Skip to comments.Arizona bishops release dramatic letter on immigration
Posted on 12/10/2005 1:30:46 PM PST by Coleus
Tucson, Dec. 09, 2005 (CNA) - The bishops of Arizona are calling on Catholics to welcome immigrants into their parishes, whether documented or undocumented, and to work to reform the U.S. immigration laws in an effort to facilitate immigration and stem the growing number of migrant deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Arizona Catholic Conference has made this appeal in its first-ever pastoral letter on migration, titled You Welcomed Me. It will be officially released Dec. 12, on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Arizona has become the focal point of the immigration debate in recent years, given the concentration of border crossing at the Arizona-Mexico border, the record number of migrant deaths, and the growing presence of civilian patrol groups, noted the bishops.
In 2005, at least 261 border crossing deaths were documented in Arizonamore than half of the 460 migrant deaths reported all along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The bishops expressed their sadness about the deaths at the border, the division among citizens over the issue of immigration, and the hostility expressed toward migrants. They acknowledged the legitimate strain of this crisis on different aspects of society, but they reminded Catholics of their call to live out the principles of global solidarity and to defend the human dignity of the other.
Despite these hardships, the bishops said they believe Arizona can lead the country to a comprehensive and permanent solution to our broken immigration system.
Based in Scripture and teaching The bishops highlighted the scriptural foundation for the call of Catholics to welcome the stranger, citing the experience of the people of Israel in Egypt and their subsequent liberation, the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan, and the Holy Familys flight into Egypt as refugees.
Catholic social teaching has consistently maintained that the goods of the earth belong to all people and that it is the right of the worker to migrate to sustain their family when they are unable to achieve a life of dignity in their own land, the bishops underlined.
This teaching was stated in 1891 in the encyclical Rerum Novarum. It was repeated 40 years later by Pope Pius XI in his document Quadragessimo Anno, and then again at the end of World War II by Pope Pius XII in Exsul Familia.
And while Catholic teaching recognizes that nations have the right to control their own borders and to regulate immigration, this right is not absolute, said the bishops. Instead, they explained: the needs of immigrants must be measured against the needs of the receiving countries, and that the rights of these nations must not be exaggerated to the point of denying access to needy people from other countries.
Wealth of contributions There are currently about 10 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and the bishops noted their contributions, particularly in Arizona, both economically and in the Church.
For example, the bishops cited a report by the Thunderbird School of International Management, which states that Mexican immigrants generated a fiscal surplus of approximately US$106 million to Arizona in 2001.
As many of the immigrants are Catholic, they have also brought deeply rooted religious traditions and practices to parishes throughout the state, said the bishops.
They have proven themselves to be extremely hard working and very committed to the family values we hold so dear. Many of our parishes in the state have blossomed because of the contributions of new immigrant parishioners and their families, the bishops continued. Finding new ways to welcome and integrate immigrants into parish life can only make us a stronger and more united Church in Arizona.
Acknowledging the legitimate concern that undocumented immigrants are violating the law, the bishops described the countrys immigration laws as outdated, no longer fitting the economic realities and security needs of our times.
While we do not condone undocumented immigration, we recognize that it would not be feasible to deport all of these immigrants. We must find a way to bring them out of the shadows and incorporate them into society, said the bishops. This will ultimately enhance national security, help stabilize the labor market in the United States, improve the living standards of immigrant communities, and encourage them to become more active participants in our society.
The bishops said they would like others to join them in their commitment to pray for and with all those affected by this crisis; make parishes more welcoming; learn about the issues; call for comprehensive immigration reform; support efforts to reduce poverty in Mexico and Latin America; and participate in the partnership with sister dioceses in Mexico.
They have also invited priests and parishioners to reflect on these issues and to discuss ways to transform the situation. Parishes are urged to prayerfully reflect and comment in small groups on the pastoral letter, using the attached study guide.
Arizonas bishops include Bishops Gerald Kicanas of Tucson; Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix; Donald Pelotte of Gallop, and William Skurla of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys.
For the full letter, go to:
Follow the money.
As you should have been.
Catholics poo poohed it saying the Vatican was not involved in influencing American catholics.
The above foolish, prudential statement comes from the Bishops in Arizona not the Vatican and I wonder how you felt about the instruction from then Cardinal Ratzinger to Catholics about voting for politicians who promote abortion.
The vatican is no different than Al Queda in it's desire to take over the world.
That is your asinine, prudential opinion.
It must feel queasy about Europe and is doubling it's efforts to take over America.
Another asinine, prudential opinion.
The Vatican never agreed to Freedom of religion.
The Vatican believes that man possesses free will.
Attendance is down, many have complained, but the Church seems to not care at all. >>>
they'll change, I know up north, the Hispanic Masses don't come close in the collection basket as do the others.
and I like to point out to liberal catholics is that how are we helping the immigration of those catholics in India, Africa and elsewhere? Seems they don't count, just the illegals coming from Mexico do. That's not too fair.
It prospered in Spanish held areas but coveted the USA.
It is now going for it.
If you keep them in poverty and desperate for your help, it's far easier to control them.
Oh jeez, something else to worry about huh? The topic of immigration sometimes precipitates the most interesting comments.
Here is the party that is the best fit for you.
...Oh jeez, something else to worry about huh? ......
Both Robert Heinlein the noted futurist and Will Durant the greatest modern historian warned of the coming Catholic migration decades ago.
A real question arises: Are not the migrants being exploited by the rich? Do they think that Mexico will ever have a just government when the ruling class of that country can export their needy to North America?
I guess it won't be long until Roe v Wade is reversed huh?
Excellent point. I generally don't have a problem with the Catholic faith (I am the oddball who consider them fellow Christians) HOWEVER this stuff goes all over me. Even when I was a member I hated their socialistic leanings.
Churches are more than welcome to try to tackle the problem in the home countries that are disgorging zillions of illegal immigrants into the US. It's far easier to chastize the Rich Americans into taking them all in.
Yes, please do. Pray for them, lead by example, and ignore stupid comments.
Oh, wait, I don't do that last one either! ;)
We are descendants of Europe, it was by the catholic church who had influence in Europe, who educated children, whose monasteries transcribed the bible, wrote the entire logarithmic tables, was responsible for so many inventions. there is so much the church did for the world and for the continuation of western civilization that the average person and non-catholic just does not know.
Those Bishops are outlaws.
"The Catholic church has been running an Underground Railroad for Illegals for decades. "
You mean like "The Ratline" for Nazis to Argentina?
I hope you will. In countries where the Catholic religion dominates church leaders are part of the power structure. They feed off the ignorance and superstition of peasant classes in third world nations. Mexico is a good example.
American Catholic rank and file are primarily good moral people. The bishops, cardinals, etc are not. America's large middle class is too enlightened to accept Catholic doctrine without question. They also will not tolerate the immorality of the above.
You are right on!
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