving its theology down the general populations throat.

    August 23, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Since when have churches ever stayed out of politics?

      They too have a right to free speech. They are not allowed to endorse a candidate. They may however lobby a congressional representative.

      Your question is more about their tax status. The situation of 501(c)(3) designation is way out of control.

      August 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Prior to 1954 churches were not prohibited from involvement in politics and their tax exempt status does not derive from that condition.

      In 1954, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, faced fierce re-election opposition from anti-leftist groups and conservative Christians. He successfully changed the IRS code, prohibiting non-profits and churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Johnson’s IRS insertion was then, and is now, a violation of our individual rights of freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. Prior to this time, no restrictions on the free speech of church entiities and their members existed. This is all condoned under a false view of Jefferson’s so-called “wall of separation” doctrine.

      August 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        Let me get this straight. You want any tax exempt group to be able to campaign for any candidate and use tax free donations to do it? Should a non-profit group like the Smithsonian instltute be allowed to put up Hillary Clinton posters and have tour guides tell all visitors they should vote for Hilldog if they care about science and our country? Should the American Cancer society be able to run TV adds that claim voting for the republican will likely defund cancer research without losing their tax exempt status? Seriosuly Bill? I can only assume you have not thought this through.

        August 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I'm just trying to correct the misconception that tax exemption and political involvement are and have been immutably tied together in our law. That is not the case and people that argue from that perspective are in error. Obviously, our current campaign finance laws are a debacle but I am not conversant enough to propose sweeping changes in them here.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Trace

        Free speech is one thing. Actively paying off a congressperson to vote their way is another. (Not that this is the case here, before you squawk.) Surely you can see the wisdom of Jefferson's "false view of Jefferson’s so-called “wall of separation” doctrine".
        This is PRECISELY why the separation exists in the first place.
        You want a theocracy? Move to the Vatican.

        August 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "Johnson’s IRS insertion was then, and is now, a violation of our individual rights of freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion."

        Nonsense. It does not impinge on the free speech rights of any private individual. If an individual priest or pastor wants to attend a political demonstration and declare their support for a candidate they can.

        They cannot do so from the pulpit in their 'official' capacity as a 'man/woman of God' in the eyes of their congregation.

        The restriction on political endorsement by a non-profit is a good idea. The art of politics is the creation of legislation for the greater good irrespective of the motivation of the politicians.

        Arguably some of the best legislation will have a component of the less than optimal motivation. The art of compromise is important.

        August 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        In any case, the real issue about 'endorsement' isn't what anyone actually says. It is about money and campaign funding.

        It is wrong for a church to fund a political campaign. Tax deductible donations to a church should fund the church itself and the charitable works of a church – not political campaigns.

        August 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  7. Bill Deacon

    The epitome of the Church’s teaching on immigration is found in No. 2241 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states: “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.”

    Per the Catechism, U.S. authorities also have a responsibility to protect immigrants — presumably from threats like exploitation, human trafficking and anti-immigrant violence.

    The Catechism goes on to state: “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratiitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to as sist in carrying civic burdens.”

    The Catechism envisions an orderly process of immigration, subject to legal requirements — not the chaotic, dangerous, uncontrolled situation we have now.

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/immigration/#ixzz2coaSs2oN

    This is the spirit of what the Bishops will try to instill in the congressmen they contact.

    August 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill

      It has more than a little bit to do with keeping the pews full of faithful Latinos too, as non-Latino Catholics abandon the church don't you think?

      The only reason that Catholic affiliation is relatively constant is Hispanic immigration. Otherwise they would see a comparable (actually a greater) fall-off in relative affilliation as the evangelicals do.

      There are plenty of deeply religious Catholics who supported the affordable care act along the lines of social justice too, but the church hierarchy balked, supposedly on relgious (or was it self-interested monetary) reasons?

      August 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Latino Catholics will still be Catholic whether they sit in pews in the U.S. or in Mexico. So I don't really see the net gain to the Church here. I also don't see the Church advocating for a religious test before admission. I admit many of my Catholic brothers are from south of the border but immigration policy is about more than just brown people coming here. What I see is the Church advocating for policy makers to do what is most humane. I have to tell you, I am staunchly conservative,as I'm sure you can attest, and I am against the unending flood of illegal and undocuumented immigration into the U.S. But, like the statement says, what we need is a logical, enforceable, orderly process by which we, as Americans, can express the opportunities to come enrich our culture to future immigrants that so many of our ancestors enjoyed, which coincides with the Church's admonition to help the needy.

        August 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        It is neither Christian nor American to inhibit the orderly, legal migration of people into this country based solely on the political expediency of isolationist mentalities.

        Conversely, it is a dereliction of duty to ignore existing immigration laws and place federal officers in peril and local population in danger for the political gain of either party.

        FIX THE LAW. PROTECT CITIZENS. FOSTER LEGAL IMMIGRATION.

        August 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        @Bill

        it is the church in America that gains, not the church in Mexico.

        Like all corporate inst!tutions there are politics. The church hierarchy will act in the best interests of their organizational unit, like all such organizations of humans do.

        August 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          That's a myopic and shortsighted view of Catholic demographics. You must understand the Catholic Church is a global presence. While an individual priest might have some prideful need to build his parish attendance, I think it is a mistake to think that social justice doctrine is based on market share. Think about it. When was the last time you think the Church did something that was designed to make it popular with the world?

          August 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • ME II

          As a global presence, would it be more beneficial, to the Church as a whole, to have more members in Mexico or more members in the US?

          August 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I am saying that is a zero sum equation.

          August 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @BIll,

          I'm happy for the Church to lobby on behalf of immigration reform and it is an issue of social justice.

          My observation is that they pick and choose which issues of social justice they wish to support. In this case they have a vested interest in that supporting a form of social justice also improves church membership in the US. They don't do so with all issues of social justice.

          The church hierarchy is just as political as any university, non-profit, political party or corporate board room. I'm not talking about parish priests here but the bishophoric – the ambitious, human, political climbers that this sort of organization is comprised of.

          August 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Ooops – "bishopric"

          August 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          That seems like a myopic and shortsighted view of world politics.

          August 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          GOPer I think the Church is entirely consistent on their social justice stance. You may not like where they stand from time to time but they are consistent and no one should have any doubt about what they think.

          August 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Bill,

          the affordable care act is a good example of inconsistency of the church on a social justice issue.

          There are strong supporters within the church for the very real social justice aspects of the affordable care act, but the official church response was an attempt to derail it over a very narrow legal issue – damaging all the social justice benefits.

          August 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Yes, the right to life is a deal breaker.

          August 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          It wasn't over abortion BIll.

          It was over prescription medication for employees of hospitals, who are not required to be Catholic.

          August 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Immigrants fill pews and help keep RCC cult clubhouses in the USA open. No immigrants would likely mean an earlier demise of religion in the USA, and fewer children for pedophile priests to abuse,

          August 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The US government is not subject to the RCC's catechism, or any other cult's handbook of bullsh!t. The RCC is subject to every countries' civil laws and should come clean on priestly pedophilia and the criminals, most likely including every Pope-A-Dope sine the 1950s, covering up the blatant abuse of thousands of innocent children.

      August 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  8. Reality

    A copy of the note I sent my Senators (one Republican, one Democrat) and Republican Representative a few months ago:

    NO CITIZENSHIP FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS !!!

    August 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      your an idiot.

      August 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • Sam Yaza

        this is how it should have been written

        Dear Noreen Evans,

        NO CITIZENSHIP FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS !!!

        sincerely yours Hanson D. Assburglar

        August 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Sam Yaza

          make sure to use a good stationary and to seal the envelope with a wax seal

          reminds me of Dick Channy epic letter to the queen of England

          Go Fuck your self?

          classic

          August 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • Dippy's assistant to the assistant

        "your an idiot"

        LOL! I quit.

        August 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Reality

      http://www.uscis.gov/naturalization‎

      "Citizenship Through Naturalization

      Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

      For more information, see USCIS Policy Manual Citizenship and Naturalization Guidance.

      How to Apply for Naturalization
      To apply for naturalization, file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization."

      Path to U.S. Citizenship

      "This page describes the most common path to U.S. citizenship, which allows a green card holder (permanent resident) of at least 5 years to apply for naturalization. Other paths include:

      Green card holders married to U.S. citizens
      Green card holders in the military and their family
      Citizenship through parents"

      August 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  9. Sam Yaza

    Migration is a right of life, it supersedes even human rights, no one can tell you that "you cannot breath" "you cannot sleep" or "you cannot migrate" if you dot migrate to the needed resource, you die; which is the price you pay for braking nature law. their is no getting around it, animals migrate, borders are a construct created by humans, humans cannot control nature.

    August 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      its like when my city made a law saying all animals need to be on a leash, and i called the cops on every human, squirrel, and bird i seen. until the change the law to dogs.

      August 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Dippy's assistant to the assistant

      Where do I even begin with you?

      August 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • Sam Yaza

        I would think by buying me a drink.

        August 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • ME II

      There is no recognized "right to migrate". The closest thing, I think, would be the UDHR:

      Article 13.
      (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
      (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

      But nowhere does ti say that anyone hast the right to enter any country.

      August 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  10. CommonSensed

    To CNN: You should be reporting this as an attack against our secular government.

    August 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  11. CommonSensed

    Note to the Catholic Church and all "Catholic" law makers: Please remember we live in a secular country that is not beholden to your sharia laws.

    August 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Niloc

      You'll express your point better when you use proper terminology.

      August 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    catholic recruiting drive.

    August 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Bob

      Yup. And they are desperate for new members. Their old recruiting method of no birth control and huge families is less popular than it used to be.

      August 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What religion will immigrants be if the reform isn't passed?

      August 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Doobs

        Whatever religion their parents belong to, just like you, Bill Deacon.

        August 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          My parents aren't religious Dooby. But if I were a Catholic immigrant who was denied entrance into a country, I would still be a Catholic. So, where does the recruiting come in?

          August 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Doobs

          How did you become a Catholic, Dilly Weed?

          August 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I converted when I was 39.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Doobs

          Really, how did it happen? Did your parents have any religious background, even if they didn't practice it?

          I'm not trying to be a jerk, Bill, I'm truly curious.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I'm sure the jerk part will come out when you need it. But, my mother was raised by somewhat religious parents but I don't think she's been to church more than a handful of times since she wed my father.

          My father's parents were even less religious than my mother's and he is correspondingly even more secular minded than she is.

          I've been autonomously spiritually seeking since I was a young boy and independently began going to the Baptist church as a teenager, left that, became secular hedonistic, burned out, traversed back through Buddhism into the 12-steps and ultimately converted to Catholicism.

          Fire away.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Quite the journey Bill. It does strike me as an odd choice though for someone who claims to have followed Buddha, even for a short time. To go from something so inclusive and open to something so exclusive and closed minded. But then again, some people like to be tied up and whipped for pleasure, so I guess some people just enjoy Catholic doctrine.

          August 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          thanks for sharing Bill. sincerely.

          August 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Facts, I would claim you are mistaken to believe Catholicism in not inclusive but is restrictive. I have found in my local parishes, a great diversity and I have experienced freedom rather than restriction. The diversity is evidenced within this very topic of immigration, but the freedom can most easily be explained by the statement of Blessed John Paul II: Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Doobs

          Thank you for explaining your journey, Bill.

          I'm sure the jerk part will come out when you need it.

          That was unnecessary, but not surprising.

          August 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Bill Deacon
        My father left the seminary in the '60s because he found their intolerance to be hypocritical of those who purport to be Christian.

        August 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Too bad, we could use priests who are able to accept the doctrine along with the fallible people who come with it.

          August 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          He decided he could do more good as a medic and became a special forces search and rescue tech. He spent 35 years on active duty, ultimately becoming Commandant of the Canadian Forces Medical Services School.
          He is a knight in the Order of St. John for his lifetime of humanitarian work.
          He continues to do voulnteer work for the homeless and otherwise downtrodden.

          I'd hazard to say that he has done more good as a layman than he would have done as clergy.

          August 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          He sounds like a good man. Is he still a practicing Catholic? I bet he would have made a fine priest.

          August 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  13. Ken

    Your headline writer needs to become a bit more familar with what is a dicoese and what is an archdiocese in the Catholic Church.

    August 23, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Bob

      With the good news that the Catholic religion in steep decline here and losing political and legal influence it never should have had, fairly soon those definitions, and the religion itself, won't matter as anything other than a sorry footnote in history.

      August 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Bob

      With the good news that the Catholic religion is in steep decline here and losing political and legal influence it never should have had, fairly soon those definitions, and the religion itself, won't matter as anything other than a sorry footnote in history.

      August 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • guest

        Don't fool yourself, unfortunately the RCC has more infuence in the U.s. politics than you really know.

        August 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Gary

          I hear you guest but I think Bob was just saying that it is on the wane, not that it doesn't exist as a serious problem now.

          August 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  14. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    So when do they lose their tax exempt status?

    August 23, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      At the same time Germany and France do.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:28 am |
      • bostontola

        Really? This is American law, what other countries do is irrelevant.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:30 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        I don't get it, unless it's something to do with the Treaty of Versaille, even though that wouldn't make it any more 'getable.'.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • ME II

        @Bill Deacon,
        If churches were "sovereign" then they wouldn't need 501 status nor would they need to follow labor laws, civil rights, etc..

        August 23, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        The Vatican is a sovereign entiity ratified in the Lateran treaties of 1929, which historically trace to the treaties of Westphalia in the 1600's. By practice, history, treaty and constiitution, the Church is an independent sovereignty. The U.S. government has no more power to tax it than it does to tax any other nation.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • ME II

        The Vatican is a sovereign state, but not the churches in the US. Catholic churches in the US do not have the same diplomatic rights as embassies of foreign governments.

        August 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
      • ME II

        As evidence, the IRS can revoke tax-exempt status when certain conditions are (not) meet.

        August 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          What are those conditions and when has that occurred?

          August 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • ME II

          All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:
          ■ their net earnings may not inure to any private
          shareholder or individual,
          ■ they must not provide a substantial benefit to private
          interests,
          ■ they must not devote a substantial part of their
          activities to attempting to influence legislation,
          ■ they must not participate in, or intervene in, any
          political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to)
          any candidate for public office, and
          ■ the organization’s purposes and activities may

          (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf)

          August 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • ME II

          "The Internal Revenue Service today announced that approximately 275,000 organizations under the law have automatically lost their tax-exempt status because they did not file legally required annual reports for three consecutive years"
          ( http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Identifies-Organizations-that-Have-Lost-Tax-Exempt-Status%3B-Announces-Special-Steps-to-Help-Revoked-Organizations)

          I don't know how many were churches.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Bill's wrong. 🙂

          August 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I would only be interested in events affecting the Catholic Church for the purposes of this article.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Churches are not required to file 501 or 503 status.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • ME II

          "I would only be interested in events affecting the Catholic Church for the purposes of this article."

          Bully for you.
          Just because the US Catholic Church has never had it's exempt status revoked does not mean that it doesn't fall under, and comply with, US law.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • ME II

          "Churches are not required to file 501 or 503 status."

          Churches that meet the requirements of IRC section
          501(c)(3) are automatically considered tax exempt and
          are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of
          tax-exempt status from the IRS

          (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf )

          August 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
        • ME II

          Churches that meet the requirements of IRC section
          501(c)(3)
          are automatically considered tax exempt and
          are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of
          tax-exempt status from the IRS

          August 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • fred

          Bill
          I recall pushing our church to dump the 501c status so that we could openly discuss topics like Obama but for some reason accountants are hung up on that filing status. We are better off not to elect to be taxed as a 501c so the church is not subject to IRS nonsense.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I guess some people just like to argue. You go ahead, revoke diplomatic status and international recognition of Vatican sovereignty and impose taxation on church holdings. Let's see how big a boy you really are.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon
          Seriously? I said nothing about Vatican sovereignty. The Vatican and the US Catholic Churches are are not the same enti.ties.

          "Let's see how big a boy you really are."

          That's beneath you Bill.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • Doobs

          @ ME II

          Nothing is beneath Bill Deacon when it comes to defending his beloved RCC.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Trace

          Oh, BS, Bill. Revoking their tax-exempt status in our secular nation isn't going to do a damn thing. Let the RCC bullies pack up their toys and go home. There are enough Christian Churches here that Catholics can join, and I would bet that the number of priest/child abuse cases goes expotentionally DOWN.
          You are confusing the RCC with an actual country. They are not mutually exclusive, and the RCC isn't held in as high of esteem to everyone; just other Catholics.
          If they violate laws in this country, they must be held accountable. What is so damned great about them that you think they shouldn't be?

          August 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • ME II

          "Related to the NCCB is the United States Catholic Conference, a civil corporation and operational secretariat through which the Bishops, in cooperation with other members of the Church, act on a wider-than-ecclesiastical scale for the good of the Church and society in the United States."
          (http://www.catholic.org/clife/usccs/)

          "But the real secret of the church's financial strength is that each of the 178 Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. organizes its affairs separately; nearly all employ a highly complex and decentralized legal structure that so far has effectively shielded their assets from legal claims brought against priests."
          Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,250016,00.html#ixzz2coNrqbLw

          August 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • ME II

          IRS tax-exempt status Revocation list:

          "201262107|ST MICHAELS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH||620 PULLIAM ST|HARDIN|IL|62047-9629|US|03|15-MAY-2010|09-JUN-2011"
          ( http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/forwardToRevokeDownload.do )

          August 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • ME II

          IRS tax-exempt status Revocation list:

          "201262107| ST MICHAELS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ||620 PULLIAM ST|HARDIN|IL|62047-9629|US|03|15-MAY-2010|09-JUN-2011"
          ( http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/forwardToRevokeDownload.do )

          August 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @ME II
          You're not playing fair, what with all the facts cited from reputable sources.
          Bill doesn't wanna play anymore and is taking his ball home with him.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          The IRS can revoke the 501 or 503 filing status of any organization it chooses, which has previously applied for same. The doctrine of sovereignty though, shows that the Church is accepted as an autonomous person/state among nations and is not subject to levies by other such persons/states. I'm sure there are more nuanced and detailed contracts and treaties between the Church and various nations but most people assume the separation of church and state is what grants tax exemption to the Church and that is not the case. If you want to tax the Church, you'll have more work to do than simply repealing the first amendment of the U.S. Constiitution.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Bill
          The Vatican is recognized as a soverign state but the churches that stand in other countries are not embassies of Vatican City.
          Vladimir Putin once said to Pope John Paul II:
          "I, as the head of state, invite you as the head of state" to which JPII replied:
          "Look out the window. What kind of state do I have here? You can see my whole state right from this window."

          August 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And don't forget that Vatican City itself didn't exist until less than a hundred years ago.
          Diplomatic relations between America and the Vatican were non-existent until the Reagan administration.

          August 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          "The IRS can revoke the 501 or 503 filing status of any organization it chooses, which has previously applied for same."

          Actually, it can revoke tax-exempt status, regardless of whether it has previouly applied.

          "The doctrine of sovereignty though, shows that the Church is accepted as an autonomous person/state among nations and is not subject to levies by other such persons/states."

          Please, cite the reference or definition that you are using for "doctrimne of sovereignty" and what exactly it applies to. The Church, as in the Vatican or "Holy See", is a sovereign nation/state, but the Church, as in the RCC enti.ties in the US, is not sovereign.

          "...most people assume the separation of church and state is what grants tax exemption to the Church and that is not the case."

          I agree, it has more to do with non-profit status than prophet status, I think, but has nothing to do with international law / treaties.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I think you're flogging a dead horse MEII. Like I said, if you think you want to tax the Church, go ahead and rewrite the tax code, repeal the Constiitution, (but I guess not the power to tax portions?) and levy what you think you can collect from the Bishops. I'm sure all the Catholics in the world and other nations which honor her sovereignty will very interested in how it plays out.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          I am not advocating that we tax churches.

          What I am debating is your misunderstandng of what the US has a right to tax and not tax as well as your understanding of your own "Church's" structure.

          1) The tax code, perhaps, but the Consti.tution would not need changing in order tax churches, and that includes every Catholic church in the US, but excludes "the Church", i.e. the Vatican.

          2) The US can tax all churches within the US and still fully honor "the Church's", i.e. the Vatican's, sovereignty.

          "I'm sure all the Catholics in the world and other nations which honor her sovereignty will [be] very interested in how it plays out."

          Is that some sort of veiled threat? How ridiculous.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          well, the balls in your court.

          August 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • ME II

          What are you talking about?

          August 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          You're arguments are based on the presupposition that the Church is subordinate to the state. I think that is in error but you can't or won't see that. So the only way for either of us to prove our point is for you enact a taxation on the Church. Good luck.

          August 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Were church incomes taxable, the government could tax the incomes of Catholic churches in the United States just the same as any other church.

          The existence of the Vatican as a sovereign state is irrelevant.

          In any case the topic is moot, so long as churches behave consistently with the expectations of section 501(c)(3).

          August 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          The RCC is a monolithic organization when it wants international recognition but is a collection of loosely related cult jurisdictions when it comes to being accountable for criminal acts and paying for priestly pedophilia.

          August 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • bostontola

      they are prohibited from campaigning for a candidate in an election. They are allowed limited lobbying and certainly can take positions on issues (e.g. Abortion).

      August 23, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Niloc

      Are they somehow forcing the law makers to vote a certain way? No, then they don't lose tax exempt status.

      August 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  15. bostontola

    There is stiff competi.tion in the US between the RCC and the evangelical/fundamentalists for membership. This is clearly a strategic play by the RCC. I call it smart.

    August 23, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  16. bostontola

    Please. Meheecans? Do I really need to point out how this is a jab?

    August 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • bostontola

      Sorry, meant as a response below.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I've dealt with this query.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  17. ME II

    “the insti[]tutional issues of the church.”
    "Hispanics – a group widely associated with immigration reform – make up nearly 40 percent of Catholic Church."

    So, it's a recruiting drive?

    August 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      No, the Church already has them. We are just asking for just treatment of our brothers and sisters.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:30 am |
      • bostontola

        You sound like a baseball manager trying to convince the media that his pitcher didn't intend to hit the batter with the pitch.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • Doobs

        Right, Bill.

        Just like Mother Teresa refused to give morphine to dying patients and then told them that their suffering was a "kiss from Jesus" and the RCC's conspiracy to hide pedophiles was a "judgement call" (and those are your own words).

        Let me guess – the RCC will offer all these immigrant children special scholarships to attend Catholic school too. "Don't tell anyone about what we're doing or mommy and daddy might get sent back to Mexico."

        August 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • Trace

        How big of a problem would you have with this if it weren't the RCC, Bill? And the majority of immigrants were, say, Protestant or something?

        August 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Speculative situational ethics? No thanks. I can tell you that the conservative in me would like to see better enforcement of existing immigration laws and I am appalled at both party's disregard for border security. At the same time, I am sensitive to the moral imperative that rich nations should extend themselves to poorer ones and the pleading of the Church to treat the immigrant better. While I'm not familiar with the content of the proposed regulation, I believe our law should reflect these tenets and that we should enforce the law we adopt.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Trace

          Translation: "I'm a Catholic apologist, and anything they do is a-ok by me.
          I've seen you throw out speculative scenarios before. Typical of your hypocrisy to decline those that are asked of you.
          No, thanks, indeed.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Doobs

          @ Trace

          This is typical Bill Deacon.

          He won't even acknowledge my posts to him since the day I called him out for saying the RCC's conspiracy of silence regarding the pedophilia scandal was "a judgement call" on the part of the church leadership.

          His response was to call me "insane" and run away. Just like he'll eventually do today.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Me run away? I'd say I have one of the longest continuous uses of a screen name on here. How many times have you changed yours?

          August 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Doobs

          Yes, Dill Weed. You run away every time you can't respond to anyone's question. I'm not the only one who's pointed that out, so save your indignation.

          How long you've had your screen name is irrelevant. But since you asked, I've changed mine once. I used to post as "Bet" until someone stole that name and posted a bunch of crap pretending to be me. I've posted as "Doobs" ever since. What's your point?

          August 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          If you change your name whenever crap is posted under it, you're overdue.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • Doobs

          That's rich, coming from a liar and pedophile apologist.

          You couldn't even be civil when I asked you a sincere question about your religious journey above.

          August 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
      • CommonSensed

        Just stay the heck out of politics. Or do you want there to be sharia law?

        August 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • ME II

      But depending on what you mean by "justice" you could "have" more, correct?
      There is a bit of a conflict of interest here, I think.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        The conflict of interest that I see lies between the desires of certain border populations to limit the influx of people, the subsequent burdens on their infrastructures and the moral imperative to help the poor. The Church will always stand with the poor.

        August 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • CommonSensed

          The church should stay the hell out of politics.

          August 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Doobs

          "The Church will always stand with the poor."

          And then shaft them in the ass like they did thousands of Catholic school children. After all, suffering is a kiss from Jesus, right, Bill?

          August 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          I don't disagree that most tension is attempting to balance immigration with the ability to handle said influx, both physically/financially and emotionally.

          "The Church will always stand with the poor."

          The Church always claims to stand with the poor, but whether, given its positions, it in fact does is open for debate.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  18. guest

    Why all the silence? This is only one little ‘push’ from the RCC that will surely be followed by other issues of equal or more importance, issues that will push for more control over American lifestyles.

    August 23, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • CommonSensed

      We don't want or need their sharia laws.

      August 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  19. G to the T

    Isn't this a violation of the tax-exempt status?

    August 23, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • guest

      Exactly! So why do you think they are getting away with it?

      August 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • ME II

      Not certain, but I think "issues" are fair game. They can't endorse candidates, but can support "issues", I think.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • bostontola

        You are right, they are prohibited from campaigning for a candidate in an election. They are allowed limited lobbying and certainly can take positions on issues (e.g. Abortion).

        August 23, 2013 at 11:06 am |
      • guest

        You may be right, but when the issues start to affect your personal lifestyle how will you react?

        August 23, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • bostontola

        How do you react? The same way all effective political bodies work, join with a group that has your position and donate money. Donate to your congress people as well, you would be surprised how responsive they are to donators. If you don't have money, you're in a tight spot.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:17 am |
      • G to the T

        I guess I could see the difference but directly "lobbying" catholic members of congress seems a bit too much for me. How could you say know to a bishop if you were a part of that religion?

        August 23, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • G to the T

          Doh – "Know" = "no"

          August 23, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • ME II

          Yes, I thought that was odd too. If their pushing an "issue", I'd think they would target all members of congress, not just Catholic.

          August 23, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          People say no to Bishops all the time. They are not autocrats.

          August 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You seem to have no understanding of the doctrine of separation past the Johnson administration. Google the Treaty of Westphalia and Vatican sovereignty

      August 23, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • bostontola

        Not relevant to US tax exempt status.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • ME II

        Sorry, but what does the Vatican's sovereignty have to do with the US RCC. Isn't that one of the main points of the diocese/parrish system?

        August 23, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          The point is that sovereign nations do not tax one another. Are you so consumed with American arrogance and secular supremacy that you can't understand that?

          August 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          The US churches within the RCC are not considered sovereign nations nor even sovereign territory, as are embassies.

          August 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  20. I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

    Of course they embrace immigration. Meheecans are Catholic crazy and will likely fill up those pews.

    August 23, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • bostontola

      I agree that this is a self serving position for the church but why the jab at Mexicans? I live in Southern California and the vast majority of Mexican and other Latin Americans are hard working honest people.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        What jab? I have nothing against The Meheecans, although I do think there should be tighter border control and I'm against any sort of illegal immigrant amnesty.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • ME II

          "Meheecans"

          Just curious, how is that not a jab?

          August 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You are obviously not familiar with the legendary Meheecan hero, Mantequilla.

          August 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • ME II

          No, I was not aware of the South Park reference.

          August 23, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ohSv6wECY

          August 23, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • bostontola

          Coming from South Park makes it more of a jab doesn't it?

          August 23, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No.

          August 23, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • bostontola

          Ok, if that makes you feel better.

          August 23, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          OK.

          August 23, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • guest

      You've got it!

      August 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.