A nun’s death and illegal immigration: Forgiveness or punishment?

On Sunday, Sister Denise Mosier, 66, a Benedictine nun and former missionary in Africa was killed and two others gravely … Continued

On Sunday, Sister Denise Mosier, 66, a Benedictine nun and former missionary in Africa was killed and two others gravely injured when, on their way to a retreat, their car was hit by an alleged drunk driver.

The 23-year-old driver, Carlos Martinelly Montano, is reported to be in the United States illegally from Bolivia, and has two previous drunken-driving convictions and has been awaiting long-delayed deportation hearings.

With immigration debates flaring up in both Arizona and Virginia, it didn’t take long for immigration reform advocates to politicize Sister Denise’s death.

But the Benedictines are emphasizing mercy over politics.

As the Post reported:

Sister Glenna Smith, a spokeswoman for the Benedictine Sisters, said Tuesday that “we are dismayed” by reports that the crash . . . is focusing attention on the man’s status as an alleged illegal immigrant. Critics of federal immigration policy have seized on the crash.
“He’s a child of God and deserves to be treated with dignity,” Smith said of the driver, Carlos A. Martinelly Montano. “I don’t want to make a pro- or anti-immigrant statement but simply a point that he is an individual human person and we will be approaching him with mercy. Denise, of all us, would be the first to offer forgiveness.”

. . .
“We are also confident that responses of mercy and forgiveness, though not usually easy, are not optional for Christians,” read the order’s statement on Tuesday.

The Benedictines may be advocating forgiveness, but when it comes to immigration reform, the Catholic Church rejects official pardon.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops say they are not amnesty advocates, but are rather taking a ‘path to citizenship’ approach: The USCCB has called for a comprehensive reform bill that would, among other provisions, ” give migrant workers and their families an opportunity to earn legal permanent residency and eventual citizenship.”

At a recent House Judiciary subcommittee meetings, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona framed the debate in moral terms. “Immigration is ultimately a humanitarian issue since it impacts the basic rights and dignity of millions of persons and their families. As such, it has moral implications, especially how it impacts the basic survival and decency of life experienced by human beings like us,” Kicanas said.

In light of Sister Denise’s death, what is the proper role of religious forgiveness in society? Are the Benedictines right to emphasize Christian forgiveness? Are the bishops correct to eschew amnesty?

When is it right to forgive, and when to punish?


Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • r_leever

    “It’s silly to call illegal immigration immoral.”I didn’t and I don’t.I stated “ILLEGALS ARE IMMORAL” as in each, individual illegal alien who abuses and breaks laws in support of their pursuit of a dollar.

  • nonsensical2001

    Forgiveness is a gift that too few are able to bestow, but we live in a society founded in the rule of law and the separation of church and state.

  • onesugar

    It’s the fault of the Government, for not sending hime back when the Government first learned of his status, and his driving record, Same on the USA.

  • josefkhen

    Two reported facts that don’t seem to be in play in any discussions I’ve seen:1. The young man was brought to this country by his parents when he was 9 years old. He did not make this choice. He grew up in the place and with the realities in which he found himself.2. A person who is drunk, either once or habitually, does not make the choice to drive a car. The alcohol makes that choice. The drinker no longer has the capacity to choose anything.I think the ideal “punishment” would be a monitor and confinement to the monastery grounds 24/7 for 5 years. In that time he would live in an apartment that’s available, attend all prayer and worship gatherings, be counseled by the sisters, and serve the community full-time. It is his redemption that would give Sister Denise’s death meaning.

  • ganeshan

    It is disgraceful that he was not deported earlier in two instances. The Homeland security should held accountable for the death. It amounts toe dereliction of duties(not protecting a legal citizen). But in addition it is arrogance to file a suit against Arizona which was trying to protect citizens and taking action against illegal criminals.

  • jdonner2

    Nuns are very foregiving people. But the simple fact is that if this illegal were not here these people would still be alive.

  • LeeH1

    These are people who won’t stay home and demand improvement and change from their own governments, or work to make their own communities better. There is no patriotism here. They are parasites who sneak into this country, and plan to live off the work and the generosity of our country.That is why so many illegal aliens join gangs and commit crimes in the US. They have no stake in our country except to rob it and abuse our openess, rather than build up their own country.Many are criminals in their own country, running to America to avoid prosecution for crime in their own towns and villages. At least if they are put in prison in America, the jail standards are higher than they would know in their own country.

  • asmith1

    For our government to assume an illegal alien convicted twice for DUI will somehow mend his ways during the TWO YEARS waiting period until his deportation hearing is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.A woman is dead and two others are in critical condition in our hospital because someone from ICE categorized this as a low priority and couldn’t be bothered to address in a timely manner. And we are suppose to just let this slide [again] under the guise of forgiveness? How many more families will be asked to forgive as they mourn the murder of a loved one because ICE couldn’t / wouldn’t do their job in the past …. and today? These are the same men and women Obama and the Democrats want to give a “path to citizenship.” How frightening is that?

  • adrienne_najjar

    Forgiveness? Amnesty?You left out Death Penalty.

  • Paladin7b

    Two reported facts that don’t seem to be in play in any discussions I’ve seen:——————————————–and render unto God the things that are God. Let him search in his heart, and not a Johnny Walker bottle, for that which is the most important. Once he realizes that he can’t make it by himself, there will be people who can and will help him. But until them, it’s his road, whether to a Virginia pentitentiary or to Nuevo Laredo.

  • rlj1

    WOW – Christians who are actual Christians. He was a drunk driver – how many have been killed by American drunk drivers. Two of my best friends were killed by drunk drivers – who were American born and bred – in separate incidents and they both left behind a child under the age of five. The issue is drunk driving.

  • amm72

    “It’s silly to call illegal immigration immoral. Labor and capital flow like water to the points of least resistance. If labor is needed in one place people will go there regardless of borders. If capital can flourish somewhere it will be invested there. It is a natural force and to label nature immoral is silly. It is what it is.”Precisely!This is especially hilarious when you consider that the xenophobes who like calling people “illegals,” as if the person himself is somehow essentially suffused with illegality for committing an illegal act……are the same idiots who blather endlessly about “too much government control” of the economy, going so far as to decry “socialism” when our government is center-left and unpopular. If they were really fans of capitalism, they’d be telling the poor white folks whose jobs are “being stolen” to suck it up and work for what the market, licit or illicit, will bear.

  • cpantelias

    Well, if you’re going to ask Christianity for the answer to your question, it’s there in black and white in James 2:13, “Mercy triumphs over judgment.”But most “Christians” these days seem to have forgotten that part of the Bible.

  • logcabin1836

    The issue here isn’t illegal immigration, the issue here is alcohol and driving. A Green Card would not have saved this poor nun from being killed. And for those who wish to make a political statement, remember George Bush had two DUIs, his wife Laura while a teenager took the life of another driver, and their two children both had serious alcohol issues. This story is not about political parties, illegal immigration, or President Obama. It’s about alcohol and driving which takes the lives of many thousands of innocent people each year.

  • AZrls

    Forgive, but never forget. He is a repeat drunk driver who has now killed an innocent woman. Time to put him away for a while, and then deport him. He should have been deported long ago.

  • cburbank

    Why is it a question of forgive or punish?

  • DOps

    LogCabin 1836 is correct- this is about drunk driving. But, it also reflects poorly on the state of urgency and enforcement of some of our most critical laws in this country. This was no time for the church to wax philosophic about human condition. There are 5 billion people in the world — about 4 billion live in conditions worse than ours. How many people can we save? And should they all come from one place at the expense of opportunity for people from other places? Nice moral dillema, Bishop.

  • cburbank

    Why are we constantly subjected to the liberal apologists? AS if demanding the laws of this land, drunk driving and illegal immigration, should be ignored when the perp comes from S. America.

  • Eric12345

    I can understand why people are upset about our immigration laws. There is no reason this man should have been in our country legally or illegally after committing a crime such as driving drunk.Jesus told us to love our enemies, so I deeply admire the Sisters forgiveness of him. It is an example we would do well to follow as individual members of society.Their forgiveness, however, does not mean that justice should not be done corporately. The perpetrator of this crime should be punished by the law. Greater injustice will be done if there is no punishment for unjust acts.I don’t see any conflict between the Biblical admonition for forgiveness and the Catholic Bishop’s call for earned legalization. Forgiveness does not foreclose on reasonable restitution.

  • logcabin1836

    I have no problem with the nuns, the Church, or the community forgiving this driver’s crime. I do have a serious problem with the criminal court system that appears to be far too forgiving to DUI drivers, putting them back behind the wheel in short order only to have them kill again while under the influence. With these judges, forgiveness should be given only after a lengthy prison term has been served.

  • Eric12345

    CPANTELIAS – I agree that that verse means what it says. How would you implement that into law? What would the law look like, in your mind?

  • cooprego1

    These are the people ICE should be concentrating their efforts on, not those who are here to work hard and give their children a better life than they would have ever had in their home countries.

  • Itzajob

    Although the Sisters’ forgiveness of Mr. Montano is laudable, I’m glad they didn’t urge any waiver of his illegal immigration status.Because Sister Denise was not the victim of illegal immigration; she was the victim of a drunk driving. The victims of illegal immigration are all the African refugees, Asian polical dissidents, Middle Eastern women at risk of honor killings and other potential legal immigrants who are denied visas as a consequence of illegal immigration.It would have been wrong had the Sisters condoned a system that penalizes these more deserving and needy people in favor of those who jump ahead of them in line by coming here illegally. Morality requires thoughtful distinctions, not knee-jerk political correctness.

  • HookedOnThePost

    Wireman65, Catholics make up the largest percentage of personnel in the FBI and the CIA. If you think what the Pope says doesn’t affect how this country is run, you are mistaken.

  • jeffreed

    I lost an uncle to a drunk driver and my brother fortunately escaped serious injury -some broken ribs and a collar bone – when he was hit by a drunk driver. When people drink and drive, they are dangerous to anyone and everyone on the road and more people die in this country each and every year than die in combat. Far too often we make excuses for drunk drivers and, in this case, this appears to be the case. The simple fact is that once one is convicted of drunk driving they should never be allowed behind the wheel ever. If they are here illegally, they should be immediately deported. Such actions would save lives.

  • Redial1

    Didn’t this same Catholic Church threaten to pull all of its services helping the poor out of DC if the gay marriage bill passed?So this guy who has been arrested for numerous crimes (fraud/identity theft in addition to DUIs), continued to willfully commit crimes is somehow more moral and worthy than a gay couple and the innocent people of DC who rely on the catholic church for charity? Yeah ok…. And if you practice birth control or horror of all horrors have an abortion you are an abomination. GTFOH, if the church is in the business of embracing everyone they sure have a funny way of showing it.

  • brewstercounty

    Bottom line is the nuns can forgive him but that doesn’t mean we have to.

  • Ken16

    “It’s silly to call illegal immigration immoral. Labor and capital flow like water to the points of least resistance. If labor is needed in one place people will go there regardless of borders. If capital can flourish somewhere it will be invested there. It is a natural force and to label nature immoral is silly. It is what it is.”So if the path of least resistance is for me to steal from you rather than work for myself, you believe it is silly to call my actions immoral? Murder, rape, robbery are as much “nature” as the flow of labor and capital. They are what they are. They also involve choice. They are immoral and it is far from silly to say so.Those who enter our country illegally are, by virtue of breaking a rationally defensible law, acting immorally.As far as the original question of the post, why do you believe that forgiveness and punishment are mutually exclusive, and how does the personal attitudes of victims of a drunk driving homicide toward the driver relate to immigration policy and enforcement? I suppose that the incoherence of the cited poster should be expected, given the incoherence of the post itself.

  • homas1

    It’s not surprising the priest emphasized mercy and forgiveness. The church also overlooks and forgives those that sexually abuse children. At least they’re being consistent in accepting and embracing illegal and immoral activity.

  • hared

    How about we line the murderer up against the wall and put one in his forehead, and then ship him in a card board box.

  • Eric12345

    HOOKEDONTHEPOST – Do you have any data to back up your statement that Catholics make “up the largest percentage of personnel in the FBI and the CIA?”

  • JCfromVA

    I applaud the nuns’ ability to forgive, even though they have suffered greatly due to this persons’ decision to drive while intoxicated. I’m not sure I could feel the same way if I were similarly affected.However, our legal system should not be quite so forgiving. Keep in mind, had he not collided with the nuns vehicle, he could have just as easily hit your family, or my family. I’d like to think he would know better than to drive drunk in the first place, but given his record of 2 previous DUIs and multiple serious traffic violations in just a few years, it’s clear that he had no regard for the laws of our country and no concern for whoever he might injure or kill.It’s easy at this point to second guess why he was even in the country, or not at least in jail, but there should be no question that he should receive the maximum prison sentence, and then be deported.

  • josefkhen

    Didn’t this same Catholic Church threaten to pull all of its services helping the poor out of DC if the gay marriage bill passed?Please, before you make blanket statements that assume all Catholics, and in particular the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, are represented by the actions and attitudes of the larger institution, find out what the individuals and groups in question think about the decisions of the hierarchy. With a little more knowledge, you might find you want to rethink your own attitude.

  • ThurleMoss

    My son-in-law was a LEGAL immigrent from South Africa. I had to swear to insure that he had financial support for three years. At any time before he became a U>S citizen he could be deported for commiting a felony. He is currently a U.S. citizen serving in the U.S. Navy as a First Class Petty Officer.The ILLEGal alien has commited a felony and should be deported.

  • mhr614

    The Los Angeles County Sheriff, himself a latino, used to make public statements about the large number of illegal immigrants who are in his jail because of felony convictions. He no longer talks that way. The liberal fog machine makes certain that facts they want to quiet stay unknown. Liberals rely on the press to keep the American public uninformed.

  • Drudge1

    Enough with forgiveness, if you believe in God, let Him do the forgiving after the bum is dead. I prefer the to send the illegal to the electric chair and then deport/dump his dead body in whatever third world country he came from. Deport ALL Illegals!

  • Skeptic1

    This is very confused.You can still forgive someone and then expect them to face consequences.If someone had accidentally killed a family member because they were DUI, I might forgive them. And then I’d expect that they face the consequences of their actions.That’s entirely consistent with almost every religious doctrine and philosophy.

  • JoeMc

    Ms. Tenety inexplicably mixes immigration issues with a case of vehicular homicide. The man killed somebody, after previously committing DWI and vehicular-related offenses. He should be tried and punished accordingly. Whether he’s an illegal or a citizen shouldn’t make any difference in that respect.

  • kchses1

    It’s silly to call illegal immigration immoral.”I didn’t and I don’t.I stated “ILLEGALS ARE IMMORAL” as in each, individual illegal alien who abuses and breaks laws in support of their pursuit of a dollar.POSTED BY: R_LEEVER | AUGUST 4, 2010 1:06 PM My point was that people as labor go where there is work. Work is survival. Claiming someone under these circumstances attempting to survive is immoral is pointless. You may as well claim the sun is immoral because it burns you. It has no meaning.

  • GatorsnSkins

    20 years in jail then deport this burrito roller!

  • Dirty_Ferrel

    Fry him, send him back to his home country shipped cash on delivery, plus expenses for execution. He shouldn’t have been here to begin with, and if he wasn’t she’d still be alive.Is illegal immigration an issue NOW folks?

  • fedssocr

    The immigration issue just clouds the real problem which is that we are way too lenient in this country when it comes to drunk drivers. Most of them barely get a slap on the wrist even if they kill some one.

  • [email protected]

    No amnesty of any kind for any illegal alien.

  • PracticalIndependent

    Although God imparft divine forgivenessfor our sins and trangressions, He does not necessarily spare us from the earthly consequences of our actions.

  • annegf

    This man’s reckless actions not only hurt the nuns, their order, and their families. They also harmed those who have been working hard, obeying the laws, and waiting for an immigration reform which has been put in jeopardy by his stupidity. The man’s family tried to keep him from driving by hiding the keys. He found them and a tragedy ensued. He has 2 small children who are going to be fatherless for the foreseeable future, whether he remains in prison here or is sent back to Bolivia. It’s heart-wrenching any way you look at it.I admire the nuns; I find it hard to forgive because when we argue for earned legalization, we say that most undocumented people are basically law abiding (other than the immigration law they broke) and working to support their families. Now we’re going to have this man’s action thrown in our faces as an excuse to “deport them all”. The nuns don’t want the case politicized but it IS politicized by its very timing and nature.I would also be the first to say that we have too many alcohol and driving related offenses in the Hispanic community in Northern Virginia and I hope whatever punishment is given in this case sends a strong message to others not to get behind the wheel after too many “traguitos”.

  • Green_Ipod

    I think this is an easy one. This isn’t a political issue. His choice to drink and drive and the consequences have nothing to do with his immigration status. He should be punished according to the law (no harsher, no more lenient). However, I admire the Sisters living their ideals and focusing on forgiveness and compassion during this time of loss.

  • hared

    The second American civil war is steady gathering steam, and the same corrupt media that got us in this mess is fomenting it to the nth degree. The result, a bunch of dead illegal aliens and their traitorous enablers. Arizona, the 14th Amendment debate, events like the one being discussed is adding fuel to the fire minute by minute. These traitorous wh0res in congress, local and state governments will soon understand what the Founders meant by WE The People, and that they will be the first to get the rail.

  • dc1020008

    Normally against right wing wackos on this subject, but in this case, I’m for deporting the murderous fool who did this!

  • battleground51

    Here’s the way it is:AMNESTY in Obamaspeak means rewarding outlaw “immigrants” with free and easy American citizenship!Not just forgiving them for their wrong doings, REWARDING them. I’ll bet there is nothing in the BIBLE that says “thou must reward the wicked sinners with gold and silver”.We can shower the illegals with forgiveness and give them free bus fare back to Mexico but it is foolish to reward them for their errants ways.Rewarding wrong doers just encourages more wrong doings.Very simple concept here.

  • Green_Ipod

    If he wasn’t here this wouldn’t have happened? Well, if cars weren’t invented then there would be no drunk driving deaths! If nuns weren’t allowed outside, none of them would ever get into accidents and die! I hate the hypothetical game.

  • sjkym

    Let’s say that I have a beautiful 40 acre estate next to your shanty. My grounds are supported by a trust I’ve set up to fund maintenance in perpetuity. My family and guests are treated to 3 meals a day, recreational pursuits and ground transportation, but through some fluke in the security system, you come onto the grounds and masquerade as a guest for 15 years, including your children as guest as they are born.Yes, I’m the fool for allowing that kind of security breach to exist and yes, you are a scoundrel for leeching off of my hard earned benefits as if you have some god-given or Catholic Church given right to do that. You, illegal alien, should be caught, deported and/or shot for resisting deportation. Enough is enough…

  • gvkeitz

    I certainly expect the Nuns to forgive the man. I would have been shocked if they did not. Is this an illegal alien issue? Yes and no. Yes in that if the system had worked better, he’d have been (rightfully) deported years ago and the Nun would still (likely) be alive.It is also a drunk driving issue. There is nothing “new” about tragedy and drunk driving. Of course, the child of G-d was a repeat offender and immigration status or not, needs to be locked up for a LONG, long time (and then be deported).

  • thoughts

    I think it’s a fitting tribute to diversity. When different cultures collide there is fallout. If you want more of a third world culture then keep tolerating its addition and be open-minded about consequences like extra drunk driving deaths. It’s easy to forgive such things.

  • wantingbalance

    Only the person against whom the sin was committed can grant human forgiveness. It’s nice to know that the sister’s order feels it should forgive the individual for causing her death. And that’s their right. Funny, I did not see the story where he repented and asked forgiveness for the death. On the other hand, his sin of illegal immigration is against the citizens of the United States and I’m not going to forgive him for that until he repents of his violation (says he was wrong, admits his guilt, leaves the country)AFTER he completes his sentence for murder.

  • nolagirl67

    Illegal or not – he is living here and broke our laws (DUI) – he should be punished accordingly.

  • Mike58

    The penchant for crime is not limited to the illegal alien, however, this would not have happened if we have had secure borders and a policy of enforcement vs. non-enforcement at the federal level. I live in AZ, and have had my house ransacked and nearly destroyed by illegals, and the crime just continues. Amazing how people seem to rally for “rights” they’ve never earned, but there is little to no outcry over illegal aliens who kill our citizens.

  • Lila1

    “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” In other words, we have a responsibility to our government and the laws of society, as well as spiritual responsibility.There is nothing mutually exclusive about receiving religious forgiveness and going to jail for the same offense. Last I checked, churches had nothing to do with the Justice Department.Now for the big mystery: why is there such a drawn-out, complex “process” for deporting illegals? Once it’s established that you’re here illegally, you should be immediately taken into custody and GONE. End of story.

  • krankyman

    Mercy is for the victims to extend.Mr. Montano also deserves justice. This accident is by no means unique. It is repeated in towns all across America.An illegal alien purchases a car. They hit the bottle, then hit the streets. They hit another person or destroy some property or both.They buy the car but they don’t buy the insurance. They buy the car but they don’t see the need for a license, training, etc.Mr. Montano should go to trial. He should be punished and then he should be deported.The government then should place him on the “no immigration list” so that he can never return to this country, at least legally.Enforce the law, send the Montanos of this world home to their own country.

  • richard36

    The church can save his soul, but his butt needs to be sent to prison and then he needs to swim back to Bolivia.

  • KDSmallJr

    He shouldn’t be in this country to even have this question raised. 3rd time he kills someone and there is still debate?

  • cburbank

    Joemc.. the guy should have been deported for prior DUIs. Don’t you get it? ICE let him back on the streets of the USA to kill and maim people here.

  • dnjake

    There should be one standard of justice that applies whoever the victim is for any perpetrator. Anyone who kills someone while driving drunk with two prior offenses clearly deserves substantial consequences. On the other hand, there is a large question about sending someone to jail for eight years because they lost control of their car while driving their family home from church. It may be that some people think that someone from Laos is too dumb to know the difference between the brake and the accelerator. But when someone in good health loses control over a car for no obvious reason, there has to be a concern that there is some unknown factor involved.

  • cburbank

    dnjake…one standard of justice? The guy should have been deported under immigration laws after the first time he was picked up. How dense do you have to be to prattle on about DUIs.

  • Barb_AZ

    The sad thing is that there are so many people affected by illegal aliens, and I would have to say, even more so here in Arizona.A friend of ours here in Phoenix, Lance Taylor, was murdered at a circle K in front of his wife and his Mom. The illegal was protected by his family, and was ushered safely to the border, facing NO consequences.Many of these violent criminals literally get away with murder and by NOT securing the border, the United States does NOTHING to change that.DHS=Department of Homeland Surrender!

  • KSoze

    Karma.The Catholic church is the largest illegal immigration advocacy group in the nation.

  • pamschuh9

    If Carlos Montano is willing to work really cheap, then forgiveness is in order. But if he kills more nuns then he’s out, even if he’s doing all of the child care that most Americans don’t want to do at absurdly low prices.

  • onesugar

    SUE, the Local Government’s as well as the Federal Government for not doing their job, if they would have sent him packing when they knew he was an illegal, plus had a record of DUI’s then SUE the real reason that this person caused the death’s, IF he was NOT HERE where he DID NOT BELONG, then this would have NOT HAPPENED, PERIOD….

  • vettessman

    There is no such thing as an WE are all on Earth RENTING IT..Who had no problem of killing and moving the Indigenous people out of now called USA.These same people who migrated over the Rio Gran for centuries.WHITEMAN wants profit so his enslaves them with the word AMNESTY.ISA

  • rcubedkc

    Shoot him in the back of the head then toss his body across the meskin border.

  • Classic60

    The Answer: Deport all Latinos.

  • snoocks2

    I’d say ship the bugger back to Mexico in a pine box – no more drunk driving, no more illegal alien sucking off the system. We can forgive him in our hearts after the deed is done.

  • JimB20009

    They’ll just let him go, put him on the altar and then he’ll be abused.That was a bad joke, but this country is going down the toilet. Everything is is screwed up. Govt. spending and the deficit, the same war Russia spent 10 years in and finally left (we’re doing it on credit just like they did and look what happened to them, de’javu), the economy and trade deficit as a result of the manufacturing decline, etc. and no-one here willing to change any of it before it collapses. The stimulus package just paid for brick sidewalks and new lamposts on the street where I work when there was nothing wrong with the previous sidewalks and lamposts (on credit). Who were the paid construction workers? Illegal aliens. I actually work for a Union and the person that cleans our floors (it’s outsourced) I was told is getting paid with Visa gift cards!!! Once I can collect my pension is there a produce truck to Europe?

  • MICA77

    How is this an immigration issue? It’s a DRUNK DRIVING incident. The real problem is our dismal drunk driving laws, whereby repeat offenders get a minor fine and a slap on the wrist be they illegal immigrants or not. Or are you saying only “illegal immigrants” drink?

  • Barb_AZ

    ISA,”WE do not OWN the Earth..”What are you smoking? Can I have some?No, we don’t OWN the earth, but we are a sovereign country with BORDERS.I’ll tell you what. You can call my good friend Lance Taylor’s Mom and wife, and please explain to them that we don’t OWN the earth. I’m QUITE sure that will bring their son and husband back! At least in YOUR universe!

  • Cobra2

    This is exatly why my family left the Catholic Church. First was the issue with Priests who were molesting children all over the world and were paying people off to stay quiet and transfering priests to other areas. Then they started their support for illegal immigrants and that was it for me. Church Doctrine does not trump the laws of the land. Illegal immigration has devestated families/communities all over the US but the Catholic Church turns a blind eye to that. Sorry Sisters, you continue to ignore bad behavior by Illegal Aliens and now it has cost you dearly.

  • ravensfan20008

    I think people are hit and killed by cars everyday, and if there wasn’t a law in Arizona that has garnered a lot of attention, we wouldn’t be talking about this.By all means, lock this guy up for a while then kick him out of the country. But please, stop using this as an anti-immigration cry. If it wasn’t an immigrant, nobody would care.

  • Airborne82

    Not much “Faith” in this discussion. Sounds more like the rantings of Al Qaeda than Christian beliefs, sacrifice, charity, and forgiveness.

  • jvillarreal1

    How much hate and anger against immigrants, this guy killed a nun, he should go to jail for life there is no arguing that, and still the guys that write here consider themselves good christians, and yet do not follow the simplest task that god wants us to do, feed and dress the hungry. and guess who comes to america unfeed and hungry.

  • georgedixon1

    The man was here in violation of the law.Violations which are encouraged and abetted openly by the Obama administration’s failures to apply existing law.That leftist nuns, in the thrall of marxist “Liberation Theology” want amnesty neither surprises me nor matters a wit.America needs control of its borders and a government of law, not leftist ideology and wishful thinking……which is redundant, I know…..As the the little b’tard himself……we should imprison him and all like him.

  • drzimmern1

    Murder with the use of a vehicle is the same crime as murder with a gun. People suffered terribly as a result of this man

  • Cornell1984

    May the criminals and enablers rot in hell. This kind of blind stupidity to those who commit crimes – illegal aliens and pedophile priests – has driven loyal Catholics from the church.May the Catholic Church Criminal Conspiracy shut up and allow those maggot criminal illega aliens to be driven from this landAnd the judge who allowed this to happen, and the government employees who did not do their jobs, they should be fired and charged with dereliction of duty.

  • 10bestfan

    Deport the drunk-nun-killer now.He should have been deported years ago. This parasite does not deserve the comfort of 3 hots and a cot,free medical care,etc in our jails.

  • voice02

    He should be charged like any other person – regardless of his immigrant status.

  • krush01

    He may be a child of God, but he is also a repeat offending drunk driver and an illegal alien.he Benedictine Nuns may ask God to forgive him, but in a case of vehicular manslaugher or negligent homicide, his crime is agains the state and its citizens. The fact that the government was slow to deport a repeat offender, is a valid issue because he should have been jailed for his second offense. If he had been deported timely, then he would not have killed or maimed anyone else in the United States. The fact that he shows no regard for the laws, whether they be traffic or immigration is important: we should enforce our laws or suffect the consequences.So: personal forgiveness, God’s forgiveness, but state prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. He should not be deported until after he has served his criminal sentence, lest he kill someone in Peru driving drunk as well.

  • mksmith07

    The driver has committed a horrible crime. His immigration status is not relevant.However, if we want to breed a respect for law, we’ll have to stop overthrowing democratic governments and crushing popular movements for badly needed social change abroad. Not surprisingly, mass illegal immigration stems from regions of the world the U.S. has long pitilessly exploited.

  • Robe2

    A few months ago we were reading about airline pilots who were arriving at the cockpits drunk. A few had to be taken off the planes.I live near a police station and see plain clothes police at the neigherhood liquor store during their “lunch hours.”. Is a DUIL giving a ticket to another DUIL?Go to any City courthouse on a Monday morning and you will see the whole variety of populaton passing through the Intoxication Court. business men, Drs., lawyers, secretarires, union plant workers, and their nonunion foremen.Alcohol is the key, not immigration status.Will you put the Dr, lawyer, teacher, office worker in actual jail for 90 days? No. the court wil give them evening drunk driving classes, and no jail time. the Judge does not waqnt the man or woman to lose his/her job. Who is going to support the family?

  • FedUpInMoCo

    The Catholic Church is a sprawling, corrupt, archaic anachronism.Its leaders help perpetuate poverty and overpopulation through the subjugation of women and children. Just look at their laughably medieval “family planning” teachings — pushed by a (purportedly) celibate patriarchy, no less. Or their moral pandemic of chronic child sex abuse scandals and coverups.They love to ennoble the wretched and the fallen — losers like Carlos Martinelly Montano — by turning them into objects of Catholic “forgiveness,” “grace,” etc.I don’t trust a religion where you can practically wipe the moral slate clean just by (1) getting your “sins” off your chest in a little booth and (2) performing a few prescribed rituals. And the incessant idolatry sure doesn’t help either.Mass immigration from the Third World — including illegal entry/migration to the U.S. and Europe — is a windfall for Catholic leaders in the West. It translates to ever-growing numbers of pliant and needy Catholics filling the pews left empty by increasingly educated and critical-thinking (ex-)Catholics.Most religions are rackets, and Catholicism is no exception.–a secular agnostic sick of living in the crumbling Catholic theocracy of Maryland

  • CBS-RN

    This is not a matter of immigration status. It is a matter of driving while drunk. This tragic results is caused every single day in our country by non-immigrants

  • muawiyah

    This guy was hardly an undocumented worker, or simple illegal alien ~ he was a visitor who failed to apply for and receive a visa to be in this country legally.What he needed to do was go home to his own country first ~ he’s hardly a stateless or displaced person ~ and gone through the rigamarole to be able to come back here.All too often we have people dealing with these problems like it’s a fate worse than death to send foreign visitors back to their homes.He’s still going to go there, but that’s after years and years of hard labor under the tutelage of senior prisoners.Then he goes home.I would imagine he will visit the lessons of the Virginia prison system on his fellow countrymen upon his return. Being a nun-killer he’s got a reputation to maintain eh!

  • fleeciewool

    Yes, I agree; she really should have been run over by someone with the right to live and work here in the US.

  • caesar_56

    Deport, or put him on trial for the murder he committed. He’s a serial criminal and he will kill again.No excuses.

  • Estoban

    In 1986 Kennedy and Reagan agreed on a ONE TIME ONLY AMNESTY with laws to prevent greedy, criminal employers from hiring invaders and securing the border from invaders. To this day Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the White House have chosen not to fund the laws in place. Pork was much more interesting as were contributions from greedy, criminal employers. The invaders have come as a hemorrhaging flow to the tune of 12 to 30 million. The Census should be interesting to note if our elected leaders don’t sit on the figures. PEW Center says over 7 million of these invaders hold American jobs. This is only possible by committing one or more felonies(severe criminal act). It is estimated that one million rapes and child molestations have been done by invaders. Uncounted murders and killings of Americans by DUIs have been done by these invaders. More millions of assaults, thefts, drug crimes, etc. have been carried out by these invaders. Bottom line is that none of these crimes against our people would have occurred if our leaders had done the job they swore an oath to do. All invaders need to be deported. All greedy, corrupt employers need to be jailed and all elected officials that did not loudly fight to have our laws enforced need to join the 25 million American workers unemployed and under employed. The invaders have repeatedly shown that they are not worthy at all for our citizenship.

  • OldAtlantic

    Has he repented his illegal immigration? Have others learned from him and gone back? Has Obama apologized for supporting legalization and admitted he was wrong?

  • Airborne82

    Trial, jail and…donations for the nuns and their work. Turn a sad situation into something positive and lasting. There is no defense of this drunk driver and he should face the full weight of justice. For the Nuns, I hope people will contribute and help them do good work, and others emulate the best example of their understanding of the less fortunate.

  • Athena4

    According to the news last night, the Sisters are very upset that this tragedy has become a political football. Many people have said it already – this is not about immigration, it’s about drunk driving. 1) The driver came to the U.S. when he was 9 years old. He didn’t have a choice in the matter. His immigration status is unclear, which is why he is scheduled for a hearing in October.2) He was on probation for a previous DUI. His parents, with whom he is staying, hid the car keys from him when they went out so that he would not get ideas. He found them anyway. 3) He has two young children of his own to care for. (Yeah, like being an alcoholic is a good role model, but many red-blooded Americans are also alcoholics.) 4) Prince William County and the State of Virginia – as well as certain news commentators – are emphasizing his immigration status to conceal the fact that a serial drunk driver was out on the streets. The issue here is NOT that he was an illegal immigrant. It’s that he was a drunk driver. Why wasn’t he at least wearing a monitoring anklet? I guess Virginia is too concerned with “personal freedom” to even spring for alcohol-monitoring anklets for habitual drunk drivers?

  • jontomus

    without people from south of our border coming into the US, the catholic church would be closing more and more churches than they already are.They have a vested interest in importing peasants from the third world, the third catholic world.Is this why these nuns are forgiving this guy? I doubt that’s the reason.still …

  • CloggedCleats

    His being an illegal immigrant is not really the point. The breakdown was that ANYone, native born, naturalized, or otherwise with his drunk driving record would be free to roam the highways putting all others in mortal danger.

  • hared

    The Answer: Deport all Latinos.Posted by: Classic60 | August 4, 2010 4:22 PM…or use ‘em for target practice; it will be like rabbit season, like there isn’t enough of ‘em…

  • JoStalin

    Sure, I intend to forgive him. I’ll do so right after he’s attended his neck stretching party, long drop optional.

  • TexRancher

    My question before commenting is; Did this guy’s law violations combined rise to the level of a felony? If so, then is he eligible for the death penalty as this death occured during the commission of a felony. I’m no lawyer, but I would like that question answered. As an American citizen, I’m looking for justice under the law. (s)

  • Ruhu

    I forgive the Saudi terrorists who struck us on 9-11.I feel much better now that I have “forgiven” someone.Oh, yes,I also forgive President Bush for deceiving us into believing that Saddam has WMD, and for his slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent human being.I now feel really great for this double “forgiveness”.Isn’t forgiving great?

  • muawiyah

    ATHENA4 ~ the perp was in federal custody. The state had already turned him over for ICE to work up a deportation order.ICE turned him loose.I’m pretty sure an ankle bracelet wouldn’t have done anything in this case.What we need is obviously a popular uprising against ICE for not deporting illegal aliens ~ budget or not. There are volunteers who’d be happy to help them.Not sure how we get this on a nonviolent basis, but it’s pretty obvious they are not working for us ~ they are, instead, working for the corrupt industrialists and agricultural interests who demand below minimum wage slaves!

  • zippyspeed

    “2. A person who is drunk, either once or habitually, does not make the choice to drive a car. The alcohol makes that choice. The drinker no longer has the capacity to choose anything”Uh, no. If this were true, no one would ever get convicted for drunk driving because they would supposedly lack the mental capacity to understand the wrongness of what they did. In actuality, by choosing to drink, you become liable for your actions thereafter, be they drunk driving, taking a swing at a cop, or making up imaginary rules in an effort to transform a seemingly unrepentant serial drunk driver illegal alien who killed a freaking nun seem somehow sympathetic.

  • charlie-Imac

    Forgiveness? I don’t think so. If I get a vote I say take him out back and shoot him, tomorrow isn’t soon enough.

  • Patriot12

    “moral implications?”Committing national suicide by shere over population by third world criminals and welfare recipients has immoral implications.This nation does not exist to serve the Catholic Church or the foreign national illegals who invade it. If the Church want to play politics by trying to dictate our national immigration policy, take away their tax exempt status or Deport the church to Mexico and Central American where they should be explaining law, order and anarchy to all the illegals they encourage to come here. No Amnesty. No path to citizenship!

  • r_leever

    Isn’t it ironic that the church who cries loudest for amnesty for these illegal people has one of their own smashed to death by an illegal person?

  • markandbeth92

    God and the Nuns have given him all the forgiveness he deserves. Now for the CRIME of vehicular homicide with cercumstaces (drunk driving for the 3 time) he needs to be sent to Sherif Joe’s jail for the rest of his life. Amnisty has no place in this conversation.

  • termiteavenger

    Apaganplace – and is there some symbolism that lady liberty is right there near ellis island.

  • txengr

    The illegal scm should get the death penalty. He is one of hundreds of thousands who have raped, robed, and killed Americans. Yet there are those who continue to support them. Even those who want to free “this poor man” just because he is illegal. I say all illegals should be executed. Very qickly they would leave the US.

  • newamerica

    OK; the guy is an “illegal” immigrant, he´s also an alcoholic and a criminal. Does the fact that he´s here illegally cause the nun death? No. We´ve seen numerous people from different races, some citizens, some not, some teenegers, some not, driving while drunk and killing people. Take a ride along Rt. 5 in Southern Maryland or around Leesburg on weekends and you´ll see what I´m talking about. So, why not focus ON THE FACT that alcohol kills and we need more enforcement and prevention. OH, I forgot….. there is more political gain if we direct the frenzy into the illegal immigration thing instead of the alcoholism problem that is killing so many of our citizens. No wonder is an election year…..!!!

  • jm125

    These nuns are imbeciles. If they don’t mind being crashed into and killed by this criminal lowlife, that is their buisness. However, drunk driving illegals are a threat to the population in general. We already have more than enough indigenous drunk drivers, we don’t need drunk citizens of other countries playing demo derby on our roads.

  • Over-n-Out

    Its nice to know that the sister’s are Christian, apparently to the core. I hope I never have to be that strong. Bravo to them.I wish the church would quit aspiring to Ceasar’s place. In theory, we the people should be telling our Ceasars how to handle this. It appears we have though many are claiming to be unhappy with this outcome.

  • beesknees

    It’s “Illegal Alien” not “Illegal Immigrant”, Can you get that right or is that 100K student loan for a 12 year old like yourself not a good substitute for your DC public education upbringing?

  • stnmsn8

    Forgiveness and repentance go together. No repentance; no forgiveness. How many innocent people will have to suffer before he is held accountable for his actions?

  • toc59

    “When is it right to forgive, and when to punish?”It’s up to the aggrieved to decide when it is right to forgive. It is up to society through it’s laws, and not up to any religious entity, to decide when to punish.If you want to live in country where religious authorities determine punishment then move to Iran, The Sudan, Saudi Arabia or anywhere that the Taliban rules.

  • doyouktt

    this country has gone to the dogs so who cares anymore any way. we have fruit loop progressives stomping on the rights of every day people. they are athiest or agnostic and all they want is a socialistic world view and screw the rest of us who think ILLEGAL means you are not authorized to be here. And CRIMINAL meaning you need to suffer the consequences of your actions. Lastly, we the taxpayer will pick up the tab for his incarceration. i never thought moving to Iran was such a good idea until recently. Viva Obama the new messiah.

  • cr10

    Shame on WAPO for even discussing this child’s citizenship status. There is no such thing as an illegal alien. This child needs help, maybe alcohol treatment to start.

  • bitterblogger

    A drunken driver killed the nun. She’d be just as dead if Montano had a green card. In any event, it’s a fantasy to believe an underfunded government agency can monitor every law breaker. They need to concentrate their resources on violent felons. It’s likely his previous convictions were misdemeanors.


    I think we mollycoddle drunks. I don’t care who or what they are – a drunk driver is a drunk driver. One drunk driving offense and you lose the privilege to drive forever. We don’t raise our children to be slaughtered on the highways by irresponsible drivers who have no business being on the roads.

  • wrldtrvlr1982

    As an illegal alien, he should have been deported earlier, in fact since the entire family was illegal (visa overstay) from 1998 on, they all should never have been in the U.S. in the first place. For those who support illegal aliens, what if it were your wife/mother/sister he had murdered and you saw the whole chain where this could have been prevented if the federal, state of local authorities could have done something; longer jail sentences, earlier deportation, checking his immigration status earlier on? If it were my family member, well the Bible would serve as a guide as to how to treat him, Old Testament style.

  • wrldtrvlr1982

    The Catholic Church support for illegal aliens is on par with the Democratic Party, support them and you will gain more constituents/parishioners. The Church, which has seen a huge amount of scandal and is losing members, must seek parishioners in other ways. The Democrats, having alienated much of their base, now hope to gain those who are illegal by offering the hope of citizenship without having earned it the legal way.

  • RayK1

    The outcome is clear.Deportation is the law of the land. The Feds must uphold the law and deport the man.

  • roy2

    Funny that no one has used the classic New York quote regarding Mr. Montano (and other illegal border jumpers):”If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

  • Athena4

    From the WaPo just last week:The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.Nearly 50 percent of the people who have been deported from the United States this budget year have a criminal conviction, from driving without a license and DUI to major felonies, ICE’s Morton said. That represents an increase of more than 36,000 over the same period in 2009, which showed a rise of 22,000 over 2008. “Occasionally, you will hear criticism that our criminal alien efforts are focused around people with cracked tailpipes and speeding tickets. That’s simply false,” Morton said.

  • jburnetti

    Suppose, just suppose, that after the first or second arrest, an officer had been allowed to ask, “are you in this country legally?”. Might a tragedy have been averted? Just a thought.

  • PGirl

    The church forgives and the law punishes. I think that’s fair.

  • CharlesMcKay1

    The Catholic Church’s pro-mass-immigration advocacy, like that of the major Jewish organizations and some protestant groups, is disgraceful. They put their narrow institutional interests ahead of those of the country, and their individual American constituents.

  • Martial

    Not to be atrabilious here, but the crux of the illegal alien issue is crime. When one of your acquaintances is gunned down by the drug gangs, you’ll understand.

  • FutureView2010

    From the CNN story: “Montano was released on his own recognizance pending deportation proceedings, because he was not convicted of a violent felony such as murder, rape, or robbery.”This is not a religious or moral issue. This is people getting killed because the Feds do not want to do their jobs.

  • hakafos44

    This is a substance abuse issue not an immigration issue. Too many people drink and drive, and then get a judicial “pass” only to commit vehicular homicide in the future.

  • r_leever

    I live in Arizona. On the back of my truck, in big, bold letters is my response to Kicanas: ILLEGALS ARE IMMORAL.

  • PSolus

    “In light of Sister Denise’s death, what is the proper role of religious forgiveness in society?”The same as is the role of religious anything else in society.”Are the Benedictines right to emphasize Christian forgiveness?”They are free to emphasize whatever they choose.”Are the bishops correct to eschew amnesty?”You’ll have to ask them.Define “correct” in this instance.It is right to forgive whenever one wants to forgive.It is right to punish whenever the punishment is within the law, common sense, and the general and individual good.

  • MarkDavidovich

    God knows how hard it is for us to forgive anything! We should commend those brave and merciful nuns for their forgiveness of a man who killed one of them. But the sin of illegal immigration (if that be sinful) was not against the nuns, but against society as a whole. It iw we, not those nuns, who must forgive him or not for his alleged illegal immigration.

  • LyndaLBD

    I’m all for forgiveness, but this so called child of God killed another child of God, while he has 2 other DWI convictions and awaiting trial. So sisters of God, when do we see fit to punish a killer who willingly upped his hand to his body, got so drunk and drove a car irresponsibly, to take a life? Illegal or not, he still has to be held accountable. 2 DWI’s and drunk driving causing a death are 3 too many times.

  • wireman65

    Who gives a fnck what the catholic church’s postion is on aspect of American politics?

  • kchses1

    It’s silly to call illegal immigration immoral. Labor and capital flow like water to the points of least resistance. If labor is needed in one place people will go there regardless of borders. If capital can flourish somewhere it will be invested there. It is a natural force and to label nature immoral is silly. It is what it is. I see no reason why one cannot forgive and punish. Forgiving someone does not mean they should not accept responsibility for a crime and therefor accept punishment. They are not mutually exclusive.

  • Pilot1

    Stop calling these people immigrants they are not immigrants they are illegal aliens. Second this drunk driving thing with illegal Latinos is a huge problem and this nun’s death is sadly not all the unusual. Third what is our government doing letting this guy run loose? This again is not an isolated incident. The illegal alien that killed the woman in Potomac was arrested numerous times. It seems that political correctness has trumped the protection of our citizens.

  • 78vette

    Why does this have to be an issue of forgiveness OR punishment? There can, and should, be both. The nuns can forgive this man for what happened as religion teaches us to do, but the authorities should have carried out the punishment part by removing him from this country long ago. The same thing happened here, Savannah. A drunk illegal ran an 80 year old couple off the road, killing one instantly and the other died of injuries a few days later. This individual, who they knew was illegal, was allowed to post bail. Guess who didn’t show up for Court?

  • 78vette

    Why does it have to be forgiveness OR punishment? It should be both. The nuns can forgive this man for what he did, as religion teaches us to do. But, the authorities had the responsibility to protect the rest of us by removing this individual from our country. Same thing happened here in Savannah. A drunk illegal ran an 80-year old couple off the road, killing one instantly, the other died of injuries a few days later. This man, who they knew was illegal, was allowed to post bail. Guess who didn’t show up for court?

  • zcxnissan

    I am happy that the nuns are willing to forgive this drunk illegal coward, are they also willing to forgive pedophile priests and the breaking of laws by those who provide sanctuary for these criminals(apologists and Catholic churches, and certain criminal elements.) The laws were broken this individual should have been deported along with all of his family members.

  • ThishowIseeit

    To forgive a second time offender will lead to anarchy. Nuns still believe in the Book of Genesis ( our universe was created in six days) and take the entire Bible literally, specially The Sermon of The Mount. But science has proved that Genesis should not be taken literally and so the entire Bible.

  • alance

    Mexico is a profoundly Catholic nation – perhaps the most Catholic nation on earth. The Mexican people are very religious and conservative and follow their religious teachings and have lots of children.The Catholic Church believes in taking care of their own. It is much easier to forgive your own. Catholic Charities does more to help Mexicans than any other organization in America.

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