Maryland Bishops Issue Statement on Immigration; Call for “Thoughtful Discussion”

November 20, 2007

Maryland’s Catholic bishops, including Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore and Bishop Michael Saltarelli of Wilmington, have issued a joint statement on immigration, urging Maryland Catholics “to consider prayerfully the question of immigration, including illegal immigration.” Where All Find a Home: A Catholic Response to Immigration will be distributed in all 281 Catholic parishes statewide starting this weekend.

“Questions of legality, economics and the mix of cultures often dominate the immigration debate. As Catholics, we must move past divisions and remain focused on the dignity of the human person and the welfare of families,” the bishops write. “We…urge Maryland Catholics to consider prayerfully the question of immigration, including illegal immigration. The rule of law must be respected. The discussion, however, cannot end there. Undocumented immigrants are persons with dignity – a reality that obliges us to learn about the immigration system, understand the motives for immigration and consider the needs of individuals and families. Our American ideals call us to participate in the public debate; our Catholic faith urges us to do so with charity.”

The bishops reference Scripture, the experience of Catholic immigrants in the United States and efforts by the Church worldwide to aid immigrants in their call for a respectful conversation on immigration.

The full statement, in English and Spanish, and fact sheets on immigration — economics, root causes, history and legal immigration process — are available online. The statement was issued through the Maryland Catholic Conference.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]