Archbishop Wenski vs. Gov. DeSantis: Controversy ‘blown way out of proportion’ by the New York Times

Yale professor and Pedro Pan child Dr. Carlos Eire on how The New York Times blew Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski’s faulty comparison to Cuban Pedro Pan kids way out of proportion.

Via the National Catholic Register:

NYTimes Story ‘Blown Way Out of Proportion,’ Says Cuban American Historian

The New York Times pits Florida Governor Ron DeSantis against Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, with Cuban Americans as the target

“DeSantis vs. Miami’s Archbishop, With Cuban Americans in the Middle,” screamed a March 15 New York Times headline that put Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, a vocal advocate for immigrants, in the crosshairs of the city’s feisty Cuban-American community, with additional pushback from Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis..

The origins of the controversy date back to early 2022, when Archbishop Wenski sharply criticized the Republican leader’s efforts to restrict the resettlement of unaccompanied minors crossing the border in the state.

“DeSantis is trying to stop all federal programs in Florida that serve these unaccompanied kids as well as services to Cubans (and Haitians, Venezuelans, etc.) released by the U.S. under its ‘parole’ authority,” charged the archbishop in a Jan. 14 column entitled, “Why is Governor Going After Children?” for The Florida Catholic, the archdiocesan newspaper.

Archbishop Wenski warned that the governor’s policy could shutter the Church-run Cutler Bay shelter, which has cared for about 50 children under COVID-19 restrictions.

And in an effort to build his case by tapping the experience of local Catholics, the archbishop equated the large numbers of unaccompanied minors crossing the border today with the historic Operation Pedro Pan airlift that brought 14,000 Cuban children to America in the tumultuous aftermath of the 1959 Cuban revolution.

“Sixty years after Pedro Pan … there are new waves of unaccompanied minors,” from Central America, he wrote “[T]hey are not much different from those Cuban children of 60 years ago. The desperation that has led the parents of today’s unaccompanied minors is not unlike the desperation that motivated Cuban parents 60 years ago.”


In an email exchange with Register Senior Editor Joan Frawley Desmond, Eire shared his views on Archbishop Wenski’s comments, while dismissing the Times’ coverage of the dispute as politically motivated and “blown way out of proportion.”

Archbishop Wenski equated the Pedro Pan airlift that brought more than 14,000 children fleeing the communist takeover with the arrival of large numbers of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America fleeing poverty and gang violence. Why were his remarks controversial for some Cuban Americans?

His remarks might have been controversial to some in the Pedro Pan community because the archbishop made what philosophers call a “category mistake” — that is, he erroneously assigned a quality or action to one category of immigrants that can only properly be assigned to a totally different category.

The circumstances surrounding the migration of unaccompanied minors vary immensely, as do the circumstances of all migrations. The two waves of juvenile migrants compared by the archbishop are vastly different in a multitude of ways.

Read the entire interview with Carlos Eire HERE.

3 thoughts on “Archbishop Wenski vs. Gov. DeSantis: Controversy ‘blown way out of proportion’ by the New York Times”

  1. Alas, the NYT cannot be shamed–it is too perverse, too used to getting away with all kinds of shit, and too comfortably fashionable, entrenched and “validated” as the non plus ultra of US journalism. It certainly cannot be reformed, not unless its hand were to be forced big time, so its heart would not be in it. The bottom line is that it absolutely cannot be trusted, most definitely not by us.

    And no, Wenski does not understand Cuban exile culture, or he’d be much more careful not to give offense, unless he’s not especially concerned about giving offense (not least because Cuban Catholics in in his area have been considerably more tolerant than other Hispanic Catholics in, say, LA would be if a non-Hispanic prelate offended their sensibilities).

  2. As I see it, Wenski was not a good fit for Miami, and Cuban Catholics should have made that clear long ago. He should never, for instance, have shown any overt support or sympathy for the late Cardinal Ortega, or given the impression he was a Bergoglio man, which I expect he is.

  3. Excellent response from Dr. Eire. Let me just add, Wenski is a pig. He doesn’t like Cubans–PERIOD. Everytime there is some controversy, he falls on the other side of the exile community. I don’t think that he has over coincided with us on anything. As Asombra notes, he is not a good fit for Miami. Outrageous that Cuban exiles constantly get “representatives” who don’t represent us, Another example are some of the professors at FIU and the Miami Herald. That Latin American Studies Department is a horror and the Herald, para que hablar.

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