As Catholic Sisters committed to loving and serving God and all people without distinction, we are appalled and heartbroken at President Trump’s recent executive orders to ban – even temporarily – refugees and migrants from predominantly Muslim countries and to build a wall to prevent refugees fleeing from the violence and life-threatening conditions south of our border. We join other voices in recognizing that these orders are contrary to both Catholic and American values.
While we fully support the responsibility of every government to safeguard its people, we reject every notion or implication that Americans, either at home or abroad, are made safer by barring from our country vulnerable men, women and children who are fleeing hostility, persecution or other conditions that threaten their lives and livelihoods.
We acknowledge the legitimate fear and anxiety of many of our neighbors near and far throughout the country, and remind ourselves and others that only love drives out fear (I John 4:18). We urge reasonable and educated measures to address the sources of those fears.
We take up Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace challenge to religious and government leaders to exercise our responsibilities in the spirit of the Beatitudes, and we urge President Trump to rise to the challenge as well. We recognize that the work of peacebuilding is much harder and more demanding than sowing division. We pledge our prayer and support for every effort made toward peace, healing and reconciliation.
We invite our civil leaders and elected officials, regardless of party affiliation, to join us in opposing policies, practices and governmental actions that place lives at risk solely on the basis of country of origin, ethnicity, race or religion and that are fundamentally opposed to the values of tolerance and religious liberty upon which our nation was founded. The world relies on our courage.
We invite faith leaders, particularly Christians, to join us in speaking out for the preservation of religious freedom for people of all faiths and to reject any hint of privilege or superiority of one faith over another. The world relies on the convictions of our faith.
And we invite people of good will, neighbors near and far, to join us in an honest, reasoned examination of personal and political actions, attitudes or apathies that have contributed to the alarming rise in fear and desperation among our brothers and sisters here and abroad and that threaten the stability and safety of the global community. The world relies on our honesty.
Sister Mary Pellegrino, CSJ, Congregational Moderator
Sister Diane Cauley, CSJ
Sister Sharon Costello, CSJ
Sister Barbara Czyrnik, CSJ