My late father-in-law, Neil McCaffrey (founder of Arlington House publishers, The Conservative Book Club, etc.), remarked back in the 1960s that bishops would do well to learn something about economics, given their predilection for instructing the faithful and indeed the world in that discipline in its moral dimension. It has seemed to me for the past 30 years that churchmen would do equally well to read up on matters in all sorts of fields relating to immigration and migration—from South to North and from the Third World to the First especially. It seems the prudent thing for them to do, and Christ and the Church have always counseled prudence.
I was reminded of this apparent gap in their education while reading a recent account in The Daily Mail of a riot on New Year’s Eve at the Cieneguillas penitentiary for men in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. According to the Mail, the ructions erupted from what was planned as a “friendly” soccer match between incarcerated members of the Gulf and Zetas drug cartels. Following an argument over an asserted dirty tackle in the penalties box, players drew guns and fired them. Three hours later, the federales, the National Guard, and prison officials managed to subdue the mayhem in which 16 inmates were killed and five wounded. In the aftermath, the prison conducted a search that yielded—in addition to more guns—“knives, 77 bags of marijuana, a saw, three pairs of scissors, nine phones, phone chargers, two hammers and a bottle of liquor.” The suspicion is that all this contraband had been smuggled into Cieneguillas by relatives of the inmates during visiting hours on New Year’s. ….