Diocese of St. Cloud
Director of Communications
June 22, 2018
BISHOP KETTLER’S STATEMENT RE: CURRENT IMMIGRATION ISSUES
Pope Francis, flying home yesterday from a visit to Switzerland, addressed a reporter’s question about the hesitancy of countries to take in immigrants and refugees. The Holy Father said nations should be guided by four simple words: welcome, accompany, accommodate, integrate.
Our country has a long history of welcoming immigrants and refugees who leave their homelands to escape extreme poverty, violence or persecution. Jesus commands us to welcome and care for our brothers and sisters in need. As Christians we are called to respect the God-given dignity of every human being, especially the most vulnerable, including families and their children seeking a better life here in the United States.
This is why I am saddened by much of the recent news concerning immigration. The practice of separating children from their families is immoral and every step must be taken to reunite them as quickly as possible. Federal efforts to fix our broken immigration system continue to fall short. Establishing so-called “zero-tolerance” policies, building border walls, and ending family-based migration will harm, rather than help, people in need. And we need to still find a way for Dreamers — young people who were brought to this country by undocumented parents — to obtain full lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship. These youth already contribute to our parishes and communities in so many positive ways.
I’m asking every Catholic in the Diocese of Saint Cloud and every person of good will to join me in creating communities of hospitality and welcome for immigrants and refugees. Following the guidance of Pope Francis, let us accompany them to learn about their experiences and help them to settle in and integrate into their new homes. They aren’t here to take something away from us, but rather to share their lives and their gifts, which ultimately strengthen and enrich all of our families and communities. Please be an advocate whenever and wherever you can, working with your parish’s social concerns team and urging your elected officials to create a fair and just immigration system.
Let us also continue to pray for peace in our world, for the end to the situations that cause people to flee their homes, and for all the people of our diocese. We must be the face of Christ to all of our neighbors in need.