Jon Garrido National News indicts Catholic Church for its silence to stop civil rights abuse of Hispanics
The Apostolic Palace
I am planning on becoming a candidate for the United States Senate from New Mexico in 2014.
Beginning on May 17, to better understand and appreciate my American heritage, I began a two week visit to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Boston, Massachusetts.
Part of the trip was a spiritual journey. I spent an additional two days at The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
The most revered historical place I visited in Philadelphia was Independence Hall. Since my youth, I have always had an understanding on why and how the United States of America came to be. Visiting the historical sites reinforced my awe of our nation's beginning.
Listening to tour guides and seeing the historical sites enabled me to more fully appreciate the dedication, persistence, and process used to create this great nation.
The Colonies were taxed by a English monarch without giving representation to the Colonies giving cause to the United States Declaration of Independence.
A parallel to the former Colonies process can be found with the Catholic Church.
Your Holiness and Your predecessors have appointed a hierarchy of bishops and cardinals to lead archdioceses and dioceses manned by priests. To ensure cardinals and bishops follow Catholic Church mandates, all are summoned annually to Rome to make an Ad Limina report on the status of affairs of each archdiocese or diocese.
On the surface, this may appear to enlighten Your Holiness on the State of the Church in America but the system is flawed for cardinals and bishops report on the state of their jurisdiction based on their own Point of Reference.
In all reporting by cardinals and bishops, nothing is reported by a lay parishioner using a lay person's Point of Reference.
This type rule was used by the British Crown to govern the thirteen Colonies without representation by the members of the thirteen Colonies. Again the same process used in present time by the Roman Catholic Church governing Americans using the Roman Hierarchy.
All men use their individual mental facilities to report what they think but since all men utilize the same ability to think as all other men, each man reports using an individual "Point of Reference" and since no two men in the entire world have the exact "Point of Reference," all reports vary.
Why would anyone believe each cardinal or bishop reporting to Your Holiness will ascertain the status of an American church archdiocese or diocese is 100% accurate as reported; unfortunately, this is exactly what is expected by Your Holiness listening to a bishop's or cardinal's Ad Limina report.
Your Holiness, please excuse my bluntness and use of a simple metaphor. Ad Limina reports are similar to a child in school preparing his or her school report card to give to one's parents. All children will report an "A" for every subject on the report card. Having children prepare their own report cards is the same process the USA bishops and cardinals use to prepare their Ad Limina reports.
A more accurate method of ascertaining the state of each USA diocese is to obtain reports from multiple sources that include an independent report from someone outside the church hierarchy — namely a lay person.
There is no role for the Laity in the Catholic Church hierarchy particularly at a time when many dioceses and parishes of the American Catholic Church fail in their mission to serve the People of God.
Your Holiness, You wrote, "It also calls for a commitment to ongoing preaching, catechesis and pastoral activity aimed at inspiring in all the faithful a deeper sense of their communion in the apostolic faith and their responsibility for the Church’s mission in the United States. Nor can the significance of this challenge be underestimated: the immense promise and the vibrant energies of a new generation of Catholics are waiting to be tapped for the renewal of the Church’s life and the rebuilding of the fabric of American society."
"I have wished to reflect with you and your Brother Bishops on a number of pressing spiritual and cultural challenges facing the Church in your country as it takes up the task of the new evangelization. A particular sign of this is the long-standing commitment of the American Bishops to Immigration Reform. This is clearly a difficult and complex issue from the civil and political, as well as the social and economic, but above all from the human point of view. It is thus of profound concern to the Church, since it involves ensuring the just treatment and the defense of the human dignity of immigrants."
"In our day too, the Church in America is called to embrace, incorporate and cultivate the rich patrimony of faith and culture present in America’s many immigrant groups, including not only those of your own rites, but also the swelling numbers of Hispanic, Asian and African Catholics. The demanding pastoral task of fostering a communion of cultures within your local Churches must be considered of particular importance in the exercise of your ministry at the service of unity(cf. Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, 63). This diaconia of communion entails more than simply respecting linguistic diversity, promoting sound traditions, and providing much-needed social programs and services. It also calls for a commitment to ongoing preaching, catechesis and pastoral activity aimed at inspiring in all the faithful a deeper sense of their communion in the apostolic faith and their responsibility for the Church’s mission in the United States. Nor can the significance of this challenge be underestimated: the immense promise and the vibrant energies of a new generation of Catholics are waiting to be tapped for the renewal of the Church’s life and the rebuilding of the fabric of American society."
"This commitment to fostering Catholic unity is necessary not only for meeting the positive challenges of the new evangelization but also countering the forces of disgregation within the Church which increasingly represent a grave obstacle to her mission in the United States."
Your Holiness, as I read Your Address ofMay 18, 2012, given to U.S. bishops on Immigration Reform in Rome at their ad limina visit, I gave thanks for Your very welcome words but they are only words unless they lead to a mandate and successful implementation.
The primary word that reached out to me from Your Address is "evangelization."
In 1992,Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was elected and re-elected in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. All elections have been dominated by the voting constituents of Sun City, Sun City West and other senior citizen communities whose white conservative Republican residents migrated to Arizona from mid-western states.
The Phoenix Catholic community is profoundly diverse covering the spectrum from one extreme polar position of white conservative mid-westerners who strongly support the antics and tyranny of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of hatred that thrives on dehumanizing and demonizing undocumented immigrants and blames the demise of America on Hispanics.
The opposite polar end of the spectrum are Hispanic migrant Catholics, the victims of hate and discrimination imposed by Catholics at the opposite polar position.
The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is approximately81.35% Hispanic. This is an estimate for the Diocese refuses to publish demographic data on the diversity of the Diocese. The City of Phoenix is the principal city of the diocese and Phoenix is 48% Hispanic according to the United States Census Bureau.
The Tyranny of Sheriff Arpaio Directed to Hispanics as Documented by The United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice on May 10, 2012, sued Joe Arpaio, a prominent Arizona sheriff known for his crackdowns aimed at rounding up undocumented immigrants, accusing him of discrimination and retaliating against his critics. The move escalated a politically charged fight over local enforcement of federal immigration laws and the civil rights of Hispanics.
In a 32-page civil rights lawsuit against Mr. Arpaio and his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Justice Department contend Mr. Arpaio’s campaign against undocumented immigration — including traffic stops and sweeps of homes and workplaces — had resulted in a “pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination” aimed at Latinos.
Mr. Arpaio’s focus on immigration enforcement has eroded the relationship between law enforcement and the Latino community in Phoenix, with Latinos growing increasingly wary of cooperating with the authorities when they are victims or witnesses of crimes. The lawsuit also argues the resources devoted to the sweeps have required the sheriff’s office to put a lower priority on traditional local law enforcement responsibilities like investigating rapes and domestic violence.
"The United States is not seeking, and has never sought, monetary damages or attorney's fees in connection with our case," Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil rights division, said in a news conference in Phoenix. The goal, Mr. Perez said, is "to fix the problems" and to "ensure the necessary policies, practices and oversight are in place" to prevent them from happening again.
The conduct of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Mr. Arpaio “is neither constitutional nor effective law enforcement,” the Justice Department argued in court papers. “The defendants’ violations of the Constitution and laws of the United States are the product of a culture of disregard for Latinos that starts at the top and pervades the organization.”
Mr. Arpaio has waged an increasingly bitter dispute with the Obama administration portraying the civil rights investigation as politicized.
Portraying Arpaio's sheriff's department as poorly trained and supervised, the lawsuit contends its roughly 900 deputies are far more likely to stop and search Latinos than others – a sort of “detain first, ask questions later” approach that has led to roundups of people whose names are not listed in warrants. It cites many examples, including a woman of Hispanic descent who was held in custody for four hours before she was able to prove she had been born in the United States.
Meanwhile, the roughly 1,800 officers in the county jail system have a “culture of bias” against Latinos, whom they frequently refer to as “wetbacks” and “stupid Mexicans,” the complaint said. It said it was routine for department employees to circulate e-mails displaying bias against Latinos, like a picture of a Chihuahua in swimming gear and captioned “A Rare Photo of a Mexican Navy Seal.”
But even by Arizona’s standards, Mr. Arpaio, a media-savvy figure who is known as “Sheriff Joe,” has been aggressive. The Justice Department’s investigation of his policing practices began during the Bush administration. It eventually stalled, and in 2010, the Obama administration filed a lawsuit to compel the department to cooperate, including interviewing more than 400 people and reviewing thousands of pages of documents.
In December, the Justice Department released a highly critical report laying out the alleged violations by Mr. Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The department moved to negotiate a settlement, but Mr. Arpaio eventually refused to acquiesce to its demand to place a monitor in his office, saying it would give the federal government too much power over a local law enforcement agency.
In a letter to Mr. Arpaio, Justice Department officials notified him of the impending lawsuit, saying an agreement "could not be resolved through voluntary means."
While most such cases end in a settlement, the bitter standoff suggests it may take a trial to resolve the matter, at which the federal government would have to submit evidence to prove its claims of intentional bias against Latinos. The complaint sketched the outlines of such a case, including a study in 2011 that found Hispanic drivers in Maricopa County were between four and nine times as likely to be stopped as non-Latino drivers who engaged in similar conduct.
The complaint focused in particular on the work of Mr. Arpaio’s human-smuggling unit, whose role is to capture undocumented immigrants as they are brought to the country, as well as the people who bring them in. It criticized a three-page policy guiding the unit as insufficient to prevent discriminatory policing, and said there was no mechanism in place to log complaints of abuse and help identify deputies who might be engaged in a pattern of misconduct.
“There is no legitimate law enforcement purpose that explains these failures” other than to prove the discrimination against Latinos is “intentional,” it charged.
The lawsuit also charged the criteria the unit uses to stop, search and arrest people – including detaining Hispanics who do not speak English and are not carrying papers proving their citizenship, and who appear to be nervous or have a strong smell of body odor – fell short of the probable cause required before police may stop and detain people.
For example, on one occasion deputies stopped a car carrying four Latino men, although the car was violating no traffic laws, on the sole grounds the vehicle “was a little low.” The men were ordered out of the car, zip-tied, and made to sit on a curb for an hour before being released.
The workplace raids are loosely organized and poorly supervised, carried out by officers who generally lack the proper training, the lawsuit said.
Neighborhoods, for their part, are picked for raids based on complaints from non-Latinos that a large number of Latinos live there, the lawsuit says.
Non-English speakers who are arrested and held in the county jail face further problems, the complaint said. Jail officials issue instructions only in English and punish people who do not obey. Prisoners have been denied basic hygienic items – like sanitary napkins for women who are menstruating – if they do not ask for them in English, it said.
The complaint also accused the department and its allies of a pattern of harassing and retaliating against people who criticize Mr. Arpaio’s policies on immigration, including filing complaints against judges and filing lawsuits later found to be baseless, and arresting people without justification.
More Abuses Directed toward Hispanics — Private Charter Schools Since 1998, Arizona tax credits have diverted $479 million in tax revenue from public schools to private charter schools. The white Republican Arizona State Legislators are Identical to the Dutch migrating to South Africa and approving one national law after another each diluting the civil rights of black Africans and increasing the dominance of White Afrikaners. Apartheid was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government in South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority Black inhabitants of South Africa were taken away and minority rule by white persons, the only persons who could vote, was decreed by the "Rule of Law."
For the past 40 years, white Republican Arizona State Legislators formerly from mid-West states being the majority party in Arizona, have categorically and systematically devastated Arizona's programs and services for Arizona Hispanics.
More Abuses Directed toward Hispanics — Private Charter Schools
Since 1998, Arizona tax credits have diverted $479 million in tax revenue from public schools to private charter schools.
The white Republican Arizona State Legislators are Identical to the Dutch migrating to South Africa and approving one national law after another each diluting the civil rights of black Africans and increasing the dominance of White Afrikaners. Apartheid was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government in South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority Black inhabitants of South Africa were taken away and minority rule by white persons, the only persons who could vote, was decreed by the "Rule of Law."
It is well known by Arizona Republicans, budget cuts are primarily directed toward Hispanic students who white Republican Arizona state legislators resent any public dollar being spent for education or health going to benefit a Hispanic student much less their Hispanic parents.
The white Republican mantra is all Hispanic students, including those born in Arizona, must go to Mexico to be educated and should not be the responsibility of the State of Arizona.
To cut public school funding where Hispanic students attend, the white Arizona Republican majority party of the Arizona Legislature devised a scheme to divert public school funds to private schools by use of Arizona tax credits that penalizes public schools where low and moderate income students attend.
The most brazen blatant use of the Republican white legislators' scheme to educate white students at the expense of Hispanic students is the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.
For the Arizona 2007-2008 public school year, there were 1,064,023 students of which 442,273 (41.57%) were Hispanic.
In the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix schools in the 2007-2008 school year, there were 14,167 students of which 29% of K-8 and 19% of 9-12 are Hispanic totaling 6,779 Hispanic students.
These numbers reveal 98.49% of Arizona's Hispanic students attend public schools.
According to the Alliance for Catholic Education of the University of Notre Dame, nearly 70% of practicing Catholics in the USA are Hispanic. If the Notre Dame 70% for the entire USA is accurate, a safe assumption with Arizona being a border state, Arizona should have substantially more than 70%.
According to Jim Dyer, the Public Information Officer for the Diocese of Phoenix, the parishes refuse to provide ethic demographics to Olmsted. Since the bishop is the prime ruler of the Diocese of Phoenix and all priests vow obedience, one can conclude if Olmsted asked for the percentage of Hispanics in each parish, each parish priest would provide the breakdown.
Dyer stated the parish priests do not keep this information because, "All are children of God."
If all are children of God, it would be true Hispanic students attending public schools would be included as children of God but they must not be ― since Olmsted sees no wrong in taking away quality education from 98.49% of the Hispanic students attending public schools in Arizona.
Jon Garrido National News believes Olmsted does not ask for a break down of Hispanics in each parish because he does not want the Diocese of Phoenix to be identified as a Hispanic Diocese.
Jon Garrido National Newsestimates the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is 81.35% Hispanic. If this number is not accurate then the Diocese of Phoenix should publically refute this number and provide their own percentage but of course, they will not. Yet, the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix's use of tax credits is a visible slap in the face of Hispanic Catholics by diverting public education funds to promote white private schools thereby devastating public schools where Hispanics attend.
The Silence of Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix
Sheriff Joe Arpaio was first elected in 1992 and continues to the present date. Thomas J. Olmsted was installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix on December 20, 2003.
On Sunday, January 29, 2012, Catholics around the country were read a blistering letter during Mass assailing the Obama administration for an "assault on religious liberty" in the form of a coming requirement that most church-linked organizations - among them hospitals, schools and universities - offer birth control coverage as part of their health care plans.
As I re-read this very welcomed letter, I had only one question, "Why has there never been a Bishop Olmsted letter addressed to all parishes of the Diocese of Phoenix evangelizing the welcome of immigrants to our Phoenix Catholic Churches for Hispanics are also the children of God. And never an Olmsted letter chastising the tyranny of Sheriff Joe Arpaio for abusing the civil rights of Hispanics who live in Maricopa County where the Phoenix Metropolitan area is located and where senior citizen communities of Sun City and Sun City West are located. By definition, a moral wrong is a moral wrong. If it is appropriate all bishops send Catholics in their jurisdiction a blistering letter to be read during Mass assailing the Obama administration for an "assault on religious liberty" because of a proposed Obama requirement that church-linked organizations offer birth control coverage as part of their health care plans, then why is the Bishop of Phoenix silent on the abuse of Arpaio's tyranny toward Hispanics. The only answer is the Phoenix bishop and the priests that serve him are a one trick pony of only condemning abortion and gay marriage but abuse of Arpaio's tyranny toward Hispanics is condoned and even sanctioned. To see the one trick pony perform one need go no further than a Chick-fil-A restaurant where a Diocese of Phoenix church paid for food for members of their church to show support for traditional marriage. In contrast, not once since December 20, 2003, when Olmsted was installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, has Olmsted or any of his priests ever participated in an anti-Hispanic protest against the tyranny of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The visit to a Chick-fil-A restaurant to show support for gay marriage and never attending an anti-Hispanic protest against the tyranny of Sheriff Joe Arpaio sadly illustrates Olmsted and priests give no validity to Jesus' second great commandment: "To love our neighbor as ourselves." It is profoundly apparent Olmsted places himself above what Jesus commands. Olmsted believes the only sins that need to be addressed are gay marriage and abortion and Jesus' second great commandment: "To love our neighbor as ourselves," Olmsted believes does not have to be honored if Hispanics are the "neighbors." Olmsted can not justify not knowing about Arpaio's tyranny toward Hispanics. News articles are published daily in the local press and viewed on television news casts each evening. The only conclusion is Olmsted condones Arpaio's tyranny.
As I re-read this very welcomed letter, I had only one question, "Why has there never been a Bishop Olmsted letter addressed to all parishes of the Diocese of Phoenix evangelizing the welcome of immigrants to our Phoenix Catholic Churches for Hispanics are also the children of God. And never an Olmsted letter chastising the tyranny of Sheriff Joe Arpaio for abusing the civil rights of Hispanics who live in Maricopa County where the Phoenix Metropolitan area is located and where senior citizen communities of Sun City and Sun City West are located.
By definition, a moral wrong is a moral wrong. If it is appropriate all bishops send Catholics in their jurisdiction a blistering letter to be read during Mass assailing the Obama administration for an "assault on religious liberty" because of a proposed Obama requirement that church-linked organizations offer birth control coverage as part of their health care plans, then why is the Bishop of Phoenix silent on the abuse of Arpaio's tyranny toward Hispanics.
The only answer is the Phoenix bishop and the priests that serve him are a one trick pony of only condemning abortion and gay marriage but abuse of Arpaio's tyranny toward Hispanics is condoned and even sanctioned.
To see the one trick pony perform one need go no further than a Chick-fil-A restaurant where a Diocese of Phoenix church paid for food for members of their church to show support for traditional marriage.
In contrast, not once since December 20, 2003, when Olmsted was installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, has Olmsted or any of his priests ever participated in an anti-Hispanic protest against the tyranny of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The visit to a Chick-fil-A restaurant to show support for gay marriage and never attending an anti-Hispanic protest against the tyranny of Sheriff Joe Arpaio sadly illustrates Olmsted and priests give no validity to Jesus' second great commandment: "To love our neighbor as ourselves."
It is profoundly apparent Olmsted places himself above what Jesus commands. Olmsted believes the only sins that need to be addressed are gay marriage and abortion and Jesus' second great commandment: "To love our neighbor as ourselves," Olmsted believes does not have to be honored if Hispanics are the "neighbors."
Olmsted can not justify not knowing about Arpaio's tyranny toward Hispanics. News articles are published daily in the local press and viewed on television news casts each evening. The only conclusion is Olmsted condones Arpaio's tyranny.
Olmsted is from a farm in Kansas and has the same moral, ethical and spiritual values as all other persons from Kansas who reside in Sun City or Sun City West and see no tyranny in Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has become the Sun City and Sun City West hero for locking up "illegals."
And it is Sun City and Sun City West white ultra conservative residents who originated from mid-Western states who keep re-electing Arpaio Sheriff of Maricopa County.
The Role of the Bishop If the prime directive is the prominent guiding principle to protect, tend and feed the community of believers as Jesus asked of Peter, the second directive is as important as the first. The secondary directive is to build an amalgam from a mixture of different elements into one homogenous egalitarian community. For the scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." Romans 10:11-13. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. If there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, why then is there a distinction between white conservative Catholic and Hispanic migrant Catholic? If the appearance of La
The Role of the Bishop
If the prime directive is the prominent guiding principle to protect, tend and feed the community of believers as Jesus asked of Peter, the second directive is as important as the first.
The secondary directive is to build an amalgam from a mixture of different elements into one homogenous egalitarian community.
For the scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." Romans 10:11-13. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him.
If there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, why then is there a distinction between white conservative Catholic and Hispanic migrant Catholic?
If the appearance of LaNuestra Señora de Guadalupe to any group of people in the world is a message from God, then Mexicans are truly blessed as God's children.
Yet, there is a distinction between white conservative mid-western Catholics and Hispanic migrant Catholics.
There can be no better influence than the head of the Church for educating all and building a community based on the teachings of Jesus.
This should be the primary role of the Bishop of Phoenix using every resource available to him as bishop but the bishop is no where to be found.
The Catechism notes Jesus, the Good Shepherd, should be the form of a bishop.
The faithful should be closely attached to the bishop as the Church is to Jesus Christ and as Jesus Christ is to the Father.
The Code of Canon Law states the diocesan bishop is required to "teach and illustrate to the faithful the truths of faith which are to be believed and applied to behavior."
Canon Law 386 §1. A diocesan bishop, frequently preaching in person, is bound to propose and explain to the faithful the truths of the faith which are to be believed and applied to morals. He is also to take care the prescripts of the canons on the ministry of the word, especially those on the homily and catechetical instruction, are carefully observed so the whole Christian doctrine is handed on to all.
While knowing his own faults, a bishop should reach for compassion. He should not refuse to listen to his subjects whose welfare he promotes as of his very own children. All of family trials and tribulations that can occur: despair, loss of hope, depression, fright, injustice, poverty, poor health, poor nutrition, and discrimination all fall into the realm of the bishop succoring the poor, in both body and spirit.
The bishop must play a key role resourcing and inspiring the whole Church who in turn leads and cares for lay people who are daily in the front line of Christian mission — in their homes, schools, communities and workplaces. The bishop is required to teach Christian faith — through preaching, writing, in synods and councils and in the media being involved in the secular world, having links with community leaders in the private sector, the public sector and voluntary service.
Jesus gives Peter three commands — First, He said, "Feed my lambs, then tend my sheep, and finally, feed my sheep." Too often churches tend to their flock but neglect to feed them. Many churches have fabulous programs to meet the needs of their members — programs for all ages, support groups, counseling groups, and addictive behavior groups. They have times of fellowship and activities for the whole family. They tend their sheep well.
Jesus said we must also feed the sheep. We must be fed from God’s word. We must learn about God and his nature, his attributes, his personality. We must be taught how to rely on the Holy Spirit. We must go from the milk of a new believer to the meat of God’s word. As Paul wrote in Hebrews 5:12-14, "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."
How does this maturity come? It comes from being fed. As we learn from God’s word, we will grow in his grace. But how will the sheep grow if they are not fed? That is a bishop's responsibility. The bishop must be willing to not only tend the flock, but also feed it with spiritual food.
Arizona now lays claim to the beginning of blatant racism toward Hispanics and is in the forefront of a national movement to remove the undocumented from the workplace and our communities.
All of these are barbaric acts against God but a greater sin against God is silence from those who are entrusted to safeguard our Hispanic community by using every available resource to fight the injustices of those that would hurt us.
Where is the Diocese of Phoenix when shouts for help are heard on every street corner where the undocumented are being arrested?
Behind the walls of the Diocese of Phoenix compound sits a bishop oblivious to the cries of those being persecuted. How does one reach this out of touch uncaring bishop? It is harder to gain entrance into this guarded compound than it is to gain entrance into the inner sanctum of the White House and I have been there three times.
In fulfilling their prophetic office, bishops should avail themselves of the opportunity to preach within their diocesan churches as well as the opportunity to spread the teaching of Christ and his apostles through pastoral letters. They should likewise welcome every opportunity to speak on religious matters to special groups whose role in society has a direct influence on public opinion.
The bishop, with the entire Church, must pass judgment upon the deceitful and false messages of the age. We acknowledge an ever growing need to oppose the secularist campaign against the deepest and most basic human rights. Without adopting any particular political form, the bishop must loudly proclaim the truth about injustice even in the face of overwhelming political opposition.
In this regard, it is wrong to remain silent out of a misconceived respect for the separation of Church and State. Indeed, the very distinction between Church and State means the bishop must speak out, without reservation, in favor of human dignity, directly and explicitly, against every form of injustice which jeopardizes the transcendent value of the human person. The Church needs to speak out against violent political agendas and be willing to take on the culture of hate so evident in politics throughout Maricopa County especially in ending dehumanizing and demonizing undocumented immigrants by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
If the bishop is truly the leader of his people, he should be ready to lead them for the sake of Christ.
Bishops are also bound by their consciences to teach faithfully and to recommit themselves to continued reflection and discussion on how Catholic faith and public service can work together to promote human life and dignity and advance the common good.
The bishop serves as the spiritual leader of the diocese and has responsibility for the pastoral care of all Catholics living within his ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
This should be the primary role of the bishop of Phoenix using every resource available to him as bishop but Olmsted is no where to be found. Olmsted is silent.
Unfortunately, Olmsted's modus operandi is "silence" identical to the Germans when Jews were arrested by the Nazi Gestapo and sent away to concentration camps to be exterminated.
The lack of advocacy in Phoenix is attributed primarily to Bishop Olmsted but there are others who share blame for their silence.
The spineless parish priests have a fiduciary responsibility to stand up and be counted to help bring about change in the diocese. They too are silent and they too will be held accountable to God for not protecting the flock that has been entrusted to them. Some silently acknowledge the lack of care for the undocumented but claim they are bound by obedience to Olmsted but obedience to Jesus trumps Olmsted.
There is no valid justification for parish priests for not abiding with the responsibility of shepherding the flock entrusted to Olmsted.
The parish priests have a responsibility to stop the slaughter and their silence indicts them as co-conspirators with all crimes against humanity the bishop imposes upon himself for his silence.
Phoenix parish priests are like the German people who as the Nazis Gestapo was arresting Jews simply because they were Jews. The German people turned their backs on the Jews and saw nothing they did not want to see. The German people are as guilty as the Nazis Gestapo for abdicating their responsibility to make visible great wrong doing against humanity. The Germans after the war tried to cover up the killing of 6 million Jews. The Germans rationalized they were not aware of what was being done to the Jewish population in Germany.
It is clear to all Hispanics, the Nazis Gestapo is reincarnated as the Angel of Death known to all as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Thomas J. Olmsted has failed with all the above and consequently, is a colossal failure
Why is there no action by Olmsted? There is a clue why Olmsted is silent and the clue is found on a farm in Kansas.
People from the mid-west are conservative, Republican and white. They usually have values much different than those like me, a 5th generation Mexican American born in Superior, Arizona. We all see things through lenses than were instilled in us by our parents, grandparents, other relatives and our neighborhood friends. All of this influences the values we hold sacred as adults.
Thomas J. Olmsted was born and raised on the family farm in Oketo, Kansas.
The same values white conservative mid-western Catholics from Kansas have in supporting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio are one and the same as the values Olmsted believes. Olmsted like other white conservative mid-western Catholics from Kansas see no wrong in dehumanizing and demonizing undocumented immigrants and terrorizing Hispanics.
I recently had several meetings with a Catholic priest about Olmsted. From the first meeting, the priest justified Olmsted's silence by claiming Olmsted is "conservative."
The "conservative" label was wrongly used to justify racism and specifically condone Arpaio dehumanizing and demonizing undocumented immigrants.
This is false justification for there can never be any justification for racism. A sin is a sin. Olmsted has not filled his oath before Jesus in performing the duties as required by the Code of Canon Law.
Olmsted is simply the wrong man for the wrong time with the wrong values for the predominantly Hispanic Diocese of Phoenix. Undoubtedly, Olmsted would have a better fit as a bishop somewhere in Kansas. Yet, there are now Hispanics in Kansas and remember Paul said "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him."
The only conclusion from all the above is Olmsted is racist and there is no place for anyone in our Church who is racist not even in Kansas.
Unfortunately, there are many other dioceses in the USA with the same racism as the Diocese of Phoenix.
The USA Hispanic/Latino Population
The 2010 Census counted 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, making up 16.3% of the total population. The nation's Latino population, which was 35.3 million in 2000, grew 43% over the decade. The Hispanic population also accounted for most of the nation's growth — 56% — from 2000 to 2010.
The Hispanic/Latino population in the United States is now the largest minority in the United States surpassing the black population.
Growth of the America's Hispanic population is growing by 1% per year. The United States Census projects by the year 2097, 50% of the entire United States will be Hispanic. The other 50% will be other minorities accounting for 46% and whites will be 4% of the entire population of the United States.
Non-whites, especially Hispanics, accounted for the overwhelming majority (92 percent) of U.S. population growth in the 2000s. In the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, whites now account for 57 percent of population, down from 71 percent in 1990. Immigration drove some of this increasing racial and ethnic diversity, with the foreign-born numbering 40 million nationwide by 2010, nearly 13 percent of U.S. population. The youngest Americans herald our coming transition to a “majority minority” nation; 50 percent of infants under age one are now non-white.
This is probably hard for Sun City seniors to accept but an illustration of this trend is the Catholic Church in the United States. If one follows the decline of the number of Catholic Churches in the northeastern part of the United States, one will find countless churches have closed their doors. First comes the closure of Catholic grade schools followed by the death of the parish.
The decline of the Catholic Church in America can be witnessed by the increase of Hispanics/Latinos leaving the Church to join a Pentecostal, Evangelical, Baptist, or Mormon church. This has all the makings of a hemorrhage of Hispanic/Latino Catholics to other churches. The "handwriting is on the wall" and unless the hemorrhage is stopped, American Catholic Churches will become abandoned.
I once had a private conversation with Bishop Thomas Joseph O'Brien who served as Bishop of Phoenix from 1982 to 2003 regarding the Catholic Churches in Phoenix not serving the needs of Hispanic/Latinos. Bishop O'Brien responded this can not be true for the Phoenix Catholic Churches are having to add Sunday masses to meet attendance. I responded by stating the migration of Mexicans, Central and South Americans into Arizona is at an all time high but within a few months of attending a Catholic Church and not being "fed," these migrants leave the Catholic Church to attend a Pentecostal, Evangelical, Baptist, Mormon church and these churches are sprouting up all over Phoenix neighborhoods.
Since Divine Mercy Sunday is Cast to Oblivion why would Catholic Bishops and Priests Support Immigration Reform?
If the Catholic Church fails to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday as Jesus mandated, then why would cardinals, bishops and parish priests thorough the United States comply with Your Holiness' Address to promote Immigration Reform?
Particularly when there are many bishops and priests who see no wrong with the non actions of Olmsted.
To authenticate the Ad Limina report process is flawed and exposes a system where American church archdioceses and dioceses follow their own lead with no consideration of the Church's mandates can be seen from the following examples: The status of celebrating or non celebrating Holy Days of Obligation in the United States as well as the dates of moveable feasts is a perfect illustration there is no directive to parish priests to adhere to the Catholic Church calendar.
Jesus told Saint Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, on the night of Sunday, February 22, 1931, He wanted the Divine Mercy image to be "solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter and that Sunday to be the Feast of Mercy."
Divine Mercy Sunday is on the Church Calendar but Divine Mercy Sunday 2011, at St. Mary’s Basilica in downtown Phoenix, where Pope John Paul visited on his Phoenix trip, the parish priest celebrated Mass and never mentioned Divine Mercy Sunday. Not once! His homily focused on the meaning of Shalom as used by residents of Jerusalem. The priest is German American. I have traveled extensively throughout Germany and shortly after my first visit, I read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. I later visited Berlin and then on to East Berlin but the most remembered ugliness was my visit to Dachau.
Knowing what Germans think of the Poles is probably why the German American priest never mentioned Saint Faustina. Fr. Vincent J. Mesim and Fr. Micah Muhlen should be removed from this parish.
On Divine Mercy Sunday 2012, I attended Mass at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Phoenix. Fr. Benoit Drapeau's homily never mentioned Divine Mercy Sunday. As I left the church, the deacon was standing at the door saying good-by to church goers and I said to him, “This church is no longer a Catholic Church. Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, a Catholic feast day initiated by Pope John Paul II and sanctioned by His Holiness. Since this is no longer a Catholic Church, I will never come here again.” Pastor Fr. Andres Arango and Fr. Benoit Drapeau should be removed from this church.
If the two Diocese of Phoenix parishes do not comply with the Church directive to follow the Catholic Calendar of Feast Days that include Divine Mercy Sunday, the only observation and conclusion is there is no direction or mandate from Thomas J. Olmsted, the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix.
This behavior of bishops and priests determining their own agenda is an illustration of a leaderless Catholic Church not only in the USA but everywhere in the world.
The leaderless Catholic Church in the United States is laid at the feet of USA cardinals and bishops and the leaderless Catholic Church in the world is laid at Your feet.
You alone have been given ultimate executive authority of the Catholic Church but unless You exercise this authority, the leadership of the Catholic Church will not be apparent. The Church will remain rudderless and be at the mercy of which ever direction the prevailing wind takes it.
I spent 3 years, 5 months and 12 days in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. If the commanding general gave an order to turn right, the entire U.S. Army turned right.
When Your Holiness orders the Catholic Church to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, most Catholic Churches in the world disregard celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. If Your Holiness is not aware of this or if Your Holiness is aware of this and does nothing to enforce a command from Jesus, then Your Holiness some day will answer directly to Jesus for Your failure.
Unless You exercise authority given you, the Catholic Church priests are free to celebrate or not celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday.
How can we expect cardinals, bishops and parish priests thorough the United States comply with Your Holiness' Address on Immigration Reform if they do not even obey Jesus to celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy on the first Sunday after Easter?
From the history and precedent of non-compliance with instructions from Jesus and popes — American cardinals, bishops and parish priests are free to follow their own lead without consequence.
From the above examples, it is evident parish priests, bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church in the USA are free to celebrate or not celebrate a Catholic Church feast day much less to evangelize on a current national issue that has a enormous impact on the future of the Catholic Church in America — Immigration Reform that will enable all Hispanic Catholics to become full participants in the United States of America and also to keep the Catholic Churches vibrant and full of Catholics.
81 years ago, Jesus instructed St. Faustina on celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. Today this celebration can only be found in a few churches in the USA. I maintain, only a few churches celebrate this feast day in the western part of the United States. One way to change this is to start a new Western National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Arizona or New Mexico to serve the southwest and western part of the United States.
This is one of my intents and purposes of sharing this writing with Your Holiness to ask for Your blessing to begin the Western National Shrine of Divine Mercy to spread the message of the Divine Mercy throughout the western USA.
USA Catholic Dioceses have become Individual Fiefdoms
We are open to a dialog with the Catholic Church but who speaks for the Catholic Church? There is no centralized leadership since Rome does not speak for the dioceses of the USA. The USA dioceses have become individual fiefdoms.
The proof is in the failure of the Catholic Church to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. It has been 81 years since Jesus told St. Faustina on February 22, 1931, He wanted the Divine Mercy image to be "solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday to be the Feast of Mercy."
Yet, Catholic priests fail throughout the USA to celebrate the Feast of Mercy.
If the Catholic Church has no control over its priests, Hispanics/Latinos believe bishops and priests will never become advocates for Immigration Reform especially when there many like Olmsted serving as bishops across the USA.
Hispanics/Latinos can not wait 81 years for Immigration Reform.
President Obama’s term so far has seen more than 1.2 million Hispanic/Latino deportations — more than any other president, including former President Bush.
All would welcome Immigration Reform support from the Catholic Church but to date no help is forthcoming. To add insult to pain, there are bishops and priests who support these deportations.
1.2 million deportations by Obama are approximately 3,000 deportations per day and clearly this is not acceptable. The 1.2 million deportations leave behind countless children and mothers who can not afford to maintain families.
The original purpose of my letter to Your Holiness was to apprise Your Holiness of the State of Catholic Church in the USA.
There will be also letters to the Laity of Catholic dioceses and parishes in the USA and all other Christian Churches to forge a coalition to work to advance Immigration Reform in the United States modeled after the Cuban Rule of Law regarding entry into the United States.
A secondary intent is to solicit information from the Laity of all USA dioceses and parishes on the degree of evangelization being provided in each diocese and parish. What is happening in Phoenix is occurring in other dioceses and parishes in the USA.
There should not have to be a papal degree mandating any certain action and it is transparent from this letter, even if there were a papal degree mandating Immigration Reform, cardinals, bishops and priests would not follow a Immigration Reform mandate. Conscience is a much better litmus test to have each cardinal, bishop and priest be sensitive and compassionate to do what is right without having to be told to do the right thing but this does not work with Catholic Church cardinals, bishops and priests that are not obedient to the will of Jesus.
The number of church statues in any Church means nothing if there is no message or action. It is all in the message or prime directive given by Jesus to Peter, "Feed my lambs, then tend my sheep, and lastly feed my sheep."
If the intent of Your Holiness' letter to the USA's bishops is to bring about change to welcome all immigrants to the Church, it will take more than a letter.
It will take removal of those bishops who have not welcomed immigrants.
The purpose of this letter to Your Holiness is to provide documentation bishops on their own to evangelize change in welcoming immigrants into the Church has not worked.
Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."
We await Your Holiness replacing Thomas J. Olmsted as the bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix and all other bishops in the USA who do not condemn the abuse of the civil rights of Hispanics and show no empathy for immigrants.
Your Holiness, in March 1983, as Cardinal Ratzinger, You praised in some respects Liberation Theology, including its ideal of justice, its rejection of violence, and its stress on "the responsibility which Christians necessarily bear for the poor and oppressed."
In August, 1984, as Cardinal Ratzinger, You also stated Christ's teaching on the poor means we will be judged when we die, and at the final judgment, with particular attention to how we personally have treated the poor.
In 1987, I had a semi private audience with Pope John Paul II in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1991, I visited Warsaw, Poland. I spent a week exploring Warsaw visiting churches searching for Pope John Paul II's footprints. As much as I respect Pope John Paul II, I did not agree with Pope John Paul II's and Your Holiness' elimination of Liberation Theology in Mexico, Central and South America. This act of the Catholic Church opposing Liberation Theology opened the flood gates of Mexican, Central and South American Catholics to abandon the Catholic Church to beginning Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Baptist churches and the flight of America's Hispanics to these other churches continues.
There is already a 15% decline in U.S. Catholic membership since 2000 as readily can be seen in Catholic Churches in the Northeast. A study by The Barna Group compared the faith of Hispanics today to their faith profile of 15 years ago and found 11 faith dimensions on which there had been substantial change.
Barna found Hispanics' alignment with the Catholic Church was down by 25 percentage points. If this trend continues, the decline of the Catholic Church will be fatal.
Hispanics now account for more than 17 percent of the U.S. populace as the nation’s largest minority group. And while other demographic sectors are growing only incrementally, the Hispanic population is exploding: The Census Bureau projects 30 percent of Americans will be Hispanic by 2050 and by 2097, 50% of all Americans will be Hispanic.
By 2097, other minorities will comprise 44% of the population of the United States leaving 6% whites.
With only 6% of the total population in 2097 being white, the number of white Catholics will be near zero thus the Catholic Church in America will no longer exist.
Please do not make the same mistake as Pope John Paul II and Your Holiness did eliminating Liberation Theology and in doing so eliminating a participating role for the Laity.
I also ask bishops who do not abide with the will of Jesus and do not adhere to the mandate of the Catholic Church be removed from office. You must begin with Olmsted.
The Catholic Church continues to be led by the Church hierarchy but this has failed to provide leadership and fullness of participation by the Laity. The only way to resolve any of this is to provide a seat at the table to the Laity. We, the Laity not the hierarchy, have documented abuses of our civil rights and shown the Catholic Church in Phoenix by its silence condones these abuses.
Please be advised there are countless other dioceses and Catholic Churches in the USA identical to Phoenix.
Unless these changes are made, we will be forced to seek the Divine Mercy of Jesus in other Churches or to start The American Catholic Church of Divine Mercy.
The future of the Catholic Church in the world is in Your Holiness' hands.
The future of the Catholic Church in the USA is in the hands of America's Hispanics/Latinos.
Unless we receive inclusion in the process to bring about change, we have no alternative but to seek Jesus in another church.
I began this writing with, "Taxation without representation resulted in The Declaration of Independence" adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
It would appear, the time has come to declare "Without Laity representation, 'a new Declaration of Independence' dictates we must establish a new church."
The most profound statistic ever published by the Unites States Census Bureau: In 2097, 50% of the entire US population will be Hispanic.
Next best: In 2050, 30% of the entire US population will be Hispanic.
Benjamin Disraeli coined the phrase: "Change is inevitable. Change is constant."
How we deal with change becomes the test of our character.
God Bless the Church that accepts Hispanics/Latinos equally as full members of the Church. This appears not to be the Catholic Church.
God Bless the Church that accepts, endorses and supports Immigration Reform in action and not just political statements.
God Bless the Church that celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday as Jesus asked and certainly this is not the Catholic Church.