It seems to me that Richard John Neuhaus is becoming the "nagging mother" of the political scene, and his remarks about Cardinal Mahony's immigration policy are not only unfair but also tendentious (The Public Square, August/September). Everyone knows Fr. Neuhaus' polkical persuasions, and I say this not in criticism of them but because I agree with much of his political commentary. But it is well known that Cardinal Mahony is slightly left of Fr. Neuhaus' political and theological center--and that seems to be the basis for Fr. Neuhaus' remarks.
Who does not remember the "good bishop" of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables who certainly "broke the law" in his kindness to an escaped criminal. There is a moral core to Cardinal Mahony's immigration policy, beyond politics and beyond any political persuasion, and Cardinal Mahony is more in the tradition of Catholic social and moral teaching than Fr. Neuhaus' remarks.
Most of the immigrants are fleeing a poverty and economic wretchedness far greater than the destitution of Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo's great classic, and if it is unlawful to harbor them and give them hospitality, then there is something immoral and un-Christian about these laws.
I don't know the solution to the immigration crisis, and I suspect that Cardinal Mahony is in agony over this overwhelming input of poor and destitute people. Fr. Neuhaus would do better to send a large donation to Cardinal...