President and Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Stand in Defense of All Faiths in Response to Executive Order on Refugees

January 31, 2017 By Public Affairs Office
 "Whendid we see you a stranger and welcome you?"Matthew25:38

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president ofthe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop José H. Gomezof Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, have issued the following jointstatement regarding the recent executive order on the new refugee policyannounced by President Trump this past Friday. President Trump's executiveorder suspends the entry of refugees into the United States for 120days. The order also indefinitely stops the admission of Syrian refugeesand for 90 days, bars individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Fulljoint statement as follows:

Over the past several days, many brotherbishops have spoken out in defense of God's people. We are grateful for theirwitness. Now, we call upon all theCatholic faithful to join us as we unite our voices with all who speak indefense of human dignity.

The bond between Christians and Muslims isfounded on the unbreakable strength of charity and justice. The Second Vatican Council in Nostra Aetate urged us to sincerely worktoward a mutual understanding that would "promote together for the benefit ofall mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom." TheChurch will not waver in her defense of our sisters and brothers of all faithswho suffer at the hands of merciless persecutors.

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

The Lord Jesus fled the tyranny of Herod,was falsely accused and then deserted by his friends. He had nowhere to lay Hishead (Lk. 9:58). Welcoming the stranger and those in flight is not one optionamong many in the Christian life. It isthe very form of Christianity itself. Our actions must remind people of Jesus. The actions of our governmentmust remind people of basic humanity. Where our brothers and sisters suffer rejection and abandonment we willlift our voice on their behalf. We will welcome them and receive them. They areJesus and the Church will not turn away from Him.

Our desire is not to enter the politicalarena, but rather to proclaim Christ alive in the world today. In the very moment a family abandons theirhome under threat of death, Jesus is present. And He says to each of us, "whatever you did for one of these leastbrothers of mine, you did for me" (MT 25:40).-----
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo,Archbishop José H. Gomez, President Trump, Executive Order, refugee policy,Christianity, Muslim faith, human dignity, Syrian refugees, social justice,humanity.  ###
Judy Keane
O: 202-541-3200