Friday, September 1, 2006

Catholics Bishops: welcome immigrants, honor Labor Day values

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a Labor Day call for a welcoming environment for immigrants in the U.S.

"With immigrants accounting for 15 percent of U.S. workers, the challenge for Labor Day is to 'consider who we are as a nation, how our economy treats all workers, how we welcome the 'strangers' among us,' said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Policy in an annual Labor Day statement."

"In his powerful encyclical Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that Jesus calls us to expand who we see as our neighbor. The Holy Father, citing the parable of the Good Samaritan, says that 'neighbor' can no longer be limited to the closely-knit community of a single country or people. This limit is now abolished. Anyone who needs me, and whom I can help, is my neighbor. ... ‘As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’ (Mt 25:40). Love of God and love of neighbor have become one: in the least of the brethren we find Jesus himself, and in Jesus we find God. (para. 15)."

"Immigrants come seeking to provide a decent living for their families, dreaming of a better life for their children, hoping to make a contribution. These are the deeply held American values we celebrate on Labor Day. The principles of our faith and the traditions of our nation call us to welcome those who share these values and hopes. They add vitality and energy, diversity and hope to our communities and our country. Together, we can build a better nation, a stronger economy and a more faithful Church."

Read the full statement here.

Focus: Justice

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