In recent weeks, many Catholic bishops have expressed concern over executive orders that impact immigrants and refugees, including one that reduces existing protections for unaccompanied migrant children. Bishops have noted that while nations have a right to secure their borders, we as Christians and citizens of the most prosperous nation on earth are obliged to welcome and care for immigrants and refugees (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2241).
The bishops remind us of our obligations in order to help us form our consciences.
As Catholics, we both advocate for the vulnerable, such as refugees, victims of trafficking, and unaccompanied children, and work to assist them.
Sadly, the work of MRS has come under attack from abortion extremists. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against HHS, because it exempted the USCCB from having to facilitate abortion and contraceptive “services” to those who come under our care as unaccompanied children.
It seems that the ACLU believes that the “right” to an abortion trumps the needs of unaccompanied children.
Catholics, in following Jesus, believe that all life is precious. We protect the vulnerable in the womb and welcome the vulnerable migrant. We cannot choose one over the other. We say a resounding yes to both.
As is so often the case, if Catholic institutions are prevented from offering services to unaccompanied children by extreme abortion activists, there is little reason to believe that other groups will be able to continue the work as effectively. Furthermore, many Catholic institutions and networks offer more than just a service.
As both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have said, the Church is not merely an NGO. The work of MRS is motivated by Christian love, which infuses every aspect of their service. This is an irreplaceable contribution to the common good.
The world witnessed thousands of people gather at airports to show support for those who had been detained following President Donald TrumpDonald Trump Jeb Bush: Trump a ‘distraction in and of himself’ Protests erupt across Russia, hundreds arrested: reports Ill. gov candidate runs as fresh face, despite ties to political machine MORE’s executive orders regarding immigrants and refugees. These people cheered as lawyers, including ACLU lawyers, arrived to assist the detainees and some arriving immigrant children.
And yet, the ACLU is also working to undermine the very men and women who dedicate their lives to serving migrants and refugees.
Pope Francis has said that it is not necessary for Christians to talk about abortion all the time. Perhaps the ACLU could heed this wisdom, and let us get on with our work.
Let’s support migrants and refugees. Let’s start by supporting the people who do the day-to-day work of assisting migrants and refugees. Let’s put people above ideology.
Archbishop William Lori is Archbishop of Baltimore and Chair of the U.S. Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.
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