Pelosi Says She's Told Catholic Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops They Must Tell Catholics Immigration Reform is a 'Manifestation of Our Living the Gospels'
May 7, 2010 - 5:23 PMHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she has advised some Catholic bishops who want her to pass immigration reform to "speak about it from the pulpit," and tell those who oppose reform, "that this is a 'manifestation of our living the gospels.'"
In her comments at the Catholic Community Conference on Capitol Hill on May 6, Pelosi specifically referenced illegal immigrants in America, saying as a practical matter, “we can’t say to people, 12 million of you, ‘go back to wherever you came from or go to jail.’”
“I would hope that there’s one thing that we can do working together as we go forward that speaks to what the Bible tells us about the dignity and worth of every person -- and that is on the subject of immigration,” Pelosi said in her remarks. “Because I think the Church is going to have to play a very major role in how we, in how people are treated.”
“The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me and say, ‘We want you to pass immigration reform,’” disclosed Pelosi. “And I say, ‘But I want you to speak about it from the pulpit.'
“I want you to instruct your, whatever the communication is -- the people, some of them, oppose immigration reform are sitting in those pews and you have to tell them that this is a ‘manifestation of our living the gospels,’” said Pelosi. “Our patron saint of San Francisco, St. Francis of Assisi, he said, ‘preach the gospel --sometimes use words.’ We need the words to be said because it isn’t being picked up automatically.”
Pelosi, a Catholic and a Trinity College alumnus, said the estimated 12 million people currently living in America illegally cannot be told by society to go back to where they came from or “go to jail.”
“We have to respect that dignity and worth (of the indiciual), and recognize that the Church has an important role to play in that,” she said. “We don’t -- as a practical matter, we can’t say to people, 12 million of you, ‘go back to wherever you came from or go to jail.’”
“We can’t do that,” she said. “But the newcomers to America are really, again, important to the constant re-invigoration of America, which is part of who we are and have always been unless we’re all Native American -- God Bless them. But most of the people here came from someplace else.”