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  1. #1
    Senior Member Virginiamama's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    PA- Diocese bishop says church will defy alien regulations ... cleID=5488

    Monday, October 09, 2006 — Time: 9:31:02 AM EST

    Diocese bishop says church will defy alien regulations

    By William Kibler,

    Bishop Joseph V. Adamec

    In a letter on the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese Web site, Bishop Joseph V. Adamec warns that the church won’t cooperate with a provision of the city’s illegal aliens ordinance that took effect Saturday.

    The provision limits agencies from providing emergency aid for illegals to “a period not to exceed 30 days.”

    Church officials will seek clarification but fear it may impose an untenable restriction on charity.

    “This diocesan church will have no alternative but to assist those in need,” Adamec states in his letter.

    He adds a pointed joke:

    “Should I end up in prison, please write.”

    Mayor Wayne Hippo considers Adamec’s response ironic because the intent of adding the provision was to soften the ordinance to show “we’re not the heartless individuals we’re portrayed while still keeping some teeth.”

    The ordinance punishes businesses that employ and landlords who rent to illegals.

    Penalties include loss of licenses and fines.

    The ordinance does not specify penalties for agencies that violate the emergency aid limit, and that’s deliberate, Hippo said.

    It isn’t meant to punish the agencies but to keep people from being “thrown out on the street,” he said.

    The 30-day grace period would give time for the law to deal with illegals while preventing agencies from taking advantage and extending “emergency aid” indefinitely, he said.

    Adamec opposes the ordinance overall because it has the potential “of putting families out on the street,” he said in the letter.

    He doesn’t endorse illegal immigration or oppose border security, but he doesn’t like the ordinance’s recruitment of property owners and employers to root out “families that have been allowed to live among us for years” by lax federal enforcement of immigration laws.

    “[The] scriptures exhort God’s people to treat the aliens living among them justly,” he said.

    Undocumented immigrants are “human beings and children of God,” with “a dignity that needs to be respected,” he said.

    Adamec’s arguments jibe with those of the National Conference of Bishops and Catholic Charities USA, an advisory association, said Candy Hill, senior vice president for social policy.

    “It’s what we’re all about,” she said.

    If Adamec chooses to ignore the law, he can’t help it “any more than I can help it when anyone else chooses to ignore the law,” Hippo said.

    Hill suggested that most Americans would have crossed an arbitrary boundary line if it meant giving their families a decent place to live and better access to food and water.

    The local Catholic Charities office is reviewing its options and doing research on the ordinance, said Father Luke Robertson, executive director.

    Altoona Regional Health System also doesn’t expect to conform to the emergency assistance limitations of the ordinance.

    The federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requires hospitals with emergency departments to provide medical screening to anyone who comes to the emergency department, and if that identifies an emergency condition, to treat the condition, hospital attorney Vicki Wertz said.

    If such a patient needs to be admitted, “we admit and treat until the patient no longer needs acute-care services, regardless of how long that may take,” she wrote in an e-mail.

    The health system also does not plan to stint on treatment of people admitted by a doctor’s order, which is the only other way someone becomes a patient.

    “In such a case, we follow physician orders for testing without regard to citizenship status,” Wertz said.

    Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.
    Equal rights for all, special privileges for none. Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Miami, Florida
    I just don't get the Catholic church. They call assisting illegals charity. Then they claim that they are the children of God but so are murderers, rapists and pedophiles as they are all felonsl. Gee their attitudes on the last 3 are not the same. This is why I believe in God and say my prayers every night but do not go to church.
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