I have been closely watching the movement of thousands of desperate Central American migrants; men, woman and children seeking asylum who approach our southern borders and my heart breaks for all those seeking a better life. I pray that all of us who are called to honor and respect the dignity of every person will speak and act with compassion towards those migrating north and seeking refuge from violence and poverty. While all nations must protect their borders, governments also must enforce laws proportionately, treat all people humanely and provide due process.
I add my voice to that of Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services and Sister Donna Markham OP PhD, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA urging all governments to abide by international law and existing domestic laws that protect those seeking safe haven and ensure that all those who are returned to their home country are protected and repatriated safely. In a particular way, the underlying causes of violence and lack of opportunity in Central America must be addressed in a comprehensive and regional manner.
I also ask for prayers for who are amassed at the border that they will be treated with the respect, kindness and dignity they deserve. Throughout history our nation has been known to the world as a place where hearts are moved by compassion. May the compassion of Christ fill us with the wisdom and courage to do the right thing in addressing this urgent humanitarian need.
Click HERE to read a statement by interfaith leaders of Northeast Ohio.