Robbing the Churches of Mexico
Recently Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, applauded a federal district court that found the Obama administration excessively strict in its enforcement of immigration law. It's not easy getting to the left of Obama on illegal immigration, but the Conference of Catholic Bishops is up to the task.
The bishops believe, no doubt, that they have prudential and humanitarian reasons for encouraging illegal immigration. Nevertheless, the prudence and humanity of the bishops would be easier to credit if they would admit to their conflict of interest.
Without Catholic immigration, which is in large part illegal, the Catholic Church in the United States would wither away, just as the mainline Protestant churches are withering away. Immigration conceals the destruction political correctness is doing to the Catholic Church in this country. The destruction of the mainline Protestant churches is obvious because few people enter the United States and join them.
According to "America's Changing Religious Landscape" of the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans identifying as Catholic fell from 23.9% in 2007 to 20.8% in 2014. The 3.1% decrease among Catholics is almost as great as the 3.4% decrease among mainline Protestants.
Of all adult Americans, 12.9% were raised Catholic and apostatized!
Both the mainline and historically black Protestant traditions have lost more members than they have gained through religious switching, but within Christianity the greatest net losses, by far, have been experienced by Catholics. Nearly one-third of American adults (31.7%) say they were raised Catholic. Among that group, fully 41% no longer identify with Catholicism. This means that 12.9% of American adults are former Catholics, while just 2% of U.S. adults have converted to Catholicism from another religious tradition. No other religious group in the survey has such a lopsided ratio of losses to gains.
Without immigration, the Catholic decrease would be much greater than the mainline decrease. More than a quarter of United States Catholics are foreign-born.
More than four-in-ten Catholics are either first-generation (27%) or second-generation (15%) Americans.
Four in ten Americans raised as Catholics quit, to be replaced, though not entirely, by immigrants. The hapless mainline Protestants have only 7% of their membership born outside the United States.
The Catholic bishops have only immigration going for them. That cannot work for long, because their Latin American counterparts are even more politically correct than they are, and the Latin American bishops do not have immigration to hide their decline.
The Latin American Church is hit two ways. Political correctness drives the faithful to denominations that seem to them more authentically Christian, and the politically correct bishops of the United States encourage Latin American Catholics to come here.
Another Pew Research Center study documents the deterioration of the Catholic Church in Latin America.
Eighty-four percent of Latin American adults were raised Catholic; 69% remain Catholic. So 15% quit, even more than the 12.9% of adults in the United States who have left the Catholic Church.
Hispanics in the United States are not very different from Hispanics in Latin America: one quarter of adult Hispanics here were raised Catholic but left the Church.
Eventually, the United States Catholic Church will have to stand naked. There won't be as many Catholics coming here from Latin America. The damage the liberals are doing to the United States Church will be obvious.
The causes of the decline of mainline Protestants are well-known. The causes of the decline in United States Catholicism are not well-known – because the decline is not well-known. Immigration covers a multitude of sins.
Someone more intelligent and better-educated than I could perhaps explain the madness of church leaders who think they can somehow increase their herds by going left. It never works, but they cannot learn from their own experience, or from the universal experience of others. They fixate on "inclusion" and include and include and include until there is almost no one left.
Since immigration is the only way the bishops succeed at filling the pews, they will bind themselves tighter and tighter to the ever more secular – and deranged – Democrats.
The liberal bishops are caught in a giant contradiction. The Democrats want immigrants to fill the welfare rolls. The bishops want immigrants to fill the churches. But the Democrats favor abortion and same-sex marriage, and they are totalitarians. They won't allow disagreement on anything. Complain about dismembering babies to sell their organs, and you have declared war on women.
The Catholic Church changes slowly, or at least it used to change slowly, but the more it resembles mainline Protestantism, the more it loses membership, and the more it relies on immigration.
Socialism, according to Lady Thatcher, lasts until it runs out of other people's money. The United States Catholic Church will last until it runs out of other people's Catholics.