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Cardinal Mahony Takes a Stand

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Los Angeles's Catholic Archbishop Roger Mahony has an Op-Ed in the New York Times (registration required) about his statement that he would tell his priests to defy a proposed law about illegal immigration. He writes, "Providing humanitarian assistance to those in need should not be made a crime, as the House bill decrees. As written, the proposed law is so broad that it would criminalize even minor acts of mercy like offering a meal or administering first aid." He adds that while the church does not support illegal immigration, "The unspoken truth of the immigration debate is that at the same time our nation benefits economically from the presence of undocumented workers, we turn a blind eye when they are exploited by employers."

Good for him for making the situation a broader moral debate. Few politicians seem to be able to frame the discussion in terms of humanity and ethics while acknowledging its complexity. Since much of our previous knowledge of Mahony has come from watching him try to downplay all the sex abuse scandals, it's really nice to see him take a clear stand on this -- particularly because he's right.

Photo from the White House web site.