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USCCB News Release Archives

 
10-090
May 08, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Leaders at Cultural Diversity Convocation Send Letter of Support to Arizona Bishops on Immigration


NOTRE DAME, Ind.—Catholic leaders from across the United States participating in the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, on the last day of their meeting, sent an open letter to the Catholic bishops of Arizona, expressing their support for the bishops’ leadership in raising opposition to Arizona Law SB 1070.

“We write in order to express our solidarity with you and the Catholic community under your care and all the people of Arizona and throughout the United States who have raised their voices in opposition to Arizona Law SB1070,” the letter read. “This is a law which undermines the fabric of society by creating an atmosphere of discrimination against certain members of the community, profiling minorities and creating fear among persons of color regardless of their immigration status.”

In their letter, the leaders also lamented the lack of leadership in both parties at the federal level and called for immediate action on comprehensive immigration reform so that “we may find the way forward so that the rights and dignity of human beings including the undocumented as well as the integrity of our borders will be safeguarded and preserved.”

Participants in the Convocation came from every region in the country and represented the many cultures, races and ethnicities that make up the Catholic Church in the United States, including those of European American, African American, Native American, Asian and Latin origin, as well as refugees, migrants and itinerant peoples.

Full text of letter follows.

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF ARIZONA
 May 8, 2010
Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix
Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson
Most Reverend James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup

 

Dear Bishops Olmsted, Kicanas and Wall,

We, the undersigned, are among more than 300 church leaders attending the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation at the University of Notre Dame from May 6-8, 2010.  We are a cross-section of the entire Catholic Church in the United States coming from every region in the country and representing the many families of cultures, races and ethnicities that make up the Church in the United States including those of European origin.

We are blessed with the presence of nineteen archbishops and bishops, among them Archbishop Pietro Sambi, personal representative of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, together with priests, religious men and women, deacons and hundreds of  lay ministers and Catholic professionals.

We write in order to express our solidarity with you and the Catholic community under your care and all the people of Arizona and throughout the United States who have raised their voices in opposition to Arizona Law SB1070. This is a law which undermines the fabric of society by creating an atmosphere of discrimination against certain members of the community, profiling minorities and creating fear among persons of color regardless of their immigration status.

In expressing this concern we realize that all the people of Arizona together with millions of others throughout our country are suffering from a broken immigration system that is in need of immediate, comprehensive reform. We lament that both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government who rightly have jurisdiction in this matter, together with the leadership of both political parties, have shown themselves unwilling to resolve the urgent need for a new and equitable immigration policy. The time for them to face the issue of immigration reform is long past due.

We congratulate you for your courage and leadership in this matter as well as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for taking a constructive, well-reasoned stand on these controversial matters consistent with Catholic social teaching.  You have been stalwart advocates for human dignity and the common good. You and your people have opened doors to immigrants and welcomed them to the table of the Word and of the Eucharist. Through these gestures of solidarity you are a hopeful sign in American society that we are stronger together and you move us closer to the vision of Pentecost as a diverse people of one mind and heart. We pray that working together with all persons of good will we may find the way forward so that the rights and dignity of human beings including the undocumented as well as the integrity of our borders will be safeguarded and preserved.

For our part we pledge our continued prayers and efforts in our local communities to lift up the need for immediate action on immigration reform.

Sincerely yours,

Participants at the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation 2010
Notre Dame, Indiana
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Keywords: cultural diversity, immigration, Arizona SB1070, comprehensive immigration reform

 



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