|Archbishop Kurtz Calls For Welcoming Of Refugees
Catholics in the United States, as well as all people of good will, should express openness and welcome to refugees fleeing Syria and elsewhere in order to survive, said the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in a statement, September 10. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, issued the call on the heels of Pope Francis’ appeal, September 6, that every Catholic parish in Europe house a refugee family.
“The Catholic Church in the United States—with nearly 100 Catholic Charities agencies and hundreds of parishes assisting refugees to this country each year, and with Catholic Relief Services providing humanitarian aid to refugees in the Middle East and Europe—stands ready to help in this effort,” wrote Archbishop Kurtz.
Archbishop Kurtz expressed his solidarity with the pope, the bishops of Syria, the Middle East, and Europe, “and all people who have responded to this humanitarian crisis with charity and compassion.” He also encouraged the U.S. government “to assist more robustly the nations of Europe and the Middle East in protecting and supporting these refugees and in helping to end this horrific conflict, so refugees may return home in safety.
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European Migrant Crisis Grows
Catholic Relief Services is scaling up humanitarian relief efforts in response to the record number of refugees and economic migrants crossing into the Balkans and southeastern Europe. In the month of July alone, Europe received more than 107,000 new arrivals, with a majority of them moving through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia. More than 80% are fleeing war-torn Syria for the European Union, where they're seeking safety and a better life…
CRS is working with local Catholic, Orthodox, nongovernmental organizations and government partners to provide emergency relief, medical care, translation services and legal counseling. We've reached more than 5,000 vulnerable refugees and migrants in the past month.
CRS has also constructed a facility equipped with beds, bedding, bathrooms and showers in the town of Kanjiza, near the Serbian and Hungarian border. About 1,000 refugees and migrants pass through the town each day. And we've increased access to medical, legal and other support services for more than 3,800 refugees.
USCCB Committee Chair Reflects on Criminal Justice Bill
Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Sr. Donna Markham welcomed the recent introduction of the bi-partisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 in the United States Senate. The Act reduces certain mandatory minimum sentences, expands so-called sentencing "safety valves," works to reduce recidivism with expanded prison-based programs, and limits solitary confinement for juvenile offenders, among other things… "Pope Francis stressed only days ago that: 'Jesus ... teaches us to see the world through his eyes. Eyes which are not scandalized by the dust picked up along the way, but want to cleanse, heal and restore. He asks us to create new opportunities: for inmates, for their families, for correctional authorities, and for society as a whole,'" said Archbishop Wenski.
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Bishops Welcome Constructive Dialogue To Protect Creation And Address Climate Change
Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bishop Oscar Cantú welcomed a new resolution introduced in Congress, September 17, by a group of Republican legislators.
“The bishops welcome the commitment of a group of Members of Congress to engage in constructive dialogue, and work together in Congress to address climate change and protect our common home,” said Archbishop Wenski in response to the announcement of a Congressional resolution sponsored by several Republican members in the House of Representatives, including Congressman Chris Gibson