With controversy arising in Murietta over the transportation of migrant children to a Border Patrol station in the desert community, Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino this week pledged his diocese would “help these migrants in whatever way is most effective.”
He also urged Catholics to “answer the call of the Gospel to come to aid of the stranger” in the situation in which protestors have sought to deny entry of buses carrying migrants into their community.
Bishop Barnes’ statement follows:
“Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“The transportation of hundreds of migrant children and families from Texas to a Border Patrol station in our diocese this month has again raised the issue of immigration in our hearts and minds.
“Please join me in prayer for these immigrant brothers and sisters of ours as they make their difficult journey. This is firstly a humanitarian issue that transcends political opinions and dispositions. I ask you to reflect on how you can answer the call of the Gospel to come to aid of the stranger in this situation. Our diocese pledges to help these migrants in whatever way is most effective and we will be asking the Catholic communities of faith in our diocese to help raise needed resources and to volunteer their time.
“This also presents us with an opportunity to refocus and restate our call for comprehensive immigration reform, which would make this kind of displacement of human beings unnecessary. Please reach out to your elected representatives and remind them that it is within their power and is, indeed, their responsibility to fix this broken immigration system for the good of all God’s people.
“As we celebrate Independence Day let us remember that we are both a nation that respects the rule of law and also a nation that has been wonderfully blessed by the energy, initiative and open heart of the immigrant.”