I livestreamed Pope Francis’s Mass in Iquique, Chile, last Thursday.
During the homily, Francis advocated for open borders. He started by talking about the wedding at Cana and how Mary told Jesus that the hosts had run out of wine, after which Jesus performed his first miracle, turning water into wine. Francis said,
Like Mary at Cana, let us make an effort to be more attentive in our squares and towns, to notice those whose lives have been “watered down”, who have lost – or have been robbed of – reasons for celebrating. And let us not be afraid to raise our voices and say: “They have no wine”.
From there, Francis catapulted into welcoming migrants (emphasis added),
The cry of the people of God, the cry of the poor, is a kind of prayer; it opens our hearts and teaches us to be attentive. Let us be attentive, then, to all situations of injustice and to new forms of exploitation that risk making so many of our brothers and sisters miss the joy of the party. Let us be attentive to the lack of steady employment, which destroys lives and homes. Let us be attentive to those who profit from the irregular status of many immigrants who don’t know the language or who don’t have their papers “in order”. Let us be attentive to the lack of shelter, land and employment experienced by so many families. And, like Mary, let us say with faith: They have no wine.
Like the servants at the party, let us offer what have, little as it may seem. Like them, let us not be afraid to “lend a hand”. May our solidarity in the commitment for justice be part of the dance or song that we can offer to our Lord. Let us also make the most of the opportunity to learn and make our own the values, the wisdom and the faith that migrants bring with them. Without being closed to those “jars” so full of wisdom and history brought by those who continue to come to these lands. Let us not deprive ourselves of all the good that they have to contribute.
I’m no theologian, but this argument is missing the fact that in civil society, the immigrants have the duty of abiding by the country’s laws and mores. Francis instead advocates for us “to learn and make our own the values, the wisdom and the faith that migrants bring with them.”
A democratic civil society under the rule of law can only exist when all who live in it understand their duties and responsibilities. It is not one big party where divine intervention bails you out when you run out of wine. It is a place where lawful citizens are allowed to keep what they have earned from the fruit of their labor and enterprise, with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Every citizen understands his/her duty to respect the rights (and property) of others and abide by the rule of law. That is its underlying value.
Once any immigrant understands that concept, by all means I’m appreciative of “those “jars” so full of wisdom and history brought by those who continue to come to these lands,” whatever they may be.
Francis did not touch on the question of how to raise the immigrants’ lands of origin to the same standard.
And by the way, Jesus and Mary were invited guests at the wedding at Cana. They did not crash that party.
In other Francis news,
At the end of his three-day visit to Chile, Pope Francis came to the defense of a controversial bishop, saying accusations that he helped cover up abuse are unproven and amount to “calumny.”
Responding to a Chilean journalist who asked about the issue, Pope Francis said “the day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak. There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”
Cross-posted at WoW! Magazine.