Letter to Bishops regarding Asylum

Written on: July 2, 2018

The following letter, addressed to the Archbishops and Bishops of dioceses where we have had a long-standing relationship, will be sent out today. We welcome you to encourage YOUR Archbishop/Bishop to take similar action.

July 2, 2018

Dear Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM of Philadelphia, Archbishop Paul Dennis Etienne of Anchorage, Archbishop Wilton P. Gregory of Atlanta, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Bishop John O. Barres of Rockville Center, Bishop Terry LaValley of Ogdensburg, and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo,

We are heartened by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo’s recent statement on the current administration’s immigration policy regarding the treatment of asylum seekers due to domestic violence and the separation of children from their parents.

“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.

I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

We ask that you urge your fellow priests to publicize this statement in their parish bulletins and speak about this from the pulpit.

As Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, we have a long history of presence in the ministry of education and social justice in the Catholic Church. We welcome this opportunity to continue to create a compassionate world and work together for the human rights and dignity of all.

Peace and all good,

Sister Diane Bardol, G.N.S.H.

Social justice Coordinator

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