|1/31/2017 9:43:00 AM|
Veers from our values
Sarah Wolf/Catholic Sentinel
Almas Ali, 5, came to Portland from Iraq with her family. Her father, a Muslim, was a translator for U.S. forces during the Iraq War.
We are grateful our new president wants our nation to remain safe. But a ban on travel from certain Muslim nations and all refugees, even if temporary, is neither the American way nor the Christian way.
As Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas, said last week on behalf of the nation’s Catholic bishops, the United States has long been the haven par excellence for refugees, and that is a major reason we are a great nation. Bishop Vásquez says welcoming all regardless of their faith is in keeping with what Jesus taught.
In December, Archbishop Alexander Sample spoke to Oregon’s Hispanic Catholics during the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “It does not matter to me from where you have come, when you came, or whether you have the proper documents or not. You are loved!” Archbishop Sample said. “You are loved by God and precious in his eyes.”
Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago says it’s time to put aside fear. “The world is watching as we abandon our commitments to American values,” the cardinal warned.
Meeting pilgrims shortly after President Trump’s order, Pope Francis said he doesn’t like the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West but are against refugees and other religions.
“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need,” the pope said.
If it were only a matter of temporary inconvenience for travelers, we could accept the ban. But the order leaves our nation’s moral foundation with a crack that will take years to mend.
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