Pope to find increasingly Hispanic U.S. church

March 31, 2008 6:51:37 AM PDT
When Pope Benedict visits the United States the week after next, he'll find the American church is increasingly Hispanic, largely because of illegal immigration. The leader of the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization expects Pope Benedict to call for needy immigrants to be treated as neighbors, regardless of their legal status.

But Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the 1.7 million Knights of Columbus, says Catholics must obey the laws unless they're convinced that a law is unjust. He said that's a conclusion he isn't prepared to make about U.S. immigration laws. Barring that, he says churches shouldn't offer sanctuary to hinder deportations.

Anderson predicts that Pope Benedict also will urge the millions of lapsed American Catholics to reconsider, and return to the faith.

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