SPECIAL NOTE: “Know Your Rights” –Parishioners respond.
I thought I would follow up my letter sent out to you last week regarding the Church’s actions being taken in the realm of shepherding immigrants and refugees.
Generally, response has been supportive and understanding, but a few observations that have come to me from you deserve sharing: (paraphrasing)
- “Your letter, Monsignor, and that of the archbishop lack recognition of the main Issue—criminals need to be prevented from coming in and those criminals that are here need to leave!”
- “I understand helping long-time good and contributing illegal residents and treating them with compassion, but there nevertheless needs to be clear consequences of their illegal status and requirements for their staying.”
- “I can’t help but feel that the church is asking its members to be complicit in aiding illegal immigrants by showing them how to hide and avoid the law. That just isn’t right and will only exacerbate the problem.”
- “Where can I get one of the cards? We love our housekeeper who has been part of our family for so many years. Her papers may be in question and we would like to help her.”
- “What the Church is doing is just wrong and I am so angry. The letters you sent just made me more angry.”
- “President Trump is getting a bad wrap. He only wants to deport criminals, increase border security, keep criminals out. He wants to work with congress to create a path to citizenship for illegal folks who are law-abiding. The Church can work with him.”
Thank you for your heartfelt and passionate responses! They count and they matter. Thank you for trusting me to talk with me! Any historian will tell you that Christians have often found themselves in serious disagreement since Jesus rose and ascended into heaven. Not even Pentecost solved this. Know that I will continue to try and offer a forum of some kind based on your continued feedback and advice. I will also share our journey with Archbishop Gomez and Bishop O’Connell. Holy Spirit be our Guide!