Catholic support for immigration reform called a ‘moral imperative’

A group of immigrants and activists for immigration reform chant as they march on Capitol Hill in Washington June 26 to urge Congress to act on immigration reform. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill June 27. (CN S/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)
A group of immigrants and activists for immigration reform chant as they march on Capitol Hill in Washington June 26 to urge Congress to act on immigration reform. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill June 27. (CN S/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

TRENTON, N.J. (CNS) — Catholics need to put aside “any partisan differences” they have on the immigration issue and come together to pray for the welfare of their brother and sister immigrants and for Congress to pass much-hoped-for comprehensive immigration reform, said Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton.

Immigration reform in the United States is “a moral imperative” that goes beyond politics, the bishop said in a pastoral statement he issued for the Trenton Diocese’s Justice for Immigrants Sunday, observed July 14.

“Whatever we, as Catholics, can do to foster the hopes and dreams of those who see our country as their potential home is an imperative of the Gospel and of the Catholic social teaching based upon it, not of our political persuasion,” Bishop O’Connell said. “Prayer is a powerful prerogative and something that all of us can do. I believe that with all my heart and soul,” he added. The bishop designated Justice for Immigrants Sunday as a day in which Catholics at all parishes in the diocese prayed for concrete action “on fair immigration policies.”