Archbishop Sartain and Bishop Elizondo release statement on refugee, immigration ban

  • Written by Northwest Catholic
  • Published in Local
Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo

Western Washington’s Catholic bishops have expressed concern over the Trump administration’s entry ban on refugees and Muslims.

Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo wrote in a Feb. 2 statement of hearing “a great deal of anxiety from members of our community — those who are directly affected by the order, those who want to join in the effort to address problems in our immigration system, and those who have legitimate concerns about the security of our country.”

President Donald Trump signed a Jan. 27 executive memorandum, “The Protection of the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” It suspends refugee entry into the U.S. for 120 days and bans citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country for 90 days. It also proposes giving religious minority refugees priority entry over other refugees.

In their letter, Archbishop Sartain and Bishop Elizondo noted that Pope Francis regularly speaks about the Catholic call “to live Christian charity and to protect and defend the dignity of every human person, especially the poor and most vulnerable.”

“Immigrants and refugees are among the poorest and most vulnerable people in our age, and the Catholic Church in the United States has, for many years, been a source of welcome and solace to those who are displaced.

“We have both a right and a duty to protect our borders and our citizens; at the same time, we have a responsibility to come to the aid of those who seek a better life, with their families, in our wonderful country,” the bishops said.

Seeking to reassure people who are anxious over the ban, they said, “Remember that our loving Father, who knows all things and has numbered even the hairs on your head, will watch over and protect you and your families.”

The bishops also encouraged people to learn more about the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants program.

The bishops’ full statement in English and Spanish is available on the Archdiocese of Seattle’s website.