Metro

O’Malley pledges support for immigrants in wake of travel ban

Boston, MA 020614 Cardinal Sean O'Malley interviewed on February 6, 2014 at the the Cathedral's rectory.(Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET

Globe Staff/file 2014

Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, sent a letter to parishes underscoring the church’s support for immigrants and refugees, calling upon all Catholics to heed Pope Francis’s warnings against “the globalization of indifference.”

He pointed to the critical role immigrants have played historically and continue to play in the American Catholic Church, and the worldwide church’s commitment to standing with newcomers and those fleeing violence and hardship in their homelands.

Advertisement

“Just as we are a country of immigrants, so too we are a church of immigrants,” O’Malley said.

The letter, which the archdiocese said was read aloud to parishioners at churches throughout the archdiocese this past weekend, was among a series of actions O’Malley has taken to speak up for immigrants following two executive orders from President Trump last month clamping down on refugee resettlement and immigration.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

On Thursday, the cardinal convened an extraordinary private meeting of top politicians and Muslim leaders at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to express solidarity with Muslims. The same day, he published an opinion essay in the Globe lamenting the “tone, style, and frenzied pace” of the orders. O’Malley said the orders produced “astonishment and confusion” here and abroad.

In the letter to parishioners, the cardinal cited his own experience working with undocumented immigrants from the early days of his priesthood, when he spent years in Washington, D.C., serving people fleeing violence in Central America. He said he has “seen up close the pain and suffering visited upon families who are forced by circumstances to live in the shadows, always fearful of discovery and economic ruin.”

O’Malley said he understood the need for immigration reform, but said he thought most Americans saw immigration as a crucial building block of American society.

Advertisement

“Although many Americans are frustrated by a broken immigration system and others are fearful of the threat of terrorism,” O’Malley wrote, “I believe that most people in this country recognize that we are a nation of immigrants and that we have an established history of assimilating people of different languages, religions, ethnicities into the magnificent mosaic that is America.”

He noted that immigrants contribute to the economy and government by paying taxes — “$1.36 billion in [Massachusetts] state income taxes and $1.28 billion in local property taxes” — and by doing, often, “the hardest work for the least pay.”

O’Malley sought to reassure Catholic immigrants, “especially families in the most precarious situations,” that the church stands with them and would “work hard to promote solutions to the challenges that you face.”

He added that Pope Francis’s first journey as pope was to call attention to the plight of refugees on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

“Know that you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers,” O’Malley wrote. “You are not alone. You are an important part of our family, and your church will not cease to advocate on your behalf.”

Lisa Wangsness can be reached at lisa.wangsness@globe.com.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.