Following President Donald Trump’s plans to deport “millions” of undocumented migrants, the United States Conference of Catholic bishops (USCCB) released a statement acknowledging that nations have a right to protect their borders, while urging attention toward the root causes of migration.
That response sparked an online fury that continued through last weekend criticizing the bishops’ reaction as tepid and lacking the moral outrage merited by the situation.
“We recognize the right of nations to control their borders in a just and proportionate manner. However, broad enforcement actions instigate panic in our communities and will not serve as an effective deterrent to irregular migration,” wrote Bishop Jose Vásquez, bishop of Austin and chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration in a statement on Saturday.
“Instead, we should focus on the root causes in Central America that have compelled so many to leave their homes in search of safety and reform our immigration system with a view toward justice and the common good. We stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress to achieve those objectives,” said Vásquez.
Once the bishops’ released their official statement, the floodgates opened, releasing a litany of criticism spanning the political spectrum.
Church historian and theologian Massimo Faggioli tweeted: “This is worse than saying nothing.”
Other Catholic commentators chimed in to offer financial support for ICE officials should they feel morally compelled to leave their jobs.
Moral theologian Meghan Clark tweeted that the statement failed to respond with the “prophetic call required by this moment” and Christian ethicist Marcus Mescher released a series of tweets in which he urged Catholic parishes to open their doors for undocumented migrants who feared deportation.
Full story at Crux.