How Come They Get to Have a Wall and We Don’t?

And a nice looking one at that.

And another thing, the Vatican has a very restrictive immigration policy. In fact, by some accounts, it’s strictest one of all. Only the wives of Swiss Guards are allowed to get citizenship, for example. And everyone has to be Catholic and speak Italian. How exclusivist is that?

Look, I don’t want to rain on Pope Francis’ parade, he’s a great guy and all, but can we just call a spade a spade for once? Why is it OK for a foreign head of state to come to Congress and lecture us about our immigration policy? Isn’t that a tad hypocritical? Especially when the Vatican City has no open door policy of its own?

Just sayin’.


  1. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Gee, the Pope is somewhat more than a head of state. That’s scraping the bottom of the barrel for a half-baked diss! I mean—who does he think he is—— running OUR KIMMY off the front page?

    • Isa Almisry says

      A friend of mine, a partisan of the Vatican, put it best “I open my home to a neighbor in his hour of need. What mandates that I have to then put his name on the deed to my house?”

  2. George,

    If you are trying to be funny and tongue-in-cheek, I can go along and have a chuckle. But, if you are serious, a comment like that is enough to send the crazies into a chest-thumping tirade.

    I read some of the ultra-conservative sites today to see their take on Pope Frances’ visit and was so completely sickened by the comments that it really made be rethink how ugly and simply ungrateful Americans can be if they are baited by political “icons.” Yes, the left has their crazies too with obedient followers, but it goes to prove that as a nation, we have lost the art of civility and the necessity of listening to another point of view.

    I can hear someone like the current polling front-runner for the GOP saying what you said, except if he said it, sadly people would really believe it and take it to the next level of intolerance and incivility.

    I hope you were just trying to be funny and not serious about the Vatican wall and immigrants. But if you were, then you should give credit to the original source of this idea..

    Just say’n.

    • George Michalopulos says

      There’s a huge difference between tearing down a wall that was dividing an organic country into free and captive halves and one that wants to protect its people from invasion.

      Using your logic one could say that there is no difference between marital relations and sexual assault.

      • George,

        I am not sure who you were writing your response to, it certainly wasn’t me because you didn’t address anything I said. Anyway, stop plagiarizing sources and give credit for the idea, unless Beibart got it from you.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        In Other News:

        Afghanistan is about to fall to the Tabilan:–abc-news-topstories.html

        So we lost Iraq to ISIS and it looks from preliminary report that we are going to lose Afghanistan. I am sure glad we went to war in these two countries…NOT! Looking at all this from the outside I can see that we have destabilized and/or gone to war with several Middle Eastern Countries:

        1.) Iraq
        2.) Afghanistan
        3.) Egypt
        4.) Lybia
        5.) Yemen (Via our good friends the Saudi’s)

        And currently on the chopping Block:

        6.) Syria.

        Wow! I wonder if all this was planned by our Military and Government? Well:

        On a somewhat lighter note it looks like our Neo-Fascist One World Government is coming along just nicely:

        I wonder how they will begin to implement their population development agenda? I just can’t wait boys and girls.

        And finally, let’s not forget the synchronization of all religions into one world religion:


        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          In addition, Vladimir Putin gave a great speech at the U.N.

          The entire article cannot attack Putin, but if you notice look at what they put in at the end of the article? The death of children by this war that Assad is responsible for. That’s the take away to smear Assad and Putin without actually using their names.

          We are so determined to go to war with Syria. Again why? Maybe because our two biggest allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Israel do not like Iranian Hegemony growing in their neck of the woods and the USA needs to get in there to kick Ass-ad out? Hmmmm?

          Let’s hope we are not duped again.


  3. I welcome Pope Francis’s sage comments on our contemporary culture, american and in general. That doesn’t mean that I’d ever consider turning catholic.

    After all, the Dalai Lama has many helpful things to say, too….

    • George Michalopulos says

      He could have been a little more forceful in defending pre-born life. I for one am angered with the conflation of innocent lives with those of murderers.

      And another thing: can we retire this silly canard that Joseph and Mary were “homeless” when Jesus was born? For Chrissakes’ they had a comfortable abode and living back in Nazareth. They were “homeless” only to the same extent that my family was homeless when we traveled to Disneyland and had to stay at the Holiday Inn. Likewise Joseph would have provided better accommodations in Bethlehem had any been available.

      That’s nothing but a slander at St Joseph.

  4. Fr.ByronWoolcock says

    Dear Friend,
    I have not been reading your site long enough to know if you, as some of your readers do, refer to the great Latin
    Church as The Catholic Church”.Back in High School we used a book Words Are Important” and many of us pray
    words of our Faith in the great Creeds each day. Also, as you well know, the official title for the Holy Orthodox Church includes “Catholic”. I am more than aware of the great debates between East and West etc. but just like
    to be aware, outside of obvious contexts, just what is being referred to. Today’s comments include one from Monk
    James whom, I hope I assume rightly, is already “Catholic”. As a new reader here I stand to be corrected and also
    send love and prayers to all.

    • Priest Woolcock,
      GET REAL. Everyone refers to the church of Rome as the Catholic Church. To be pedantic is not to be clever.

      • Isa Almisry says

        “Priest Woolcock,
        GET REAL. Everyone refers to the church of Rome as the Catholic Church. To be pedantic is not to be clever.”

        A blast from the past:”If everyone jumped off a cliff…..”

        • Here’s another blast from the past for Isa: “Sticks and stones….” Only that old adage is dead wrong. Names and labels do matter, and they can be used to hurt, especially if they are used derisively or to make an obscure and contested theological point that is lost on 99% of all Christians.

          Some Americans after the experience of the last fifteen years would refer to any Arab indiscriminately as a “terrorist.” Are the Arabs like Isa okay with that? Does using that term serve any purpose except to divide people?

          • Isa Almisry says

            It seems Americans have the opposite problem, coddling the terrorists and all but forgetting the existence of Arab Christians.

            The Church that confesses the Orthodox Faith is the Catholic Church. There is no other. If you don’t like truth in labeling, it’s your confusion, not my problem.

          • Estonian Slovak says

            OK, let’s talk about labels. How about when a guy like me gets labeled as a “racist” at his job by pro-gay leftwing activists because he opposes same-sex marriage? Even a leftist like my brother agrees the one has nothing to do with the other.

      • Thomas Barker says

        Fr. Byron Woolcock is a deeply prolife Anglican priest. Couldn’t we be a bit more welcoming on his first comment?

        • TB:

          Fr. Byron Woolcock is a deeply prolife Anglican priest.

          Three questions for TB. 1. Is being deeply prolife like being very unique? 2. When did priests begin to use the prefix Fr.? 3. If he’s Anglican, does that make him Catholic?

          • Answers:

            1. For Anglicans today, yes it is unique. I hope he is in one of the groups that have severed relations with the Episcopal Church.

            2. St. Paul refers to himself as the spiritual father of many and to some as his spiritual sons.

            3. No. But in the self-image of Anglo-Catholics (i.e., high church Anglicans) they are one of the “branches” of the Catholic Church, along with the Romans and the Orthodox. Thus the tendency of a certain type of Anglican to refer to Rome as “Roman Catholic” rather than “Catholic” since Rome, for them, is not the only “catholic” church. For us Orthodox, of course, the Orthodox Church alone is the “catholic” Church. However, Met. Kallistos in his book, The Orthodox Church, does refer to traditional Anglo-Catholics as being “virtually Orthodox”, though I would not go that far.

          • Thomas Barker says

            Answers for OOM:

            MIsha’s answers are better than mine. (Thank you MIsha.) I add the following.

            1.) I was hoping that Father Woolcock is a self-radicalized Episcopalian (or Canadian Anglican) because I find that often they have interesting perspectives to share.

            2.) For a year I lived in Canada and attended an Anglican church. As in the ECUSA, an Anglican male priest is addressed as “Father” so and so. As to the earliest use of “Fr.” – it must be lost in the mists of time. You were kidding, right?

            3.) (Anglican -> Catholic?) Great open-ended, category question. Your Jesuit teachers would be proud.

    • Fr. Byron,

      You have a point. I try to refer to it as the “Roman Catholic Church”. It is not the “Catholic Church” but a heretical sect. The Orthodox Church is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. However, “Roman Catholic” I consider sort of a brand name. Have to call them something.

      • Isa Almisry says

        “Have to call them something.”

        • Isa,

          I try to avoid “papist” but may have to resurrect that epithet depending on where things go with the Phanar.

        • Isa:

          “Have to call them something.”

          The polite thing to do is to call them what they call themselves – “Catholics” – even if you and a few other sad pathetic small-minded Orthodox like you object to that use of the term.

          • Isa Almisry says

            Sorry, I was raised to believe lying was not polite.

            • Isa:

              Sorry, I was raised to believe lying was not polite.

              The designation “Catholic” when applied to the RCC is essentially semantically empty; it’s just a label that everybody uses without reference to its theological origin. And so using it according to prevailing custom does no violence to the truth.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        I was born here 67 years ago, so I know what I’m talking about. Others may have less first-hand experience of the matter.

        It is called the “Catholic Church”. When I was growing up, most people were in Protestant churches, but a lot of people were in the Catholic Church. My church, Immanuel Presbyterian, was just down the block from St. Patrick’s Catholic church. As it came to pass, my wife and I were married at St. Pat’s.

        We live about 6 or 7 blocks away from Immanuel Presby and St. Pat’s to this day.

        Sometimes it was, and is, called the “Roman Catholic Church”, but “Catholic Church” is more common.

        The Orthodox Church? Nobody ever heard of it back then. A few have heard of it now, but given the explanations I am constantly making even to well-educated people, they really are very few, even today.

  5. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Because he was invited?

    And do you think he was invited because he is a “foreign head of state”?

    If you invite me to speak, I say what I want, too.

  6. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    What a powerful Pope! Really powerful! When I was little, Pius was it–then John and John Paul and the gentle introverted Benedict. But Francis is a powerful genius.
    Of course, some of us prefer leaders like Kim the clerk…

    I bet he’ll go back home and try to stop those Vatican wags from making hysterically funny remarks about the Episcopal Assemblies and an allegedly educated hierarch who thinks St Andrew was the first Bishop of Byzantium and that he’s his successor! Oh, the days are WAY too short!

  7. James Denney says

    As an Orthodox Christian, I try to follow the New Testament’s admonitions to help the poor and less fortunate, and I try to encourage others to do so. However, this Bishop of Rome apparently believes the government should be passing legislation to compel individual citizens to do so, rather than deal with it as a matter of INDIVIDUAL CONSCIENCE, as Christ intended. Why else would he appear in front of our main LEGISLATIVE body? Legislatively forced contributions to the less fortunate are not Christian charity, and have many unintended negative consequences. The Bishop of Rome’s visit was pure leftist politics, from his global warming parroting to his immigration nonsense.

  8. Thomas Barker says

    No wall will be built for our land, which already contains conquered territories. Paterson, New Jersey and Dearborn, Michigan have fallen to the Mohammedans. Large swaths of Los Angeles, New York City and Minneapolis have suffered Muslim invasions. Angela Merkel, who is choreographing Germany’s third demolition of Europe, has inspired the Obama administration to import countless jihadis-in-training.

    • Yeah, because all Muslims are jihadis. Did it perhaps occur to you that these refugees are actually fleeing *from* ISIS and friends?

      • Thomas Barker says

        Yes, Matt, some are. But the stories NBC and CNN tell are highly sanitized. The Hungarians and Czechs are not afraid to show video of what’s really happening – of young men yelling Allahu Akbar as they throw rocks and bottles at police when they encounter a barrier. In the west we get the stories of crying children and docile pregnant women. And why are most of the women pregnant? Why the disproportionately large number of men in their 20’s and 30’s? From Kabul to Mosul the exhortation of the mullahs is “Go West young jihadi, Go West!”

        • “From Kabul to Mosul” – you have a pretty poor sense of geography if you think that’s where refugees are coming from.

          You must have had fun watching all those mullahs’ sermons though.

          • Thomas Barker says

            Matt, like it or not, cultural enrichment is coming to a street near you, funded by the involuntary generosity of the American taxpayer. Do you look forward to the throngs of walking testosterone grenades wandering through your neighborhood? Will you dare to bid them Merry Christmas?

            • Actually, my neighborhood is already full of Muslims. With the good food and friendly service in stores and kids who work hard in school, it’s a rough place to live. They don’t seem to be afraid to sell pork products and alcohol to me and I know a few of them are regulars at the local watering hole. It’s true I don’t bother wishing them a Merry Christmas but a few of them have uttered those two words to me.

              #creepingsharia indeed!

              ps and those “walking testosterone grenades” – I admire the turn of phrase, but we have plenty of those too and they’re generally not Muslim.

              • Thomas Barker says

                That’s very convenient for our discussion. I’d like to believe you, Matt.

                • So you are calling me a liar?

                  I am sorry that life experience is more complex than your stereotypes.

                  • Thomas Barker says

                    No Matt, I am not calling you a liar. I agree that real life is much more complex than the stereotypes I’ve used.

                    • Estonian Slovak says

                      You know,many Muslims DO wish Christian friends and coworkers, “Merry Christmas! “In fact,I’ve heard Imams over the radio telling them to do just that.

    • cynthia curran says

      Well, I was thinking of the 1600 year old wall of Constantinople, the Theodosian Walls well there worked for a long time but the fourth crusaders got in and the Ottoman Turks blast the walls up with cannon fire.

  9. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Dearborn Michigan compares very favorably with mostly non-Muslim Detroit.. My older sister and her husband moved to Henry Ford Retirement Village, from their former home in Bloonfield Hills/ She said Dearborn’s even nicer than it used yo be, although being mostly “Judenfrei” from back in Henry Ford’s day, it doesn’t have much of a cukturalife outside the rich Arabic culture!
    Thomas B. seems to have come down with a bad case of Jihadi-Envy, no? It’s a regular epidemic these days!

    Muslim invasions—too young to remember The Yellow Peril?

    • Thomas Barker says

      Your Grace,

      I must plead guilty to the charge of envy. The sons of the Crescent enjoy a Mediterranean cruise, followed by a walking tour of Greece and the Balkans, followed by a vacation in Eastern Europe, capped by stunning vistas of Austria and Germany. And then Fräuleins with large, pale green eyes, and dedicated to Willkommenskultur, beg them to come by for Apfelstrudel and who knows what. Is there a special penance for this kind of envy?

  10. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    George, I don’t know why it is, but when you write about the Vatican and the Roman Papacy, you really do seem to lose all semblance of reason.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fr, that’s a fair criticism. I try to be balanced, Lord knows, I have a great love for the Catholic Church. It’s just that I feel they’re throwing away the legacy of John Paul the Great and Benedict for the greetings of the marketplace.

      I was informed yesterday of a new book which exposes how the liberal wing of the RCC, led by some Western European bishops, conspired from the get-go to get rid of Benedict (sound familiar, anyone?) in order to place Bergoglio in power and institute modernist reforms. This book by the way is on the record: the conspirators actually admitted everything.

      This has profoundly distressed me. I’m sure it’s done even worse to my Traditionalist Catholic brethren who have suffered unremittingly since the Norvus Ordo mass and all the attendant gaucheries, scandals and whatnot that have riven the RCC.

      I still pray for a return to the sensibilities of the JPII/Ben era.

      • Daniel E Fall says

        Netanyahu was fiercely criticized by the left and the Pope now by the right.

        Frankly, I don’t find them to be the same…Pope wasn’t trying to defend Vatican City.

        In my humble opinion, foreign leaders have no place addressing the Congress.

        The Pope not far different.

      • Gregory Manning says

        I saw that too, George. Shades of Malachi Martin. It all fits in with those deliciously conspiratorial books he wrote.
        In regards to Francis I came across this comment someone submitted to Ad Orientem a year ago. It still seem to hold true:

        “The man is a good-hearted moron, and I mean that in a completely non-malicious way. He is a
        sentimental, gushing, huggy-bear and would make a great parish priest, but is in well over his head as Patriarch of an autocephalous Church.”

        Personally, I’d probably refrain from calling him a moron but the commentator’s overall view matches mine.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          I think this is very much yet to be seen. The Roman Catholic Church to its credit does take the long view. John Paul II was great for its “public relations” for many, many years, let us not forget. Francis is great for the same right now. Benedict could never be more than transitional after John Paul II.

          We shall see. I have my own fingers crossed.

        • “The man is a good-hearted moron, and I mean that in a completely non-malicious way. He is a
          sentimental, gushing, huggy-bear and would make a great parish priest, but is in well over his head as Patriarch of an autocephalous Church.”

          A clever quip (I know you are quoting someone else), but I have enough healthy respect for the RCC to say that I find it impossible to believe that anyone can make to the top of that particular heap without being a very sharp, politically savvy, and hard nosed operator. Francis’s image may be huggy bear, but I guarantee that it is just that. People are seeing what they want to see in Francis. He is a liberal, but he is no more a huggy-bear than are Hillary or Obama.

  11. Speaking of migrants, George’s friend V. Putin welcomes all sorts of Central Asian Muslims who do the work Russians don’t want to do, and even makes sure to visit their new mosque in Moscow:

    • European Russia’s population has been crashing for years. They abort their children at a faster rate than just about everywhere else in the world.

  12. A couple points:
    • The Vatican is a city-state and a tiny one at that. It would, perhaps, be more fair to compare the Vatican wall to the fence around the White House than the border of a country.
    • The Vatican does not have a “frontier” of thousands of desolate acres unlike our southern border. The conceptual need for security that both the United States and the Vatican share is of a different quantitative nature.
    • The symbolism of the Vatican wall is a point well taken. It does represent a medieval fortress. And, it must be admitted, that that fortress type wall is indicative of its sheer history.
    • One could argue that the wall is contradictory, given the Pope’s predisposition for advocating the pre-nation state concept of “open borders,” compassion for the poor, etc. Perhaps we are seeing the inevitable collision between gospel ideals and institutional realities.

  13. Another criticism could registered that since the Vatican/Pope has a number of real estate holdings in Europe, these, in lue of the Vatican proper, might be made available for refugees. I am not up of the latest news in that regard. Perhaps the Pope has ordered this to be done.

  14. Michael Kinsey says

    It is a simple and very understandable thing. Jesuit’s are trained and under strictest oath to act like a corpse to the will of their superior. As the Jesuits aim to rule the world. assuming everyone needs to act like a corpse as far thier concerned, to them. Their answer to anything that might appear like hypocrisy, is assume their superiority, and expect you to act like a corpse. They can have a wall, and tell you, you can’t , because it doesn’t suit their fancy. Moral arbitrariness is their exclusive privileged, and they got more money then just about everybody, too. I would like to have the discipline they have to do the will of their Jesuit superior, but I want to apply it exclusively, to the Will of God. Pope Francis, Tear down that wall!!

  15. Stop the Invaders says

    One of these days Americans will wake up and realize they have been on the wrong side of history. WWI and WWII were about stealing land and creating the terrorist state of Israel. Israel built a wall to keep out the invading hordes of moslem invaders, but the dummies in Europe and America want to let them in to destroy what remains of Western culture. Israel runs Europe and Amer-CIA. The CIA is ISIS is Mossad. Good ol’ boys from Oklahoma are not strong enough to resist the demonic forces operating in the world. That dead Syrian boy was an emotional hoax…just like 9/11…just like the so-called Holocaust. Quit being suckered in by all this nonsense. Go to church and pray to the One who has overcome the world.

  16. M. Stankovich says

    As I watched the visitation of the pope, all I could think of was Checkov’s short story, The Bishop, the man standing on his cathedra during the services of Holy Week, feeling so distant, so detached from the faithful (what to say, what to do in their presence, how to act); juxtaposed with the feelings of the faithful, so detached from “Vladyka” (what to say, what to do in his presence, how to act). And how many times I have seen it played out in our parishes: priests speak of “just getting through it,” choir directors live in terror, the Deacons are taking anti-anxiety meds, and on and on it goes. And the pope quietly walks into the US Congress quoting Matt. 25, and the most cantankerous of individuals are brought to tears by his request that they pray for his strength! It was neither a religious nor a state event, but rather a human event. “What’s in the bag the pope is carrying?” the press wants to know. A toothbrush, a prayerbook, the Bible, a novel, and his slippers. Whatever else you wish to say about him, he strives to be whatever Chechov’s bishop in his humanity is not: warm, tactile/touching, listening, comforting, peaceful, confident, and fatherly. And he knows this will not be accomplished from the head seat at the banquet table. It seems to me he was a lesson in the humanity of bishops.

  17. cynthia curran says

    Well, I read about their being microbes on Mars this made me think of God more than the pope. Mars might have had oceans like Earth centuries ago.

  18. Thomas Barker says

    The Bulgarian Orthodox Church urges government to stop migrants:

    “We consider that our government should in no way allow more refugees into our country,” the church said in a statement, signed by Patriarch Neofit, the head of the Orthodox Church, and other members of the Holy Synod – the church’s top executive body.

  19. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    All this huffing and puffing and vapours about invasions and the necessity of walls….Besides NEVER working to keep enemies out, they often become the means of walling people IN.

  20. Those bastions of the Orthodox faith Russia and Greece ought to consider building walls of their own. They’re screwing things up so badly, anyone with half a brain and two kopeks to rub together is trying to find away to GET THE HELL OUT.

  21. I am not a fan of this Pope. He missed an unbelievable opportunity to address some of the issues that are eroding America. The family is (has been) under attack by the homosexual lobby (gay marriage). Abortion is approaching about 60 million? And Planned Parenthood is selling the body parts and organs of babies for profit. Did he address any of this? He made a few implications about the sanctity of life at all stages…..then quickly transitioned to the death penalty. He spoke about Christian liberty….but only in a general way. His real talking points focused on climate change, redistribution of wealth and immigration reform. The new age nuns that Benedict tried to reform and reign in….were given a free pass, thanked and praised by Francis. If I had been reading the script….I would have thought it was Obama speaking. The progressive liberals must be dancing in the streets. There is a Marxist feel about this Pope. Very disturbing.

    The world seems to love him.. Be watchful.

  22. M. Stankovich says

    Lord knows how I hate to soil to my hands with faggotry, but some men continually push you to the limit. Mitchell’s “objections” and conjecture in a grandiose “speculative guessing game” of what he “never quite nails down”; “never quite distinguishes,” and mightinclude in “same-sex expressions” of conjugal love (kissing, hugging, holding hands, etc.) that does not include genital contact, though Fr. Tomas does not mention it. I have mentioned before, that in my Slavic tradition, it was perfectly acceptable that my grandfather & father kissed us male grand-children directly on the mouth, held us in their laps, adoringly kissed us , held our hands as we walked together, and even slept with us. It was as natural as could be. So much of this self-righteous, impious blather generated from Mitchell’s pornographic mind would have been laid to rest by simply speaking with Fr. Tom and soliciting a clarification.This I asked him to do on several occasions – and that please search this site and the AOI site if you want evidence that he ignored me.

    Secondly, Mitchell was not privy to the pastoral decisions that Fr. Thomas made – and which I have suggest any pastor with a conscience and a knowledge of Matt. 25, who stared into the eyes of seven terrified, abused, uncertain, untrusting, humiliated, unprotected, injured children all below the age of 7-yrs and their lesbian mothers, would make. the last consideration on his mind that they they were lesbians, or that their justice, safety,and fear is “highly suspect?” No, he would only hear the words of the Lord, “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven”.and he would no doubt literally tear your fine gold vestments from your body to wrap them them from the cold; and if I were your If I were your bishop, I would suspend you on the spot for your fundamental lack of charity and your cold heart. Hey, but if wishes were dollars.

  23. George,
    Do you remember when we were at the Vatican and saw the newly-elected Pope John Paul II?

    • George Michalopulos says

      I do, I remember hoisting you on my shoulders (I was 20, you were 13 if I remember) so you could get a better view.