US Catholics have condemned comments made by Donald’s Trump’s ex-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon who said the Church only supports migrants to fill churches, with a New York cardinal dubbing them “preposterous”.
Mr Bannon criticised the Church’s decision to oppose ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme, saying they are “unable to come to grips with the problems in the Church, they need illegal aliens. They need illegal aliens to fill the churches. It’s obvious on the face of it”.
The Daca programme protects children that are brought to the country illegally from being deported.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York said on US radio: “I don’t really care to go into what I think is 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.
“The Bible is so clear, so clear, that to treat the immigrant with dignity and respect, to make sure that society is just in its treatment of the immigrant is Biblical mandate.”
The Daca programme was introduced in 2012 by the Obama administration.
Fr Sean McManus of the Irish National Caucus, the Irish human rights lobby on Capitol Hill, described Bannon’s comments as “crass and vicious”.
“No anti-Catholic outburst could possibly be more offensive to lay Catholics, priests and bishops,” he said.