The following is a statement by Msgr. Michael Shugrue, Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Raleigh, regarding the current and ongoing immigration crisis in this country:
As I reflect on the recent terrorist tragedies in Manchester and London, I also find myself reflecting on the issue of deportation in which families are separated. Catholic Social Teaching guides us in this complicated but important issue of immigration reform. I hope that this letter will provide some light where there appears to be darkness.
On January 26, 2017, the Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington and former Bishop of Raleigh, released the following statement affirming the need for immigration reform:
“…it is my hope and prayer that our elected officials will respond to the needs of our immigrants and their families in a way that respects their dignity as human persons, and that all entrusted with the protection and safety of our nation will carry out these sacred duties and responsibilities in a fair, just and responsible manner.”
Catholic Social Teaching tells us that our “first duty is to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person. Persons have the right to immigrate and thus government must accommodate this right to the greatest extent possible, especially financially blessed nations. Our second duty is to secure one’s borders and enforce the law for the sake of the common good. Sovereign nations have the right to enforce their laws, and all persons must respect the legitimate exercise of this right.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.
Please pray for our elected and appointed officials, that they would exercise this challenging need for both compassion and security. Their responsibilities are noticeably complex and while we should hold them accountable, we must also show them consideration when they fail. We must pray that they are lead to an appropriate balance of compassion and security, free from political division and rooted in the harmony of the common good.
May the Spirit of the Lord Jesus lead us and guide us to be His People in our world.