“Ineffective and grotesque”

Bishop Robert McElroy issues statement on border wall on occasion of President Trump's visit to border

McElroy photo-op at the Mexican border (photo by Chris Stone)

The Most Rev. Robert McElroy, Roman Catholic Bishop of San Diego, released the following statement in reaction to President Donald Trump’s visit to San Diego to tour prototypes of the proposed new border wall:

“It is a sad day for our country when we trade the majestic, hope-filled symbolism of the Statue of Liberty for an ineffective and grotesque wall which both displays and inflames the ethnic and cultural divisions that have long been the underside of our national history. Our faith is in the God who is the Father of us all, and who urges us to see Jesus himself in the immigrants and refugees who seek safety and freedom.”

From Diocese of San Diego website.


  1. McElroy: “grotesque wall”

    It bothers me that a bishop would use ‘grotesque’ to publicly describe a wall but not to publicly describe homosexual behavior. In itself, a wall is not an abomination; homosexual behavior is.

  2. It is a sad day for our Church when its bishops become flat-out partisan politicians.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A nation has the sovereign right and duty to protect itself from invaders.

    Who says the wall would be ineffective? Military specialists couldn’t scale some of the prototypes.

    What’s grotesque is Bishop McElroy’s leftist posturing.

  4. Has Bishop McElroy called anything that Jerry Brown has supported or done grotesque? Has he used that word to describe anything done by any Democrat? They’ve done a lot of truly grotesque things, but mum’s the word from McElroy about them.

  5. Steve Seitz says:

    I don’t mean this “tongue and cheek,” but I think I now get it.

    Based on Bishop McElroy’s statement, it seems that the reason why the Left is against the border wall and American immigration law is because they think this “displays and inflames the ethnic and cultural divisions that have long been the underside of our national history.”

    This being the case, it seems that the solution is to educate the left that an orderly and well-regulated immigration policy not only doesn’t cause ethnic and cultural division but actually promotes cultural and ethnic healing and harmony.

    • Linda Maria says:

      I believe this is true– an orderly, well-regulated immigration process, does promote ethnic and cultural healing and harmony! Also, a proper immigration process, I think, should rrequire abolition of “sanctuary cities!” How many possible dangerous criminals, including members of violent dope gangs, are wrongfully being protected, by these “sanctuary cities??” Honesty is always the best policy, in life!

    • The Real Ralph says:

      The reason the left is against a wall is that it impedes loss of sovereignty of the U.S. Nothing more or less. the singular objective of leftist politics, and indeed political correctness itself, is One World socialist government. All of these petty side issues are run as pretense for this real objective. Just ask George Soros. Then consult the Book of Revelation to see how this all eventually works out.

      • Ralph,
        There was a subtly which you missed. Based on everything I see, I fear that a Christian persecution may now be on the horizon — 10 to 50 years out. As such, Christians need to get better at fighting the Beast.

        Bishop McElroy is not the Beast, but his polemic is of the same type that will be used against Christians in the future (i.e. popular ideas that are used for mistaken or disingenuous ends). As such, Christians need to get better at seizing the popular elements of their arguments (i.e. equality, tolerance), showing that their ideas are inferior, and that Christian ideas and behaviors are better. This will be important both for our influence in society and possibly for our jobs and survival.

        • The Real Ralph says:

          That’s fine, but for every person you convince 2 more will be substituted in place. These situations themselves are not really about compassion for families or whatever – they rather are used as pretense to advance a much larger agenda. The big picture is being missed. The people arguing for unbridled immigration are puppets. I prefer to expose their puppet masters to Catholics (not implying you) who otherwise limit their reading to their diocesan newspapers. For starters, I recommend Nesta Webster’s book – World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilisation (1921). Available from omnicbc.com.

  6. drewelow says:

    those who came by the statue of liberty came by a legal path. the ocean was our first wall. once on ellis island, they were legally processed. also not to overlook is the pro-life aspect of the wall. to cross the desert on a chance is costing hundreds of lives per year. we cannot afford to lose one life , even, by allowing the desert russian roulette-lottery remain an option/ the wall will make it clear that there will be no crossing, so nolife will be risked. if the wall saved even one life, cab’t we say that it was worth it? does the bishop really want the lose-your life-by=trying lottery to stay open?

    • drewelow says:

      it might be quite fitting for the wall to be designated as the “wall of mercy”. it would be very fitting for many US bishops to come to bless the wall at some point in its inauguration, much like a house blessing. it will stand for orderly, safe, legal immigration, much to the chagrin of death-dealing coyotes who so ften abandon those they lead into nowhere.i hope the bishops’ liturgical committee is working on a proper blessing now.

  7. Lou Cumming says:

    No wall to stop the illegals from inundating our nation now costs us taxpayers over $134,000,000,000/year!
    How much longer can we afford to soak the Treasury of these kinds of dollars? There are much better uses for those dollars to assist our own CITIZENS.

  8. Anthony T says:

    Please remember that the Vatican has a wall around it.

  9. Faithful and True says:

    Why doesn’t he issue a statement on modern abortifacient birth control using the same words?
    This bishop is a politician seeking humanist solutions from a modernist ideological platform. The worst part about this is the arrogant and condescending tone. Superiority and entitlement- what Holy examples of a servants of God!

  10. Frank Muñoz says:

    Since when is it bad to protect your home.

  11. Faithful and True says:

    PS: why doesn’t McElroy sleep with his front door unlocked and wide open? Or perhaps move his office and home into a simple hut without windows and doors right at the most difficult border crossing to ensure his accompaniment of the poor, harmless human traffickers and drug traffickers who want to cross over? Better yet, let’s all go on pilgrimage with Bishop McElroy to the Vatican gates and stand at the base of the 100 foot walls and say like Reagan, “Pope Francis, tear down these walls!”

  12. Faithful and True says:

    What is GROTESQUE is all the MILLIONS the USCCB has gotten from the Democrats to “help” immigrants. What racket they have run! What have they done with all the money? Why not work legally at the root of the problems instead of falling all over yourself in a drooling (foto op) stupor at a metal gate? Help these people by working to stop the corruption in their own nations which compels them to run here! Crocodile Tears and Bleeding Hearts! 50 years of crying at the border HAS DONE NOTHING! Perhaps the bishop is realizing his days of using the funds to fly to Hawaii every December are coming to an end.

  13. Linda Maria says:

    We have never had a border wall, between the U.S. and Mexico. Building walls, like the Berlin Wall, for example– do not promote good relations, between people! So– why is it necessary now (according to Pres. Trump) to build this border wall? Are there not better ways, to deal with immigration problems– on a proper, correct, honest, and legal basis?? I, myself, am fearful of immigration issues, with countries in which ISIS-style radicalism is strong– what is being done, to control possible ISIS-type mass-murderers?? Scary! And why not legally require locking-up violent, mentally-ill people, in mental hospitals– to keep us all safe, too??

    • Anonymous says:

      There are many walls, barriers and fences already. 700 miles worth. It is not continuous. I think they started putting them up in the ’90s.

      • Linda Maria says:

        Anonymous, it has been a practice of many groups of people, throughout the centuries, to build walls to protect their cities, countries, or regions, from barbaric invaders, who might plunder, destroy, or conquer them. In the past, the possibility of barbaric invaders, was always a great and terrible fear! Many of these ancient walls still exist, today! In today’s era, with modern warfare, walls do not provide the protection they once did, for primitive peoples! Building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, may or may not control illegal immigrants. And for sure– it will create lots of tensions, between our two countries! There are better ways, to deal with this situation, I think.

  14. I just learned that the Country of Pakistan is going to build a border fence in order to keep terrorists out of their country. Where is the public outcry and wringing of hands? There is none because as a sovereign nation they have the right and the duty to protect their citizens. Well the United States has the same right and duty.

    • The Real Ralph says:

      And you think the revolutionaries care? The U.S. sovereignty is precisely what they aim to destroy. This isn’t about immigration, it’s about using masses of humanity to stampede a border. Destroy the US borders and the Pakistani borders blow over in the wind. Destroy all borders and you can have socialist world government, the end game of all political correctness. Until people get this, there can never be an effective defense against all the propaganda. You’re arguing in the wrong direction.

  15. Joel Fago says:

    Bishop McElroy should stay out of politics. His spiritual credibility is damaged.

  16. Jim Grisafi says:

    What about the rule of law?

    Why not promote the legal process of migration, rather than encourage illegal migration?

    Too many shepherds are political animals and wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    They do a disservice to immigrants.

  17. John Jake O’Cionnor says:

    If you do not want damage to our country with bad illegals why do you lock your car , your home , All your churches

    As the Catholic Church representative you should have been in the welcome community
    Agree with others support our President in prayer not your vocal cords

  18. Another attempt by this puppet of the left (aka Bishop McElroy) at self promotion and sawing the seeds of confusion and disunity in the Church by his crafty language.We should all ignore him and spend our time on better things (like prayer for our country).

  19. Immigration into the US is a very contentious issue, therefore it will elicit comments from both sides. I have a simple suggestion, actually many, but let’s start with this: Discuss policy not politics. There are going to be times when the teachings of the Church are the same as one or the other political parties. That’s not the issue. What is important is what the Church teaches. Then, we can discuss what policy discourages us from putting up the same type of wall at our northern border. Is there bias in our approach to immigration control. Why don’t we get upset with the million people a year who come here from other countries? Is it because they are legal? How about all the people from Europe who overstay their visas?

  20. We need therefore to keep two thoughts in mind: what does the Church teach and what should government policy be, without mixing the two. Government policy is pretty simple: don’t come here illegally, become part of the fabric of the country, obey the laws. If you come illegally we will deport you. At that point it gets more complicated. What of those brought here as infants, who were raised here and know no other country? To what place would we deport these innocents? Are we willing to break up families to send the parents back? Those are national policy questions. Then we need to consider how the Church teaches on each question. Then we need to decide which we follow.

    • Bohemond says:

      Bob One of course you insinuate race in your comment which is typical of you. What you and the rest of the Left do not understand is that the ruling elites in this country and others, care more for people who are not supposed to be here than its citizens. If you even dare question what has been going on you are accused of racism and white supremacy. There is no cogent argument from the Left just name calling and accusations . I have question for all those who think unbridled immigration both legal and illegal: How much is enough, do your bleeding ever take into account the strain put on the hospitals, schools, welfare system, law enforcement by this flood of humanity coming to our shores. I…

    • Roberta Siena says:

      The reason for the wall is to keep the criminals out! Not babies! I suggest you read Ann Coulter’s meticulously researched ” Adios America” in which the real crimes are laid out for readers. And not only Mexicans cross the border.

  21. Linda Maria says:

    Our Church leaders have always been involved with secular political leaders, in protecting vulnerable people, in working for peace, and working to help avoid or end conflicts. They have the potential to do a lot of good in the world– but it is not always easy! One needs a lot of wisdom and maturity, to handle difficult, sensitive issues and negotiations, in a Christ-like manner!

    • Linda Maria says:

      I did not agree with the new, leftist-style “Social Gospel” of the 1960s, right after Vatican II!! Our Church for centuries, carried out Christ’s holy mission, to preach His teachings to the world, to transform souls, and to help make a better world– and they did their work, based on Christ, as they should!– not based on leftist politics, or any kind of political involvement! The job of a Catholic priest or prelate, is to help transform their world, not through secular politics– but through forming people in Christ– who then, can go out into the secular world, and transform it!

  22. Robert McElroy is fond of dramatic language to give force to his arguments: grotesque, repugnant and reprehensible among others that pepper his statements. His general forum seems to be the political world and the events that shape it. Many of you wish that bishops would be silent on politics. They will not if that be their interest. What is your interest? Mine is freedom from sin, from eternal death, and from isolation for the good that Christ can work through me, eternal life, and communion with God and one another. I listen to all statements from bishops, grant them respect, and hold to the truths of the faith outside of episcopal political speak.

    • Anonymous says:

      This isn’t a political issue. It has become a political issue because the government is involved. If you are going to go to hell for not welcoming the stranger, it’s a moral issue. As Linda Marie pointed out, walls have been used for protection. Those who see the wall as keeping out bad people are for it. The controversy comes because most people see the wall as am attempt to keep out the poor which Christians are not supposed to do.

  23. Elizabeth M. says:

    Just come in the front door.

  24. Hilarious! MacElroy received his Bishopric from a “man inside walls” lol.

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