Friday, January 13, 2017

US Cardinal appeals for respect for all migrants and refugees

Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement for National Migration Week. 

The theme of the week this year draws attention to Pope Francis' call to create a culture of encounter. 

Today, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles played a taped video message from Pope Francis at the end of a Mass as part of National Migration Week celebrations.

Cardinal DiNardo said: "This week, in large cathedrals and small parish churches across the country, people of faith are celebrating National Migration Week with prayer and sharing. This morning in Los Angeles, Pope Francis joined that prayer with a special video message. It was an excellent reminder of how the universal Church gathers us, no matter our station in life, as one body in Christ.

In the days and weeks ahead, there will be intense debate over immigration reform and refugee policy. Ultimately, the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless of their national origin or religion, in a way that respects their inherent dignity as children of God? Pope Francis reminds us we are all equal before God. In equal measure, we are in need of and can receive God's great mercy. This is what makes us sisters and brothers, regardless of how we chose to divide ourselves.

Achieving 'one nation under God' has not always been easy, but each earlier period of immigration has ultimately strengthened our society. Those who seek to do us harm must be kept from our shores, but those fleeing persecution in need of hope and ready to help us build a better America must be welcomed. We need not sink into the darkness of isolation. Comprehensive immigration reform and a humane refugee policy are equally necessary and possible. We join our voice with the Holy Father and the universal Church in a continued witness to the love that unites us, praying for the strength to resist the fear that divides us."

See the Pope's video message here:

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