The New Word Salad from the Vatican Contains Broken Glass: Deportation Is Just as Evil as Slavery

By John Zmirak Published on April 16, 2024

There’s a new document from the Vatican, called Dignitas Infinita. It claims that by virtue of being created in God’s image, we each possess “infinite dignity” unaffected by original or even personal sin. So Hell is probably empty. And Christ really didn’t need to be a substitutionary sacrifice for us. His mission was more of an “attaboy” for humanity.

The Stream found two brilliant theologians (Catholic converts Gavin Ashenden and Jules Gomes) to write about the serious doctrinal problems in this pompous, tedious document. I’m not going to address those, except in passing, because in one way they really don’t matter — not to you, the reader, or to serious Catholics. As with our evangelical friends, those well-formed in their faith already know that when it comes to statements by Pope Francis, if it’s true it isn’t new, and if it’s new it isn’t true.

Of course, that’s the core principle of apostolic tradition: the pope is meant to pass along (traditio) unchanged the doctrines of the apostles, perhaps with little clarifications and up-to-date explanations. Anything that’s a genuine novelty is false by definition. When we read that Pope Francis still (for the moment) disapproves of transgenderism, we yawn. He doesn’t have the power to approve of it, and if he did we would defy him.

I wish it were “no biggie” when a pope does preach some new, heretical doctrine — as Francis has on several occasions and as this new document does. But in fact, it’s tragic. It’s an act of vandalism of historic dimensions, like our Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade in 1973, which tainted our system of justice for decades and corrupted the rule of law, or like a presidential election getting stolen and the thieves imprisoning citizens for protesting.

The Wolves in Shepherds’ Clothing

I’ve written a long piece over at Chronicles — too long and too “spicy” for The Stream — arguing that Pope Francis is not a Catholic, and probably is an atheist. That perhaps he was one of the many Communist agents who decades ago obeyed Party orders and entered our seminaries to sabotage the Church.

The Stream has already documented that Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, who authored Dignitas Infinita, is an unrepentant public heretic. Fernandez has written that any adult sexual activity, without reference to marriage, can bring people closer to God. That’s not Catholic, Christian, or even Judeo-Christian. In fact, it’s the occult doctrine first preached by warlock Aleister Crowley and adopted by sexual revolutionary Margaret Sanger. A Catholic sex abuse victim told The Ruth Institute recently that Fernández’s sex rhetoric came as a gut punch, sounding to her like the sophistry perverted priests use to “groom” children before molesting them.

So any effort to deport any immigrant for any reason is intrinsically evil, on the same level as the slave trade.

The new Vatican document won’t change the mind of a single serious Catholic about the issues it discusses. Nor will it convince liberal Catholics to agree that transgenderism and surrogate motherhood (two evils it does condemn) are wrong. The theological impact of Dignitas Infinita will be the same as those vaporous, lofty-sounding United Nations papers affirming “human rights” that North Korea and Iran vote for: zero.

A Crackpot Leftist Utopia

But there might well be a political impact flowing from Dignitas Infinita, and that’s really what nonbelievers such as Pope Francis and Cardinal Fernández care about anyway. Sure, they’re happy to vandalize our church and persecute true believers. Neither man (nor any of their ecclesiastical allies) is much interested in religion. In cold fact, they are just politicians who lacked the brains and talent to gain power by more conventional means.

Among the tortuous, sophomoric arguments, blank, unsupported assertions, and quotations of Pope Francis quoting and citing himself, there are some political time bombs — which of course, are the document’s whole reason for being written. This Vatican in 2017 endorsed a completely crackpot, utopian program of radical leftist politics that comes close to Maoist Communism, as The Stream documented at the time. Points in that program include totally open borders, forced redistribution of wealth, and using Catholic parishes to hide illegal immigrants from the police.

Turning Agitprop into Doctrine

This new Vatican document further codifies elements of that leftist agenda and tries to make them mandatory for Catholics. It teaches that capital punishment is always and was always wrong — even when God demanded it in the Covenant of Noah and Pius XII supported it for the Nazi mass murderers at Nuremburg.

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This claim about the death penalty accomplishes two key goals for Francis and his allies: In the theological realm, it sets a precedent for the Vatican overruling the Bible itself, and reversing almost 2,000 years of Catholic doctrine. If the Vatican gets away with that, in five years or two years, this precedent will be used to approve of sacramental same-sex marriages — as the powerful bishops of Germany are already demanding. The LGBTQIA2S+ lobby is more powerful among Catholic priests than in most other sectors of society, apart from Broadway theater and haute couture fashion.

On the political front, this gives pro-abortion politicians with Irish or Italian last names like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi a cudgel to use against pro-life Catholics — who mostly (and rightly) support the biblical position on the death penalty. Suddenly, we’re “dissenters” too, arguably no better Catholics than Andrew Cuomo or Xavier Becerra.

Turning ICE into Slave Traders

The second and more explosive time bomb ticking under the platitudes of Dignitas Infinita concerns immigration. Paragraph 34 quotes one of the more insipid passages from Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes (an embarrassing effusion by clueless bishops about the glories of progress and modernity written less than a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, while Mao Zedong was imposing mass starvation in China). Here’s the passage which globalist politicians and their “Catholic” supporters will quote to rally churchgoers against any effort to defend the sovereignty of First World countries against the mass illegal influx of future welfare clients, squatters, and sharia supporters:

In addressing some of the many grave violations of human dignity today, we can draw upon the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which emphasized that “all offenses against life itself, such as murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, and willful suicide” must be recognized as contrary to human dignity. Furthermore, the Council affirmed that “all violations of the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture, undue psychological pressures,” also infringe upon our dignity. Finally, it denounced “all offenses against human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children, degrading working conditions where individuals are treated as mere tools for profit rather than free and responsible persons.” Here, one should also mention the death penalty, for this also violates the inalienable dignity of every person, regardless of the circumstances. In this regard, we must recognize that “the firm rejection of the death penalty shows to what extent it is possible to recognize the inalienable dignity of every human being and to accept that he or she has a place in this universe. If I do not deny that dignity to the worst of criminals, I will not deny it to anyone. I will give everyone the possibility of sharing this planet with me, despite all our differences.” It is also fitting to reaffirm the dignity of those who are incarcerated, who often must live in undignified conditions. [emphasis added]

Did you catch that? Tucked away in a list of barbaric and cruel practices such as slavery and arbitrary imprisonment is … “deportation.” So any effort to deport any immigrant for any reason is intrinsically evil, on the same level as the slave trade.

That’s precisely the stance U.S. bishops took all through Donald Trump’s presidency. Don’t mistake it for a principled position; as we’ve documented here, the U.S. bishops and their captive “charities” collected some $3 billion from the taxpayer for processing immigrants — the same amount, dollar for dollar, they had to pay out to victims of priestly sex abuse.

Now the Vatican is proposing to make that cynical, mercenary position into binding Catholic doctrine. Well played, Screwtape, well played.


John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or coauthor of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. His upcoming book is No Second Amendment, No First.

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