Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Abbot's (I mean Archbishop's) response

As you know, I try to show people in this blog the wisdom of the bishops. You can read my reaction to a raid that happened in Postville, Iowa below. Here is my Archbishop's response whose incredible pastoral sense shows through. Since he was an abbot before he was ordained bishop, he knows what the rule of Benedict means when it says, "Let him not love one more than another, unless it be one whom he finds more exemplary in good works and obedience. Let not a free-born be preferred to a freedman, unless there be some other reasonable cause."

The actions taken by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Postville on May 12 highlight once again the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Families have been disrupted; parents and children are filled with fear. Many are uncertain whether their loved ones will be arrested, imprisoned indefinitely, or deported.

This state of terror for families is evidence that our political system has not adequately addressed the demand for labor, the inadequacies of our present immigration policies and practices, and the broader economic challenges. Some of the weakest members among us are bearing the brunt of the suffering, while legislators and other leaders, as well as many of us in the general public, have failed to give this issue the priority that it deserves.

Leaders in the Roman Catholic community, as well as many other religious leaders, have called for comprehensive immigration reform which strives:

I urge all persons of goodwill to work at changing a system

Our religious and social response is based on the Judeo-Christian scriptures, which call believers to welcome the stranger among us, to treat the alien with respect and charity, and to provide pastoral and humanitarian assistance. While we do not condone illegal activity, we do give spiritual and moral support to suffering families.

All of us should urgently reiterate the call to our legislators to work for comprehensive reform.

I express my gratitude to all who are helping in these painful circumstances and assure our prayers and support to those who are suffering.

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