Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
"Time to act is now"
by Bishop Blase J. Cupich
(From the June 19, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)
The bishops of the United States are calling on Catholics to make a full-court press in the coming weeks on two important issues that are of urgent concern to our Church: peace in the Holy Land and immigration reform.
U.S.-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are on hold, and immigration reform needs bipartisan support at a time when there is little bipartisan cooperation. These realities demand both our prayers and public advocacy.
Pope Francis is offering leadership on the first issue. You know that he recently made an historic trip to the Holy Land. Two images stand out in the minds of many: his prayer at the security barrier in Bethlehem and his prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. On Sunday, June 8, the presidents of Israel and the Palestinian Authority joined the Holy Father in Rome to pray for peace. The president of our Bishops Conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, has asked us to join this intention in our personal and communal prayers.
As to the second issue, on May 29, members of the USCCB Committee on Migration celebrated a “Mass for Immigrants and their Families” at St. Peter Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Catholic lawmakers were called upon to show the political courage to act on this vital issue of immigration reform. This gathering was a follow-up to an earlier event held at the U.S.- Mexico border April 1. In the April Inland Register we published Cardinal O’Malley’s homily at that Mass.
Archbishop Kurtz has issue a statement which is published in this edition of the Inland Register in both English and Spanish. Your participation in prayer is much appreciated, but so is your advocacy with our elected officials, asking them to move forward without delay on comprehensive immigration reform.
These two issues stand at critical junctures, prayer and advocacy become especially timely and urgent. Only with God’s help will peace and justice prevail.
Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky
President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
June 5, 2014
In his first message to mark the World Day of Migrants, Pope Francis wrote: “Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected, and loved.”
In this spirit, I call upon our political leaders to reform our nation’s broken immigration system. The time to act is now.
As pastors, we see the human consequences of this broken system each day in our parishes and social service programs, as families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings risk everything to find a better life for themselves and the ones they love. Our nation should no longer tolerate an unjust system.
We will pray for and work with members of Congress so that they might reform our immigration laws in a manner that properly balances the protection of human rights with the rule of law.
And as we approach our General Assembly next week in New Orleans, I would ask my brother bishops to join me in offering our prayers, works, and joys of that meeting for the intention that the human dignity of all immigrants be fully respected, that they may be treated, truly, as “brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected, and loved.”
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