Catholic Cardinal Slams Steve Bannon for Claiming Church Wants Illegal Immigrants in the U.S. Ss It Can Fill Its Pews and Coffers
David Martosoko, Daily Mail, September 8, 2017
A high-ranking Roman Catholic official blasted former White House strategist Steve Bannon on Thursday, hours after CBS published footage of him claiming the Church supports illegal immigrants as a way of filling its pews and collection plates.
Bannon, a thrice-married Catholic , told ’60 Minutes’ that Catholic leaders including New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan are supportive of the Obama-era ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ program protecting young illegal immigrants from deportation for economic reasons.
Dolan called the move ‘not Christian’ and ‘not American’ on Tuesday, saying Catholics provide ‘special solicitude’ for immigrants because ‘they come to us first. The highest percentage of immigrants are, guess what? Catholic.’
On Thursday he broadsided Bannon on the SiriusXM Catholic Channel, calling the Breitbart news mogul’s pronouncement ‘a preposterous and rather insulting statement, that the only reason we bishops care for immigrants is for the economic – because we want to fill our churches and get more money.’
‘That’s insulting and that’s just so ridiculous that it doesn’t merit a comment,’ Dolan said.
The first published clips from Bannon’s extended CBS News sitdown hit the Internet Thursday morning, including the excerpt that will had Dolan wincing.
‘The bishops have been terrible about this by the way,’ Bannon tells co-host Charlie Rose in one excerpt. ‘You know why? You know why? Because, unable to really come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens.’
‘They need illegal aliens to fill the churches. That’s – it’s obvious on the face of it.’
He added that the reason ‘the entire Catholic [conference of] bishops condemn him,’ Trump, is that ‘they have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration.’
Bannon’s unexpected star turn on CBS brought complainers out of the West Wing woodwork on Wednesday, with one White House aide telling DailyMail.com that ‘he can showboat all he wants, I guess, but it’s just going to underscore what a lousy, lousy team player he always was.’
Reached for comment on Thursday morning, that same official said: ‘Mamma mia! It’s a bad idea to try and out-Pope the Pope.’
DACA, which President Trump has placed on a 6-month countdown to termination if Congress doesn’t act to codify it into law, guarantees protection against deportation for nearly 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Trump tweeted Thursday morning that his administration would take ‘no action’ to deport the policy’s beneficiaries ‘during the 6 month period,’ telling them: ‘[Y]ou have nothing to worry about.’
Pope Francis has emerged as a champion for migrants of all kinds, including refugees and those who slip across borders unlawfully for purely economic reasons.
The Pontiff said in an April interview that the news media should focus on human rights, natural disasters and poverty as drivers of mass-migration, without paying as much attention to legalities.
‘How many times do you hear them speak of “illegal” as a synonym for migrant?’ Francis asked the Italian magazine LibertàCivili. ‘This is incorrect … and that pushes the public to develop a negative opinion.’
‘The defense of human beings knows no barriers,’ he added.
Bannon is a self-described ‘street fighter’ whose famed view on making controversial statements refers to an Internet meme about a skunk-like creature known for its tenacious hunting: ‘Honey badger don’t give a s**t.’
That cavalier back-of-the-hand approach to his church was on full view in the ’60 Minutes’ interview, which will air Sunday night in full.
‘I totally respect the Pope and I totally respect the Catholic bishops and cardinals on doctrine,’ he said. ‘This is not about doctrine.’
‘This is about the sovereignty of a nation. And in that regard, they’re just another guy with an opinion.’