The Archdiocese of Portland joins the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in urging Justice for Immigrants
By Portland Archdiocese,
The Archdiocese of Portland will participate with other dioceses around the United States in urging Congress to pass immigration reform. The campaign Justice for Immigrants is being led by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration. The Archdiocesan Office for Justice and Peace/Respect Life will coordinate the Justice for Immigrants postcard campaign beginning February 17, Ash Wednesday, and on the following weekend of February 20 – 21.
In a letter to the priests of the Archdiocese, Archbishop John G. Vlazny wrote “Whether the migrants arrive legally or not, one the fundamental requirements of our faith, based on the teachings of Christ himself and Catholic social teaching, is care for aliens and newcomers. Comprehensive immigration reform is the right step towards ensuring this care.” Archbishop Vlazny noted that the Archdiocese of Portland has an established pastoral goal of “serving the cultural diversity in our midst more effectively.”
The Bishops of the United States have stated that the current system for migrants is broken and harmful to human dignity. The Bishops have called for a reform program which is:
• Workable and includes a fair and realistic path to citizenship;
• A new worker program which provides participants a meaningful opportunity to obtain permanent residency;
• A temporary worker program to allow migrant workers to enter safely and humanely;
• A family based immigration reform which allows families to be reunited more quickly.
In his letter to priests Archbishop Vlazny acknowledged that some question why the Church is involving itself in this issue:
When the last serious discussion took place in Congress about migration reform, I received many letters that were critical of the Church’s stance concerning our undocumented sisters and brothers. Why do we care? We do because we remember the words Jesus shared with us through the 25th chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel, “For I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
The Archdiocesan Office of Justice and Peace/Respect Life has distributed postcards to the parishes of western Oregon. The parishes have been asked to make the postcards available to parishioners on Ash Wednesday, February 17, and the weekend of February 20 – 21. Postcards will be gathered and forwarded onto the Oregon congressional delegation.
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