I don’t find the labels “conservative” and “liberal” very helpful. The truth is, the criterion for these categories changes regularly. Whatever these terms mean today is different from what they meant 20 years ago or will mean 20 years from now. They have varying meanings from country to country, too. That said, I don’t think I would have fit any definition of a liberal at any point in my life.
To give an example, one of the social justice issues on which I have been most outspoken has been abortion. I have protested and prayed and marched, and I've worked with crisis pregnancy
centers. I will always speak out in defense of the life of the innocent unborn child. I try to base my convictions not on any ideological divide but upon the Gospel and the principles that come to us through the 2,000 years of Spirit-guided teaching of the Church. I love the beauty and utter consistency of this teaching. Because of its source, I also find this teaching much more reliable than any conclusion I would
come to on my own.
The Church professes the dignity of the human person from womb to tomb and at every point in between. This dignity doesn’t depend upon where a person may be, in the womb or out, within our country or not. It doesn’t depend upon their status, whether they are rich or poor, male or female, with documents or without. These distinctions may have some usefulness, but they do not touch upon the fundamental worth of the person. The teachings of Jesus are far more than nice-sounding phrases or slogans.
Jesus calls us to apply and live them. So when Jesus says that we’re not simply to love those who love us, pointing out that the pagans do as much, it’s clear that as his disciples we're to love even our enemies, to really love them! He is serious. And if we should love even our enemies, how much more so are we called to love the poor, vulnerable and unloved?
This brings me back to my involvement in the cause of those who have come to our country without documents. There is really nothing complicated about it. I have heard the Lord's call. I have also had the opportunity to know many of these immigrants personally and to hear their stories, to know their human dignity and their goodness…and to love them.
What more need be said?