Immigration

"The Church hears the suffering cry of all who are uprooted from their own land, of families forcefully separated, of those who, in the rapid changes of our day, are unable to find a stable home anywhere. She senses the anguish of those without rights, without any security, at the mercy of every kind of exploitation, and she supports them in their unhappiness." (Pope John Paul II, Message for World Migration Day, 2000 - no. 6)

In its history, America has experienced many immigrations, as waves of men and women came to its various regions in the hope of a better future. The phenomenon continues even today, especially with many people and families from Latin American countries who have moved to the northern parts of the continent, to the point where in some cases they constitute a substantial part of the population. They often bring with them a cultural and religious heritage which is rich in Christian elements. The Church is well aware of the problems created by this situation and is committed to spare no effort in developing her own pastoral strategy among these immigrant people, in order to help them settle in their new land and to foster a welcoming attitude among the local population, in the belief that a mutual openness will bring enrichment to all." (John Paul II, Ecclesiae in America,  1999 - no. 65)

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
SECOND EDITION

PART THREE, SECTION ONE, CHAPTER TWO, ARTICLE 3 - SOCIAL JUSTICE

1928: Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.

1929: Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man. The person represents the ultimate end of society, which is ordered to him:

What is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.

1930: Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy. If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects. It is the Church's role to remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from unwarranted or false claims.

1931: Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that "everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as 'another self,' above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity." No legislation could by itself do away with the fears, prejudices, and attitudes of pride and selfishness which obstruct the establishment of truly fraternal societies. Such behavior will cease only through the charity that finds in every man a "neighbor," a brother.

1935: The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it:

Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.

Comprehensive Statements

Pope Benedict XVI

2007 World Migrant & Refugee Day Message

Pope John Paul II

World Migrant & Refugee Day Messages
 

Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D., Bishop of Brooklyn
Chairman, Domestic Policy Committee - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

2006 Labor Day Reflection on Immigration and Work
 

U.S. – Mexico Bishops’ Committee on Migration

2006 Statement on Immigration

 

Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope:
Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States

2003 Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration

 

Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity
Catholic Bishops of the United States
2000 Statement Concerning The New Immigration and the Church
 

Pope John Paul II
Ecclesia in America:
The Way to Conversion, Communion and Solidarity in America

1999 Apostolic Exhortation to the Church in America

 

Resources on Catholic Social Teaching and Migration

Five Basic Principles Relating to Migration 
Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, 2003

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of 
Migrants and Itinerant People
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Collected Documents

Welcoming Christ the Immigrant
USCCB, 2005

 

Migration and Refugee Service Committee
USCCB

 

The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform
USCCB

Particular Statements of Local Ordinaries

Catholic Bishops of Arizona

Pastoral Letter on Migration
 

Diocese of Boise 
Pastoral Statement on Immigration

 

California Catholic Conference of Bishops

Statement on Immigration Reform

 

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Statement on Immigration

 

Catholic Bishops of Colorado

Statement on Immigration Reform

 

Catholic Bishops of Florida

Statement on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

 

Catholic Bishops of Florida

Pastoral Letter Honoring the Dignity of Work
 

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Statement on Immigration

 

Catholic Bishops of Georgia

Pastoral Letter on Immigration Reform

 

Catholic Bishops of Indiana

Pastoral Statement on Immigration

 

Catholic Conference of Bishops of Iowa

Statement on Immigration Reform

 

Catholic Conference of Kentucky

Statements on Immigration Reform

 

Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Statement on Immigration

 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Statement on Immigration Reform - (01/06)

 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Statement on Immigration Reform - (5/06)

 

Catholic Bishops of New Mexico

Pastoral Statement on Immigration

 

Catholic Bishops of New York State

Statement on Immigration Reform

 

Catholic Conference of Ohio

Statement on Immigration Reform

English - Spanish

 

Archdiocese of Omaha

Statement on Immigration

 

Archdiocese of St. Louis

Statement on Immigration Reform


Diocese of Spokane, Washington

Statement on Immigration Reform

 

Diocese of Trenton

Statement on Immigration

 

Diocese of Venice, Florida

Statement on Immigration
 

Catholic Bishops of Virginia

Statement on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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