El Paso, Texas, Bishop Seitz: reasons for hope, ‘serious concern’ in Trump election

El Paso, Texas, Bishop Seitz: reasons for hope, ‘serious concern’ in Trump election

Catholic World News – November 10, 2016

Stating that “both of the leading candidates took positions that were antithetical to basic Catholic principles,” the bishop of El Paso has issued a statement on the election of President-elect Donald Trump, in whose positions “we can find reasons for hope and for serious concern.”

“We rejoice today that those at the first stages of their lives prior to their birth, who need protection on their migration from their mothers’ wombs, should be receiving more protection and support,” said Bishop Mark Seitz.

“At the same time we in the Church are very concerned about our brother and sister refugees and migrants who have escaped or are escaping unimaginable violence and suffering in their home countries to seek safety here,” he continued. “We are also concerned about our brothers and sisters who are Muslim who may be singled out simply based upon their religious confession.”

He added:

Today many immigrants are understandably fearful. Children and young people who know nothing but life in this country as the sons and daughters of immigrants wonder if their parents will be present when they return from school. Those fleeing direct death threats in their home countries or the murder of their family members have heard of the fate of hundreds who were forced back to their places of origin after running from murderous gangs and narco-traffickers.

To you I would like to offer some assurances. This country has elected a President, not a dictator. We, in this democratic republic have a system of checks and balances so that the rights of individuals are safeguarded … I also want to assure those who are fearful today that I and all leaders of the Church will continue to stand by your side. We will do all in our power to assure that your voice is heard, that you are protected and that this nation remains true to its basic ideals.

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One comment on “El Paso, Texas, Bishop Seitz: reasons for hope, ‘serious concern’ in Trump election

  1. [He should also express concern about the Obama administration and God, who respectively in a figurative and literal manner rained on His Excellency’s plans for another “border Mass” with a new fence, a relocation, and unexpected heavy rains at the new site]

    New fencing [and unexpected heavy rains] keep faithful from ‘meeting in the middle’ at border Mass

    An annual Mass was forced to move to a new location due to the erection of fencing at a section of the border in New Mexico

    [Hat-tip to Canon212: “Are borders places of confrontation or places of encounter?” Are they places of walls or of bridges” – El Paso Bp. Seitz unloads FrancisBilge, complains about having to move border stunt Mass.]

    by Catholic News Service posted Wednesday, 9 Nov 2016

    Against a political backdrop in which immigration has been spotlighted, the dioceses of El Paso, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, hosted their annual border Mass.

    The Mass, usually concelebrated just north of Juarez and west of El Paso in nearby Sunland Park, New Mexico, was forced to move. Normally it is held in a large lot of compacted sand, able to hold hundreds of attendees. Many will come to lock fingers through a chain-link fence with loved ones on the Mexican side.

    But over the summer, the US Border Patrol began construction on a large, 18-foot steel fence meant to obstruct those trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States illegally. The Mass was moved to the literal divide between the two countries — the Rio Grande River.

    “Borders are part of life,” El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz said in his homily. “Borders give us a sense of orientation, a sense of order in the world. There are natural borders, like those we could easily see from where we were gathered, such as mountains and rivers. But how we understand borders says a lot about us.

    “Are they places of confrontation or places of encounter?” he asked. “Are they places of walls or of bridges — places that divide between us and them, between those who belong and those who are alien, or are they places where the interchange of relationships, ideas and cultures can make everyone better?”

    The Mass came three days before the US presidential election, won by Republican candidate Donald Trump.

    The president-elect launched his campaign in June 2015 with a speech in which he labelled Mexican immigrants who enter the US illegally as “rapists” and criminals. He also has suggested building a wall between the US and Mexico.

    Though normally dry at this time of year, a massive rain and hailstorm the night before that triggered tornado warnings left the canal with a foot of silty water. There would be no “meeting in the middle” for Bishop Seitz and Mgr Rene Blanco, vicar general of the Ciudad Juarez Diocese. Instead, Massgoers found themselves separated.

    On the Mexican side, about 100 people, many carrying white crosses for those who have died or the banners of various Central and South American countries representing immigrants from those areas, sang and danced on the concrete embankment. Behind them, city buses zoomed past as shoppers made their way to markets and cyclists enjoyed the crisp morning.

    It was different on the American side. The US Border Patrol allowed just a select few to be near the water with a majority of the 50 or so Catholics waiting to attend Mass forced to stand above the embankment and behind a chain link fence heavily guarded by Border Patrol. The two sides used microphones and large speakers to share the readings and responses.

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