Statement of Resolution
We, the members of the Franciscan Federation, recognize that we live in a nation at a time when refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers are being turned away from our borders and held in detention centers. We hold our national leaders accountable for the reprehensible crime of separating children from their parents and placing them in detention. We are urged to “support [our] neighbor in his [her] weakness as one [sic] would want to be supported were he [she] in a similar situation,” (Adm XVIII: 1). We are called to support all efforts to ensure that displaced people are treated in a way that is consistent with Catholic Social Teaching.
We recall that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph sought refuge in Egypt and that St. Francis not only welcomed all peoples but also went beyond borders himself to visit and befriend the enemy and stranger.
We remember that St. Francis, who himself identified as a pilgrim and stranger, reached out to all people by noting that “the law of pilgrims [is] to be sheltered under someone else’s roof, to thirst for their homeland, and to travel in peace” (LMj7:2).
We heed the words of Pope Francis, who calls massive migration across the world the greatest humanitarian crisis of the 21st century and “protecting the world’s migrants and refugees… a moral imperative.” Since the beginning of his pontificate the issue of migration of refugees and asylum seekers has been a concern of Pope Francis because of the “globalization of indifference” shown toward them by many in the free world.
Call to Respond/Call to Action
Pope Francis in his address to the Participants in the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, May 24, 2013 said, “The Church is Mother and her motherly attention is expressed with special tenderness and closeness to those who are obliged to flee their own country and exist between rootlessness and integration. This tension destroys people. Christian compassion—this ‘suffering with’ compassion – is expressed first of all in the commitment to obtain knowledge of the events that force people to leave their homeland, and where necessary, to give voice to those who cannot manage to make their cry of distress and oppression heard. They are all elements that dehumanize and must push every Christian and the whole community to concrete attention.”
In order to respond with concrete attention, let our Call to Action be:
- Contact the Department of Home Land Security and demand that they reunite the children with their family;
- Contact the President, your Senators and Representative and be an intercessor for Refugees, Immigrants and Asylum Seekers;
- Submit editorial letters and Op-Eds to the newspapers and other publications;
- Endeavor to form a nuanced and balanced position by dialoging with those with different opinions, reading diverse publications, and listening to others;
- Participate in efforts to correct systemic root causes of forced migration, such as war, poverty, and ethnic cleansing by prayer, financial contributions, and intellectual collaboration;
- Work to bring about comprehensive, immigration reform in the United States.
What to Watch/What to Read:
US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Where R the Refugees
LCWR Immigration Coalition