LEXINGTON, Ky. (ChurchMilitant.com) - As the Church in America groans under the weight of the widening clerical sex abuse crisis, a Kentucky prelate is chastising the United States for enforcing immigration policy.
On Tuesday, Lexington Bp. John Stowe published an article in America magazine lobbying for illegal migrants.
Slamming efforts to enforce U.S. law, Stowe wrote that he is "profoundly disturbed" by President Donald Trump's approach to illegal immigration, calling it a "horror." The bishop condemned the deportation of illegal immigrants, calling it "an unimaginable kind of human cruelty."
He blasted the United States, asserting it lacks "the political will" to guarantee "human rights" and "provide protection in the workplace" for those in the country unlawfully.
Falsely equating legal immigrants with illegal migrants, the bishop said all Americans "were once aliens in a foreign land."
Throughout his essay, Stowe spoke of "the children," suggesting the country's legacy will be defined according to their treatment.
Pointing to the Final Judgment described in Matthew 25:31–46, Stowe warned the United States will face God's wrath for enforcing its immigration laws:
I am afraid that in our individualized existence we in the United States fail to hear that in the opening lines of this judgment scene Christ arrives, throned in glory, to judge the nations. It is the nations that are divided like sheep from goats, depending on their treatment of Christ present in the most needy.
He added that U.S. bishops and their like-minded allies "affirm the presence of Jesus in the outcast and exploited whose humanity has been disrespected and whose rights have been trampled."
Stowe's attempt to prick Catholics' consciences is being described by some as remarkably tone-deaf.
In the two months since the crimes of former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick were exposed, faithful Catholics note, the bishop of Lexington has expressed no horror over the scandal.
They observe that, as wave after wave of clerical sex abuse victims step forward to tell their stories, Stowe has remained silent on the unimaginable cruelty they've suffered.
They note the Kentucky prelate has yet to speak out against U.S. bishops' lack of will to guarantee the rights of young Catholics and provide protection in churches, rectories and seminaries from sexual assault.
They notice his failure to warn brother bishops that their legacy will be defined according to their treatment of those under their authority.
Stowe, they point out, is mute on the prospect that bishops perpetrating sexual abuse — and bishops facilitating it by their silence — will face God's wrath for violating His moral laws.
They note he's said nothing about exploited altar boys, seminarians and young priests whose rights and dignity have been trampled.
Widely recognized for his leftist views, Bp. Stowe's silence on the clerical sex abuse crisis contrasts with his outspoken demonstrations of support for homosexuality.
In June, the bishop allowed a rainbow banner to be placed outside St. Paul Church in Lexington in celebration of "Pride Month."
In April 2017, Stowe spoke at a New Ways Ministry's symposium titled "Justice and Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis" in Chicago.
Stowe has suggested the Church might one day declare gay sex morally licit, and criticized the Church's description of homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered."
"I think it's fair to say that the language is not helpful," he remarked during a 2017 interview. "We live in an age of sound bites, and to hear just that phrase is tantamount to hearing an outright rejection."
"That can't be the message of the gospel," he insisted. "That was not Jesus' approach."