**A disclaimer needs to be made here, there are some fine individual Bishops, some I happen to count amongst my circle of friends....this critique is addressed to the staffers, more than likely because I do not know to what degree the individual Bishops are involved in the day to day process.
a. The giving authority to issues that are of prudential judgement.
Here's the statement on immigration reform
Two people can disagree on how this is best to be done, you can read for yourselves the position of the conference (which of course this is a matter of prudential judgement, so yes, you can disagree)...And while they do quote the catechism (rather make references), I respectfully disagree with the approach that the USCCB holds.
I do recognize this is a complex situation, and a solution really won't satisfy everyone, but, I think I can appease just about everyone with my own proposals for immigration reform, which take up much less than 12 000 words.
1) Enforce the laws that are on the books, or if the feds aren't going to (or don't have the man power to do so) allow the states to enforce those laws. Many hands make light work, it's a lot easier if more people do less than less people doing more. As the old saying goes, what good is law, if there's no way to enforce it?
2) Secure the border....use man power, whether from the states or from the feds to enforce the borders (all of them, not just the mexican border)...build a fence, just get it done.
3) Because we're broke, it's really not feasible to deport everyone...well, easy solution....give all illegal immigrants pink (not to be confused with green) cards.. This differentiates them from those who are legally here (green cards)...possession of a pink card does not allow one to the rights of being a US citizen, with the pink card, you're not allowed to apply for citizenship for 1/2 the time you've been in the US. (So if you've been in US for 20, you can't apply for 10 years)...and must pay the equivalent in tax returns based upon any salary that would be earned during that period. Those eligible for a pink card would not be those for whose visas have expired, or for those that have lost their paperwork, those are situations that should be handled on a case by case basis.
4) Criminals should be deported immediately, absolutely no exceptions
5) Streamline the process as to get the paperwork done quicker. Eliminate useless steps, bottom line with the technology that exists, it shouldn't take years to process paperwork. Have people working 24 hours on these things.
There are other examples, but of course, this is merely meant to be highlighted
b. Need we mention their support for virtually every big gov't program: Social Security, Gun Control, Support of gov't run healthcare, and the litany of offenses goes on and on.
We are by no means bound to agree with the Bishops on issues of prudential judgement....(While certainly their arguments should be heard, they are our Bishops after all, by no means are the situations that are outside the scope of Faith and Morals, bound to be listened to.
So next time you hear about "Immigration reform" position of the USCCB, yes, you can oppose it....
The above said, do pray for Our Bishops, they definitely need our prayers, and in the words of my former spiritual director, Ordination does not eliminate ignorance.