The California Catholic Conference in Sacramento has released an "Ash Wednesday Immigration Statement" sharing the concerns of the state's Catholic bishops and asking for "urgent attention" to the needs of immigrants. It begins,
"Today marks the beginning of the Lenten Season, a time when Christian people devote ourselves more intentionally to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy in an earnest effort to reform our lives in the image of Jesus Christ. We use this occasion to call upon Catholics and all people of good will in California and throughout the United States to stand in solidarity with the vulnerable and excluded in our society. Urgent attention needs to be given to our neighbors who are migrants and refugees, especially those immigrants who are undocumented. They are being unjustly targeted and vilified...."
The bishops go on to say, "Just as the Church works to protect the life of the unborn and to support the unemployed, the homeless and the hungry, so we pledge our continued support to migration and refugee programs. Our parishes and social services, such as Catholic Charities, must remain in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters...."
The full statement is available in English and Spanish on the California Catholic Conference website. The California Catholic Conference is the staff office of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops. It is the official voice of the Catholic community in California's public policy arena. The website www.cacatholic.org is a rich resource for all Catholics and those interested in Catholic matters in California.