Friday, March 18, 2011

Immigration Front and Center

If there is an issue nowadays that proves the Catholic Church does not relent or sway with the winds of political change when justice and moral values are at stake, that’s probably the Church’s stand on immigration.

At a time when the much-needed debate and federal action on comprehensive immigration reform seem to be at a stalemate, the Church continues to put the issue front and center. The reason is simple: for the Church, immigration is ultimately a pro-life and pro-family issue; it is about human beings and their basic right to human dignity and human life.

On Monday, March 21, Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and The Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America (CUA) will host a daylong conference on “The Catholic Church and Immigration: Pastoral, Policy and Social Perspectives.”

The conference program will feature three separate panel discussions on:

Immigration and the Church: Historical Impact and Future Responses; Catholic Social Teaching and Immigration Policy; and The Role of the Catholic Church in the Immigration Debate. Speakers include: Margaret Steinfels, co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture; Amy Sullivan, senior editor at Time Magazine; John Thavis, Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service; and Kathryn Lopez, editor at National Review Online.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., and a consultant to Catholic Relief Services, will deliver a lunchtime keynote address titled “The Universal Church as a Defender of Migrant’s Rights.”

The daylong conference will take place 9 am-4 pm at The Catholic University of America, Caldwell Hall Auditorium, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C.

Highlighting the international dimension of immigration, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, and Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz of Tijuana, chairman of the Mexican Episcopal Conference’s Migration Commission, will present at a separate event in the evening on the topic "U.S.-Mexican Migration: A Catholic View." Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan of Mexico and Eric P. Schwartz, Assistant Secretary of State for the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration will respond. Attendance to the evening event, at The Catholic University Law School, requires invitation. Interested media can contact the USCCB Office of Media Relations: mmunoz-visoso@usccb.org.

For more information about the conference, view the program (http://ipr.cua.edu/res/docs/Conference-Program-1-2.pdf ) or call the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at 202-319-5999.

1 comment:

Marcello said...

Actually, the Church has proven itself to be poorly-informed about immigration, choosing to ignore complexities in favor of platitudes. Those who stand on moral pedestals often fail to comprehend what is happening beneath their feet. My advice to the Church: stop lecturing, and start listening.