BEHNA: Top U.S. Catholic Bishops Believe Building Wall At Southern Border Is Harmful

BEHNA: Top U.S. Catholic Bishops Believe Building Wall At Southern Border Is Harmful
Top members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) came out condemning President Trump's executive order on immigration.

Top members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) came out condemning President Trump’s executive order on immigration, including adding to the wall at the U.S. southern border.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the USCCB, did not like the idea of a wall in a part of his statement released Wednesday.

As Archbishop of a Texas diocese, I believe that the order to construct a wall along our border with Mexico will only make migrants more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers – putting their lives in needless danger. It also destabilizes the many vibrant interconnected communities that live in peace along our border.

Bishop Joe Vasquez, bishop of the Diocese of Austin and Chair of the Committee on Migration, says he will “look to build bridges.”

Instead of building walls, at this time, my brother bishops and I will continue to follow the example of Pope Francis. We will “look to build bridges between people, bridges that allow us to break down the walls of exclusion and exploitation.”

While the bishops want to show compassion when it comes to immigration, Catholic Social Teaching also includes the duty to secure a country’s border. The USCCB’s official website includes the following.

The second duty is to secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good. Sovereign nations have the right to enforce their laws and all persons must respect the legitimate exercise of this right: “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.

With this said, faithful Catholics also have the right to support securing our borders. I strongly disagree with the statement from the bishops that think a wall along the southern border would be harmful. It needs to be reiterated that America is already very compassionate when it comes to welcoming legal immigrants. However, our immigration laws still need to be enforced as well, and that includes our borders.

What do you think about the statements from these bishops? Comment below and let us know.

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