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  March 20, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 6Oakland, CA

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Faith leaders not deterred by criticism of their immigration campaign

Mexican parish gives support
to migrants crossing into U.S.

Political battle expected in state over physician-assisted suicide legislation

Conscience must meet moral principles

South Dakota's new law banning abortions hailed

Peace group mourns murder of volunteer

Pope: Discuss women’s role in church decisions

Theology school grads find new ways to minister

San Leandro school celebrates
125 years in the community

Sex abuse apology service to be held in Dublin on March 28

 

COMMENTARY

Lenten commentary:
Sweating blood in the Garden – the price of being faithful in love

 

OBITUARY

Father Andrew Harris, OMI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith leaders not deterred by
criticism of their immigration campaign

 

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Attacks against an interfaith campaign to shape immigration reform to address family reunification and other social concerns affirm the importance of churches working together, said national religious leaders early this month.

At a March 1 press conference, Washington Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick said such attacks, including those made by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., in a recent press release and television commentary, underscore that faith groups must be vigilant to keep up with how others try to shape the debate about immigration policy.

Tancredo, who has become a prominent critic of illegal immigration, said church efforts on the issue misrepresent the religious beliefs of a majority of churchgoers.

Tancredo, chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, in a Feb. 21 press release called leaders of the Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist and Presbyterian churches who criticized a House-passed immigration enforcement bill “left-leaning religious activists” who are misrepresenting the beliefs of “the conservative majority of churchgoers.”

Rabbi Scott Sperling, director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Mid-Atlantic Council, said the idea of passing immigration legislation that deals only with enforcement is “a simplistic and punitive” approach that “does violence to the faith community.”

Hundreds of religious institutions and individuals have
signed on to an interfaith statement supporting comprehensive immigration reform since it was first published in October. It quotes the Torah, the Bible and the Quran to point out that “our diverse faith traditions teach us to welcome our brothers and sisters with love and compassion.”

It endorses immigration reform that fixes the problems of the current system with proposals such as: reducing the years-long backlog of applicants waiting to immigrate legally; providing a way for at least some of the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally to “come out of the shadows”; and offering a work permit program that protects workers’ rights and safety.

It also calls for border protection policies that are consistent with humanitarian values and with the need to treat all individuals with respect, “while allowing authorities to prevent the entry of terrorists and criminals” and pursue “the legitimate task of implementing American immigration policy.”

An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is carried high above the crowd of nearly 100,000 marchers during a march in Chicago to rally against pending immigration legislation.

CNS photo Karen Callaway

 


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