Has it now become a crime in our country to run for your life? Have we become so fearful and hypocritical that we would expect a country like Lebanon to accept a number 30% the size of their population from Syria, but we ourselves cannot accept a fraction of one percent of those fleeing from the countries with the highest homicide rates in the world? (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
The Election results are in and our country has elected Donald Trump as our next President. As I and many in the Church have repeatedly said over these last months both of the leading candidates took positions that were antithetical to basic Catholic principles and they presented serious concerns.
As Catholics we hold to a Consistent Ethic of Life. We believe that every human person, no matter their stage in life, their sex, their national origin, their economic status, or their disabilities deserves love, respect and care.
For this reason based upon the positions frequently stated by our President-elect we can find reasons for hope and for serious concern.
We rejoice today that those at the first stages of their lives prior to their birth, who need protection on their migration from their mothers’ wombs, should be receiving more protection and support. We are hopeful that those at the end of their life’s journey will also be cared for and not killed in some twisted notion of mercy.
At the same time we in the Church are very concerned about our brother and sister refugees and migrants who have escaped or are escaping unimaginable violence and suffering in their home countries to seek safety here.
We are also concerned about our brothers and sisters who are Muslim who may be singled out simply based upon their religious confession.
Today many immigrants are understandably fearful. Children and young people who know nothing but life in this country as the sons and daughters of immigrants wonder if their parents will be present when they return from school.
Those fleeing direct death threats in their home countries or the murder of their family members have heard of the fate of hundreds who were forced back to their places of origin after running from murderous gangs and narco-traffickers.
To you I would like to offer some assurances. This country has elected a President, not a dictator. We, in this democratic republic have a system of checks and balances so that the rights of individuals are safeguarded. Campaign rhetoric is just that.
Now comes the challenge of governing. For that, a leader must work with others and seek places of compromise.
I also want to assure those who are fearful today that I and all leaders of the Church will continue to stand by your side. We will do all in our power to assure that your voice is heard, that you are protected and that this nation remains true to its basic ideals.
Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz, DD
Bishop of El Paso