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Catholic Bishops Respond to Executive Order on Immigration

There’s been a great outcry against President Trump’s executive order on immigration. The order stops Syrian refugees from entering the United States indefinitely, suspends any refugee admissions for 120 days, and blocks citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

In this podcast, Father Dave talks about the executive order, shares a joint statement from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Archbishop José H. Gomez, president and vice president of the USCCB, respectively, and responds to their call to speak out in defense of human dignity and live out the teachings of Christ.

From the statement:

“The refugees fleeing from ISIS and other extremists are sacrificing all they have in the name of peace and freedom. Often, they could be spared if only they surrendered to the violent vision of their tormentors. They stand firm in their faith. Many are families, no different from yours or mine, seeking safety and security for their children. Our nation should welcome them as allies in a common fight against evil. We must screen vigilantly for infiltrators who would do us harm, but we must always be equally vigilant in our welcome of friends.”

Father Dave emphasized that last point: “In the polemic rhetoric of our media and our politics today, we are forced into a binary of an either-or. What Cardinal DiNardo and Archbishop Gomez are saying is that it’s not either-or. We’re not to be vigilant against infiltrators who want to do us harm or welcome the stranger. It is both. And both are possible. We can be vigilant about both things.

“These refugees have already been stringently vetted by the U.S government. Can we ever keep out every person who will do us harm? Of course not. But if our fear of potentially having a terrorist on U.S. soil pushes us in the direction of being inhospitable and uncharitable, that’s too far.”

Father Dave also reflected on the conflict that some Catholics feel about a pro-life administration that is also implementing policies that are harmful to refugees, immigrants, and the most vulnerable. “We can celebrate pro-life victories with this election while still standing in strong opposition and defiance to the incredible injustice that’s being done with policies regarding refugees and immigration. This is the Catholic Church. This is the teaching of Jesus and there’s no way around it.” (Original Air 01-30-17)

Photo caption: A woman holds a sign as protesters march toward the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 29. The group was protesting President Donald Trump’s executive memorandum suspending admission of any refugees to the United States for 120 days and banning entry for 90 days of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)