El espíritu católico: Opportunity to deepen faith, tomar medidas

(por Jessica Zittlow)
Diciembre 5, 2012

Statewide Immigration Sunday Minnesota is being held again on the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, which is Sunday, Enero. 6, 2013. This year’s observance is significant considering that 2013 may be one of the best opportunities for comprehensive immigration reform in more than a decade.

En 2009, the bishops of Minnesota inaugurated Immigration Sunday to encourage Catholics to reflect on our responsibility to welcome migrants and undocumented workers into our communities, and to educate ourselves about enacting comprehensive reform of our nation’s immigration laws that protects human dignity and the well-being of immigrant families.

En otras palabras, we are presented with a two-fold challenge of faith and action: to first better recognize that “the reality of human solidarity, which is a benefit for us, also imposes a duty” (“Caritas in Veritate,” 43); and then, to ask ourselves how we, as individuals called to faithful citizenship, can be part of fixing this country’s broken immigration system in 2013.

Pilgrimage of faith, esperanza

The right of people to migrate is listed as a fundamental human right in the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution “Gaudium et Spes” (No. 65). Sin embargo, it is a right often exercised out of necessity, no choice. It often begins in poverty, fear or trauma — typically due to persecution or violence.

As Pope Benedict XVI noted in his message for the 99th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, “Migrations: pilgrimage of faith and hope,” migrants have no choice but to accept through faith that they will “encounter acceptance, solidarity and help, that they will meet people who sympathize with the distress and tragedy experienced by others, recognize the values and resources the latter have to offer, and are open to sharing humanly and materially with the needy and the disadvantaged.”

The enormity of this need requires that we look beyond the many charitable services that the Church offers to migrants and refugees to something deeper. In his message, His Holiness urges us to “promote real integration in a society where all are active members and responsible for one another’s welfare, generously offering a creative contribution and rightfully sharing in the same rights and duties.”

This task is particularly important as we celebrate the Year of Faith. The pope notes that “[h]uman promotion goes side by side with spiritual communion, which opens the way ‘to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the only Savior of the world.’ The Church always offers a previous gift when she guides people to an encounter with Christ, which opens the way to a stable and trustworthy hope” (“Migrations: pilgrimage of faith and hope,” 2013).

Through better understanding the spiritual goods of our faith, the Church has promoted, and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal goods. Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all forms of solidarity — between rich and poor, among nations and people (Catecismo de la iglesia católica, 1941-2). Through God’s grace, spiritual communion with our immigrant brothers and sisters can help us better understand authentic Christian solidarity.

2013 reforma migratoria

While solidarity with immigrants begins through spiritual communion, it is manifested by our public actions — from charitable services to public advocacy. Y, the nation’s bishops are hopeful that comprehensive immigration reform could move forward in 2013.

In light of the significant bipartisan support for immigration reform emerging after this past election season, el Presidente de los Estados Unidos. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, Arzobispo José Gomez, issued a statement calling for the newly elected Congress to enact bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. Para que eso suceda, Catholics will need to make our voices heard on this issue.

As one commentator recently described it, the current U.S. immigration system is a “Frankenstein” of intervening fixes that are “internally inconsistent, impractical to administer and impossible to navigate rules” that hurt employers, workers, y las familias, here and abroad.

The Church’s public advocacy typically involves articulating the principles upon which sound public policy is based. In some instances, the Church will advocate for particular pieces of legislation or work to enact legislation with certain key elements. The bishops believe any comprehensive immigration reform package should recognize these principles:

  • Las personas tienen el derecho a buscar oportunidades económicas en su patria; condiciones deben ser tal que las personas puedan trabajar y mantener a sus familias con dignidad y seguridad;
  • Las personas tienen derecho a emigrar para mantenerse ellas mismas y sus familias cuando son incapaces de encontrar trabajo y por lo tanto son incapaces de mantener a sus familias en casa;
  • Las naciones soberanas tienen el derecho a proteger y controlar sus fronteras para el común bien;
  • Los refugiados y solicitantes de asilo deben gozar de protección; y
  • Los derechos humanos y la dignidad humana de todas las personas, incluyendo a los inmigrantes indocumentados, debe ser respetada.

We encourage you to read or re-read the full immigration statement from the bishops of Minnesota to better understand the Church’s teaching on immigration. It can be found on the mncc.org “Immigration Sunday MN” webpage.

Entonces, join MCC’s Catholic Advocacy Network (mncc.org) for updates on how to take action. It is vital that we communicate to our congressional representatives that comprehensive immigration reform is needed immediately.

Jessica Zittlow is communications associate with the Minnesota Cath­olic Conference.

(Original article can be found aquí.)