(Irish Central) The New York Times is reporting that on September 8th priests and bishops across the country will join at masses and other pastoralÂ events to speak out strongly on behalf of immigration reform.
The decision by the Catholic Church to put their full weight behind comprehensive immigration reform is a very welcome and overdue one. It also smacks of the influence of the new pope and his vision of a more pastoral church reaching out to the neediest.
A spokesman for the US Catholic Bishops put it well when speaking about politicians. â€œThey have to hear the message that we want this done.â€
It is the political thing but also the right thing to do. The impact could be remarkable.
As The New York Times noted: â€œThe political campaign by Catholic priests is certain to catch the attention of Catholic members of Congress. Catholics are the largest single religious group in Congress, making up just over 30 percent of the members, according to the Pew Research Centerâ€™s Religion and Public Life Project.
The current House has 136 Catholic members, including Speaker John A. Boehner and 60 other Republicans, according to Pew.â€
It places the church, still one of the most powerful forces in American life, directly in the line of battle on an issue of paramount importance.
I suspect that the new era of Pope Francis is in part responsible for this dramatic shift. He has urged his clergy to be pastors and seekers of those in need and on immigration it certainly seems they are. [More]