As I read the letters section in the Feb. 9-15 edition of the ACH, I felt sadness and regret with the criticism and comments by several writers regarding the statements by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, individual bishops and Catholic Charities in support of refugees in the face of the Trump administration’s executive order on the immigration travel ban.
My thought: What has happened to the Christian flock?
It seems many of us are driven by fear and falsehoods and succumb to baseless innuendo to the point that we turn away from longstanding principals, from both secular and religious standpoints, that truly do make America great.
No one would challenge our nation’s right to protect its citizens, but several of the letters reflected a lack of acknowledgment of existing refugee/visitor vetting requirements and immigration data. Certainly we should continually monitor and test our vetting procedures, but we also should not allow a distorted narrative to create a false equivalency that results in unnecessary chaos and suffering.
As a people of faith, we can - and should - do better. I applaud the statements and sentiments of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities and individuals who counsel compassion and steadfast resolve in the face of aggressive government actions.
As Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, said in a statement to the Catholic News Service: "Pope Francis has urged people not to close the door on migrants and refugees. In concert with the Holy Father, we believe we must move from attitudes of defensiveness and fear to acceptance, compassion and encounter.”