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Minnesota archbishop reflects on the significance of a pastoral heart

Minneapolis, Minn., Aug 21, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St Paul and Minneapolis reflected in a recent interview on several major milestones: his 60th birthday, 30 years as a priest, and 10 years as a bishop.

In an interview with the Catholic Spirit, the archbishop emphasized the importance of a pastoral heart in the priestly vocation.

“Being a pastor of a diocese is a little bit like being a pastor of a parish. It’s the same desires that you have for being able to make Christ known, being able to serve people, being able to bring the presence of Christ not only through the sacraments but also through God’s word,” he said.

The archbishop celebrated Mass on July 1 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in honor of the 30th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Hebda will also commemorate his 60th birthday on September 3, and 10 years of being a bishop on December 1.

Born in Pittsburgh, Hebda entered Saint Paul Seminary after he graduated from Harvard and received his JD from Columbia Law School. He was ordained in 1989 and, seven years later, he began his role at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, where he served until he was appointed bishop in 2009.

He said it was initially tough to leave behind a college ministry, where he had been placed as Director of the Newman Center at Slippery Rock University two years prior to his assignment in Rome. However, he said a priest must have a pastoral heart no matter the assignment.

“A priest has to bring a pastoral heart to whatever task is before him. Even if it’s an administrative position, he has to bring to that a pastoral heart,” he said.

“I came to recognize, though, that it was in the work that I was doing (at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, responsible for interpreting Church law), even though it was very technical, legal work, that I was being given an opportunity to really participate in Christ’s priesthood.”

In any vocation, he said, the most important thing is to place God above all else. He said this fosters acts of service for others.

“I think [God] wants us to put him first in our lives. We love God and we love our neighbor. It’s a way in which we’re also going to have our hearts expanded so that we can serve others, too,” he said.

The archbishop has led Minnesota’s largest archdiocese through a turbulent period. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2015 amid many abuse claims that had been made possible under Minnesota legislation that opened a temporary window for older claims to be heard in civil court.

Hebda announced in May of last year a $210 million settlement package for victims of sexual abuse.

He is also leading the archdiocese toward a 2021 synod to address pastoral concerns and discern the call of the Holy Spirit.

In preparation for the synod, the archdiocese will have 20 prayer events and spiritual talks. The first one will kick off on September 24. Hebda expressed hope that the process will lead the archdiocese to a richer connection to the Holy Spirit.

“My hope is that we might, together, be able to detect the presence of the Holy Spirit. That we would find reassurance in that. We would be reinvigorated by that realization, as well,” he said.

“I also am trusting that the process will help us to identify priorities for moving forward in a way that’s reflective not only of my own thinking but also the thinking of the faithful of the archdiocese, whether it be our priests, whether it be our lay faithful, whether it be men and women in consecrated life, it will all have a chance to shape the next steps we take as an archdiocese.”

Archdiocese to break ground for Bl. Stanley Rother shrine in November 

Oklahoma City, Okla., Aug 21, 2019 / 12:01 am (CNA).- The shy and unassuming Blessed Father Stanley Rother, a missionary priest and martyr from a farming family, would likely be surprised to learn that the largest Catholic Church in Oklahoma will bear his name.

On Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced that it will be breaking ground for the Blessed Stanley Rother shrine in November. The $40 million shrine will seat 2,000 and be the largest Catholic church in the state once it is complete.

The project is the “signature element” of the archdiocese’s first-ever capital campaign, the archdiocese told Oklahoma News 4.

Besides the main church, the shrine site will include a prayer chapel devoted to Bl. Stanley Rother, where he will be buried, religious education and ministry classrooms, and a museum and pilgrim center with artifacts and stories about Rother’s life.

“Padre Francisco”, as Rother was affectionately called at the mission in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala where he served, was shot and killed by masked gunman early in the morning on July 28, 1981, in the midst of the country’s civil war. Rother had refused to call for help, not wanting to endanger anyone else at the mission.

The five-foot-ten, red-bearded missionary priest was from the unassuming town of Okarche, Okla., where the parish, school and farm were the pillars of community life. He went to the same school his whole life and lived with his family until he left for seminary.

In June 2015, the Theological Commission of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted to recognize Fr. Stanley Rother as a martyr. Pope Francis recognized his martyrdom in early December 2016, and on Sept. 23, 2017, Rother was beatified at a Mass in Oklahoma City.

“The groundbreaking for the shrine will be a significant moment in the life of the Church in Oklahoma and for the broader community,” Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City told News 4.

“The shrine is being built to honor Blessed Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma original and the first U.S.-born priest and martyr ever beatified. It will be a place of pilgrimage where the faithful will come from near and far to honor Blessed Stanley at his final resting place and to seek his intercession for their many needs. It will be a place of welcome, serving all people.”

The groundbreaking for the shrine is set to take place at 3 p.m. on November 3 in Oklahoma City.

 

 

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal of sex abuse conviction

Melbourne, Australia, Aug 20, 2019 / 06:31 pm (CNA).- The conviction of Cardinal George Pell has been upheld by the Court of Appeals in Victoria. After an appellate panel announced its decision at a court proceeding Aug. 21, the cardinal was returned to prison.

“By majority (2 to 1), the Court of Appeals has dismissed Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for the commission of sexual offences. He will continue to serve his sentence of 6 years’ imprisonment. He will remain eligible to apply for parole after he has served 3 years 8 months of his sentence,” Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said in her opening remarks in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

“The offences in respect of which Cardinal Pell was found guilty by a County Court jury were one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16, and four charges of indecent act with a child under 16. The trial lasted for five weeks. The jury deliberated for several days. The jury’s verdict was unanimous,” Ferguson noted.

Pell stood stoic in the prisoner's dock while the decision was explained. His hands were not cuffed, but he was flanked by four security guards. He was dressed in clerical garb, rather than the prison uniform which he is now likely to wear for at least the next three years.

He faced the bench as the judges explained their decision, with his hands at his side. In a break from his usual custom, Pell did not take notes as his conviction was upheld.

In a statement released hours after the decision was announced, Pell's spokesperson, Katrina Lee, wrote that “Cardinal Pell is obviously disappointed with the decision today.”

“However his legal team will thoroughly examine the judgement in order to determine a special leave application to the High Court,” Lee added.

“While noting the 2-1 split decision, Cardinal Pell maintains his innocence.”

“We thank his many supporters.”

For her part, Judge Ferguson noted that: “Cardinal Pell’s conviction and this appeal have attracted widespread attention, both in Australia and beyond. He is a senior figure in the Catholic Church and is internationally well known.”

“As the trial judge, Chief Judge Kidd, commented when sentencing Cardinal Pell, there has been vigorous and sometimes emotional criticism of the cardinal and he has been publicly vilified in some sections of the community.”

“There has also been strong public support for the Cardinal by others. Indeed, it is fair to say that his case has divided the community.”

The cardinal was convicted Dec. 11, 2018, on five charges that he sexually abused two altar servers after Sunday Mass while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 and 1997. CNA reported last year that his initial trial, bound by a gag order, ended in a mistrial; this fact was confirmed by Ferguson in the Aug. 21 proceeding.

The cardinal, who remains an archbishop and a member of the College of Cardinals, was returned to prison immediately after court adjourned. He has been held in solitary confinement for 176 days. Pell is not permitted to celebrate Mass in prison.

He may now be transferred from the intake and evaluation facility at which he is currently being held to a different prison in Victoria.

Pell’s appeal was dismissed on all three grounds the defense presented.

Judges were divided on Pell’s first ground of appeal, regarding the question of whether the evidence presented against Pell was unreasonable and impossible.

At particular issue was the question of whether Pell's liturgical vestments could have been moved or lifted in the way described by the complainant, who alleged that Pell exposed himself and forced two boys to commit sex acts while he was fully vested in his Mass garb. While the defense argued that such an action would have been physically impossible, two of the appelate judges decided that was matter legitimately decided by the jury.

The judges were unanimous in dismissing two other grounds, regarding procedural matters: one that alleged Pell’s arraignment did not follow protocol, and the other raising a complaint that an animation of the cathedral where Pell was alleged to have sexually abused to choir boys was not permitted to be shown during closing arguments.

Ferguson, Justice Chris Maxwell, and Justice Mark Weinberg, delivered their verdict in a packed Courtroom 15 at the Victoria Supreme Court.

Twenty-six accredited journalists and some 60 members of the public heard the judges’ decision announced Wednesday morning. Pell’s brother David, the cardinal’s former communications director, Katrina Lee, and the chancellor of the archdiocese of Sydney, Chris Meaney were all among the crowd.

Ferguson said the judges had reached the decision after each of the them had watched video of the evidence given by 12 of the 24 witnesses who appeared in the trial.

“Each of the judges has read [the trial] transcript, some parts of it multiple times,” Ferguson added, referring to the more than 2,000 pages of documents related to the trial.

The session opened with Justice Wienberg registering his dissent from the majority opinion, saying that while he agreed with the other judges in rejecting the second and third grounds of appeal, which were technical and procedural complaints, he did not agree that the jury’s finding of guilt could have been beyond reasonable doubt on the evidence presented.

Ferguson and Maxwell concluded otherwise.

“Where the unreasonableness ground is relied upon, the task for the appeal court is to decide whether, on the whole of the evidence, it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty,” Ferguson explained.

“Having reviewed the whole of the evidence, two of the judges… decided that it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt,” Ferguson said.

“In other words, those judges decided that there was nothing about the complainant’s evidence, or about the opportunity evidence, which meant that the jury ‘must have had a doubt.’”

Ferguson said that Weinberg's dissenting opinion found that the evidence of the single accuser “contained discrepancies, displayed inadequacies, and otherwise lacked probative value so as to cause him to have a doubt as to [Pell’s] guilt,” and called the accuser’s account of the second incident of abuse “entirely implausible and quite unconvincing.”

“In Justice Weinberg’s view there was a significant body of cogent and, in some cases, impressive evidence suggesting that the complainant’s account was, in a realistic sense, ‘impossible’ to accept.”

“Nevertheless," Ferguson concluded, "the appeal on the unreasonableness ground was dismissed because the other two judges took a different view of the facts.”

Since Pell was first accused of sexually abusing minors, the cardinal has maintained his innocence.

Pell has one further avenue open in petitioning the Australian High Court in Canberra. Such an effort is expected by legal experts to offer very slim chance of success, given the appeal court result.

Pell’s lawyers have said that he will not petition for a shorter sentence. The cardinal, 78, is expected now to face a Vatican proceeding regarding the possibility that he has committed canonical crimes.

This story is developing and has been updated.

CEOs promise people before profits in new statement on 'Purpose of a Corporation'

New York City, N.Y., Aug 20, 2019 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- A new commitment by business leaders to move past pure profit, and commit to employees, communities, and the environment, echoes what the Church has been teaching about business for years, a Catholic scholar has said.

On Monday, chief executives on the Business Roundtable—181 CEOs of corporations like Apple, Amazon, Wal Mart, banks and other businesses from various industries—issued a new joint Statement on the “Purpose of a Corporation.”

The updated statement alters more than 20 years of policy that previously held that the primary duty of a company is to provide profit for its shareholders. The Business Roundtable has issued regular statements on corporate governance since 1978, and in 1997 stated that “the principal objective of a business enterprise is to generate economic returns to its owners.”

Now, the roundtable lists several other commitments of business leaders in addition to shareholder profit, including investing in employees through training programs, dealing ethically and fairly with suppliers, and caring for the environment and for local communities.

“I think it’s a really good move,” Professor Andrew Abela, Dean of the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America, told CNA.

“Church teaching has been, I think, some of the most sensible teaching on the role of a business anywhere,” he said, to “make a profit as well as to serve society.”

The statement reflects those principles, Abela said.

“It’s something that the Church has been saying for decades,” Abela said, noting that the new announcement is not an “about-face” on the priorities of corporations, but is rather “an expansion of the understanding of the purpose of the firm.”

The statement will need to be put into action to be effective, but it gives “cover” to any business owner who claims that a company has duties to employees and local communities along with shareholders, Abela said.

“It is significant, in terms of language. I think a question is, will it also be significant in terms of a change to policies?” Martijn Cremers, dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, told CNA. He added that such a statement provides a means of holding the executives “accountable.”

A Vatican document from May of 2018 explained the role of shareholders in ethical business dealings. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued its “Considerations for an ethical discernment regarding some aspects of the present economic-financial system,” saying that a business operates as “a true intermediate social body” within a “social fabric.”

When a business pursues profit at all costs, the document said, “every ethical claim is really perceived as irrelevant.”

This mindset leads to the promotion of “greedy and unscrupulous” executives, the document states. Furthermore, primacy is then given to shareholder profit and not to the well-being of employees, consumers and stakeholders, producing “a profoundly amoral culture—in which one often does not hesitate to commit a crime when the foreseen benefits exceed the expected penalty.”

What the Church teaches is not a set of rules for business but “a way of life,” Abela said.  “Running a corporation well” involves various duties both “effective” and “ethical,” he said, including “taking care of your employees, taking care of your customers, taking care of the communities in which the corporation works.”

This reflects a “cooperative” mindset that Pope Benedict talked about in his 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate, emphasizing the need for businesses to consider the needs not only of shareholders but all stakeholders--communities, customers, employees, society as a whole, and the environment.

More corporations are moving towards this more “inclusive” business model that operates for the long-term, Cremers said, with an increase in technology and “intangible assets” underlining the need for relationships and “long-term investments.”

“And that is also why I think the statement now is timely,” he said, pointing to a 2018 letter to CEOs from Larry Fink, the CEO of the financial planning and investment management firm BlackRock; Fink stated that “a company’s ability to manage environmental, social, and governance matters demonstrates the leadership and good governance that is so essential to sustainable growth.” 

The Business Roundtable statement expands upon that, Cremers said, explicitly stating the goal of “generating long-term value for shareholders” and not just short-term profits.

Shareholders “are the owners of the corporation” and have property rights, Abela said, but other duties must be looked to as well. “And if you don’t do that, you’re not going to be long-term successful as a corporation, as a business.”

The Church teaches private property rights in conjunction with the “universal destination of goods,” Abela said, “the idea that the goods of this world are for the good of all.”

“What that means is if you own property, you ought to use that property to serve others,” he said.

A New York Times article on the statement noted that it did not address the pay of executives being tens or even hundreds of times greater than lower-level employees.

“It’s a controversial issue,” Abela acknowledged, saying that unjust pay is wrong and that executives should not be paid exorbitant salaries if a company is performing poorly.

However, he said, “if a firm is doing well and paying its employees fairly, and making tons of money for its investors, then I don’t think anyone should put any limits on how much the CEO is being paid. It’s a rare skill to run a large corporation, a large complex corporation, especially in this litigious age.”

Livestream and CNA live blog on Cardinal Pell appeal

Melbourne, Australia, Aug 20, 2019 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- Update: Cardinal George Pell's conviction has been upheld. Full story here.

Cardinal George Pell is set to receive a decision in the appeal of his conviction for criminal sexual abuse of minors. CNA is livestreaming the decision here and liveblogging the proceedings below:



Pell was convicted in 2018 for acts of sexual abuse committed against two choristers, while he was Archbishop of Melbourne.

Following his convicted in the County Court of Victoria, Pell was sentenced in March to six years in prison, of which he must serve at least three years and eight months. Pell has remained in prison since that time.

The cardinal has appealed his case on three grounds.
This first ground of appeal is that the unanimous decision of the jury could not have risen to the level of “beyond reasonable doubt” because of the unchallenged exculpatory evidence of 20 witnesses during the trial.

The second ground concerns the decision of the trial judge, Peter Kidd, to exclude a video presentation by defense lawyers which would, they maintain, have illustrated to the jury the implausibility of the victim’s narrative.

The third ground is a procedural appeal concerning Pell’s arraignment, which was not properly carried out in front of a jury, which the defense argue was a “fundamental irregularity.”

If the judges find in favor of the first ground, concerning the fundamental injustice of the jury’s verdict, Pell’s conviction would be overturned and he would be released from custody.

A successful appeal on either of the other two grounds could result in a second trial for Pell.

Should the court reject all three grounds and his conviction be allowed to stand, Pell’s legal team has confirmed that he will not be seeking to appeal the length of his prison sentence. There would also remain the possibility of a further appeal to the Australian High Court.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Announces the Publishing of Lectio Divina of the Gospels

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announces the publishing of Lectio Divina of the Gospels for the Liturgical Year, 2019-2020.

Lectio Divina of the Gospels takes the reader through the traditional process of lectio divina, with reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation, focused on the Gospel readings for Sundays and major feasts. A unique guide is offered for each Gospel reading to help the reader explore the sacred texts with greater attention and allow the Word to permeate their mind and imagination more deeply. Each week’s lectio divina includes dedicated space for writing out reflections, thoughts, and prayers.
This book takes the reader through the liturgical year, beginning with the first Sunday of Advent on December 1, 2019, and concluding with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe on November 22, 2020.

This lectio divina prayer guide can be used for personal meditation, as a tool for family prayer, and for small-group reflections on the Sunday Gospel.

The guide is available for order online at http://store.usccb.org/lectio-2020-p/7-627.htm or in Spanish at http://store.usccb.org/lectio-2020-spanish-p/7-914.htm
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Lectio Divina of the Gospel, Bible, reading, meditation, prayer, contemplation, first Sunday of Advent, solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

USCCB Committee Chairman of International Justice and Peace and the CEO of Catholic Relief Service respond to Administration’s call for rescissions of $2-4 billion of funds for State Department and USAID

WASHINGTON- In a letter from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to the Department of State and USAID, the Administration froze between $2-4 billion that Congress approved, and the Administration signed into law for America’s development and diplomacy programs. While OMB has lifted the freeze, this is the first step in a potential rescission of the appropriated but “unobligated funds” not yet been committed to a specific contract or project) for 10 State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development accounts.

The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace and Archbishop for the Military Services USA, and Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, issued the following statement opposing these cuts:

“Local churches and Catholic Relief Services partner with the U.S. government to reduce poverty, alleviate suffering, and foster peace around the world. Rescinding some of these and other international poverty-reducing funds will limit the United States’ ability to support poor and vulnerable communities, respond to global health challenges, address root causes of forced migration, and advance international religious freedom, global security, and peacekeeping. From Central America to the West Bank and Gaza, U.S. policy decisions that cut foreign aid already increase poverty and create a vacuum for instability.
 
We urge the Administration not to rescind foreign assistance funds. We urge Congress to reject any rescissions that target poverty-reducing and peacebuilding accounts and require the Administration to obligate previously appropriated funds. The conflicts and crises today are dire. U.S. moral and financial leadership is necessary.”  

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archdiocese of Military Services, Catholic Relief Service, Sean Callahan, USAID, funds, State Department,

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

 

Chairs of USCCB’s Committees on Migration and Domestic Justice and Human Development Express Deep Concern Over New Rule on Individuals and Families that Access Public Benefits

WASHINGTON— Today, bishops from two committees at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed their strong opposition to a final rule on public charge put forth by the Department of Homeland Security. The rule, which is expected to be officially published on August 14th and will take effect sixty days after publication, will undoubtedly have a negative consequence for families accessing critical public benefits for which they otherwise qualify. Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, FL, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, offered the following statement.

“This rule will undermine family unity and lead many lawful immigrants to forgo vital assistance, including enrollment in nutrition, housing, and medical programs. Families already in the U.S. will be faced with deciding whether to access critical assistance programs for which they qualify, knowing that in doing so they could jeopardize their ability to stay here with their loved ones. And, it will reduce the ability of many to reunify with family in the U.S. We have already seen the culture of fear that the anticipation of this rule has created in our communities. Ultimately, we believe that this rule is in tension with the dignity of the person and the common good that all of us are called to support.”

The USCCB also opposed this rule when it was initially proposed by DHS and submitted joint comments with Catholic Charities USA detailing concerns with the rule and urging it be rescinded.

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Keywords: USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Committee on Migration,


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Media Contact:
Mark Priceman
202-541-3064

 

El Presidente del Comité de Migración de la USCCB insta a la rescisión de una nueva norma que socava nuestro sistema de asilo y pone en riesgo a las personas y familias vulnerables

WASHINGTON.- Recientemente, la Administración de Trump emitió una “regla final interina” que casi acabaría con nuestro actual sistema de asilo. Un período de 30 días fue otorgado para enviar comentarios al Gobierno sobre la regla. La medida permitiría a la Administración impedir que la mayoría de las personas que llegan a nuestra frontera sur tengan acceso al asilo en los Estados Unidos. La Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos presentó comentarios el 9 de agosto y calificó la regla de "ilegal, injusta e imprudente".

El Reverendísimo Joe S. Vásquez, Obispo de Austin, y Presidente del Comité de Migración de la USCCB emitió el siguiente comunicado:

“Tenemos serias preocupaciones sobre la regla final interina de la Administración, emitida el 16 de julio de 2019, que limita en gran medida la elegibilidad de asilo en los Estados Unidos en la frontera sur", dijo el Obispo Vásquez. "La regla le daría la espalda a la gran mayoría de los solicitantes de asilo, exigiéndoles que soliciten protección en casi todos los otros países a través de los cuales ello transiten, dejando el acceso al asilo en EE.UU. como una remota posibilidad". No solo creemos que esta regla es ilegal, sino que también pone en peligro la seguridad de las personas y familias vulnerables que huyen de la persecución y amenaza la unidad familiar.

Además, la norma socava la tradición de nuestra nación de ser un líder mundial que provee y es un catalizados para que otros provean protección humanitaria a los necesitados. Recordamos al Departamento de Justicia y al Departamento de Seguridad Nacional que la forma en que respondemos a los solicitantes de asilo que llegan a nuestra frontera es una prueba de nuestro carácter moral e instamos firmemente a la Administración a que rescinda esta regla ".

Favor encontrar copia de los comentarios aquí.

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Palabras clave: USCCB, Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, Obispo Joe S. Vásquez, Departamento de Justicia, Departamento de Seguridad Nacional, inmigración, asilo

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Contacto de prensa:

Miguel Guilarte

202-541-3200

 

El Presidente del Comité de Migración de la USCCB insta a la rescisión de una nueva norma que socava nuestro sistema de asilo y pone en riesgo a las personas y familias vulnerables

WASHINGTON.- Recientemente, la Administración de Trump emitió una “regla final interina” que casi acabaría con nuestro actual sistema de asilo. Un período de 30 días fue otorgado para enviar comentarios al Gobierno sobre la regla. La medida permitiría a la Administración impedir que la mayoría de las personas que llegan a nuestra frontera sur tengan acceso al asilo en los Estados Unidos. La Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos presentó comentarios el 9 de agosto y calificó la regla de "ilegal, injusta e imprudente".

El Reverendísimo Joe S. Vásquez, Obispo de Austin, y Presidente del Comité de Migración de la USCCB emitió el siguiente comunicado:

“Tenemos serias preocupaciones sobre la regla final interina de la Administración, emitida el 16 de julio de 2019, que limita en gran medida la elegibilidad de asilo en los Estados Unidos en la frontera sur", dijo el Obispo Vásquez. "La regla le daría la espalda a la gran mayoría de los solicitantes de asilo, exigiéndoles que soliciten protección en casi todos los otros países a través de los cuales ello transiten, dejando el acceso al asilo en EE.UU. como una remota posibilidad". No solo creemos que esta regla es ilegal, sino que también pone en peligro la seguridad de las personas y familias vulnerables que huyen de la persecución y amenaza la unidad familiar.

Además, la norma socava la tradición de nuestra nación de ser un líder mundial que provee y es un catalizados para que otros provean protección humanitaria a los necesitados. Recordamos al Departamento de Justicia y al Departamento de Seguridad Nacional que la forma en que respondemos a los solicitantes de asilo que llegan a nuestra frontera es una prueba de nuestro carácter moral e instamos firmemente a la Administración a que rescinda esta regla ".

Favor encontrar copia de los comentarios aquí.

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Palabras clave: USCCB, Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, Obispo Joe S. Vásquez, Departamento de Justicia, Departamento de Seguridad Nacional, inmigración, asilo

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Contacto de prensa:

Miguel Guilarte

202-541-3200