Archbishop Listecki Responds to Immigration Reform Action

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki responded to the Obama administration's plans to legally permit up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States temporarily, saying that in the history of the Catholic Church, helping immigrants is not something new.

"Over the course of the past 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has helped millions of immigrants – Catholic and non-Catholic – to prosper in new lands and we will continue to do so because we see the image and likeness of God in every human being," Archbishop Listecki explained. "From the prophets to the recent Papal teachings, the Church has had a consistent message: welcome the stranger (Mt 25:35)."

"We look forward to working with the president and the Congress to achieve immigration reform," he added.

Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, echoed Archbishop Listecki's thoughts as he welcomed the news that deportations for many undocumented immigrants and their families will be defered.

“We have a long history of welcoming and aiding the poor, the outcast, the immigrant, and the disadvantaged. Each day, the Catholic Church in the United States, in her social service agencies, hospitals, schools, and parishes, witnesses the human consequences of the separation of families, when parents are deported from their children or spouses from each other. We’ve been on record asking the Administration to do everything within its legitimate authority to bring relief and justice to our immigrant brothers and sisters. As pastors, we welcome any efforts within these limits that protect individuals and protect and reunite families and vulnerable children,” said Bishop Elizondo.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, and president of the USCCB said, “There is an urgent pastoral need for a more humane view of immigrants and a legal process that respects each person’s dignity, protects human rights, and upholds the rule of law. As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, said so eloquently: ‘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.’”

Bishop Elizondo added, “I strongly urge Congress and the President to work together to enact permanent reforms to the nation’s immigration system for the best interests of the nation and the migrants who seek refuge here. We will continue to work with both parties to enact legislation that welcomes and protects immigrants and promotes a just and fair immigration policy.”

News information provided, in part, by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Published:11/21/2014
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