Sadly, our new President has begun his term with a series of executive orders and memoranda targeting immigrants and refugees. Happily, the Church and organized labor are swiftly speaking out in defense of these vulnerable workers.
The Church is emerging as a major voice of opposition to the new policies. On January 30, 2017, USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Vice President Archbishop Jose Gomez issued a statement on the executive order blocking Muslim refugees from entering the United States, reading in part:
We call upon all the Catholic faithful to join us as we unite our voices with all who speak in defense of human dignity… Welcoming the stranger and those in flight is not one option among many in the Christian life. It is the very form of Christianity itself. Our actions must remind people of Jesus. The actions of our government must remind people of basic humanity. Where our brothers and sisters suffer rejection and abandonment we will lift our voice on their behalf. We will welcome them and receive them. They are Jesus and the Church will not turn away from Him.
Our desire is not to enter the political arena, but rather to proclaim Christ alive in the world today. In the very moment a family abandons their home under threat of death, Jesus is present. And He says to each of us, ‘whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’ (MT 25:40).
The USCCB is circulating an Action Alert asking Catholics to petition the president and their elected representatives to end the ban and resume refugee resettlement. (CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE)
This action by the USCCB leaders followed a series of statements from Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, in his capacity as chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, opposing presidential moves to stop refugee resettlement, suppress sanctuary cities, and start construction of a wall on the US-Mexico Border.
For detailed information and additional resources, the bishops maintain a web page filled with Catholic Social Teaching links and resources addressing immigration and another concerning migrants and refugees.
What’s happening in your Diocese, Parish or Catholic organization? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or add your story in the comment field below!