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U.S. And Mexican bishops celebrate Mass at Arizona border town

2014-04-02

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley led the Mass U.S. and Latin American bishops celebrated at the border twin cities of Nogales, on the U.S.-Mexico border.

CARD. SEAN O'MALLEY
Archbishop of Boston (USA)
"We come here today to be a neighbor and to find a neighbor in each of the suffering people who risk their lives and at times lose their lives in the desert.”

In his homily, in both English and Spanish, Card. O'Malley talked about the responsibility of being good neighbors. He decried what he called a broken system that wastes both material and human resources

CARD. SEAN O'MALLEY
Archbishop of Boston (USA)
"We must be vigilant that that lamp continues to burn brightly, showing the world that the US is a land of good Samaritnas and good neighbors, where wise and just laws will protect the rights of our citizens as well as of our immigrants, many of whom will be the citizens of tomorrow.”

As the Mass came to an end, the bishops blessed and placed a wreath on the border wall, to mark the lives of so many immigrants claimed by the harsh Sonoran Desert. 

Shortly after Mass, the American bishops held a press conference, asking the U.S. Congress to act quickly to pass immigration reform.

CARD. SEAN O'MALLEY
Archbishop of Boston (USA)
"These are real life people who at this moment are suffering. These are families that have been separated, sometimes for years. These are millions of people that are living in fear, and this should not exist.” 

MSGR. JOHN WESTER
Bishop of Salt Lake City (USA)
"Under our current immigration system we are weakening this great country of ours, not strengthening it. By not acting, we are alienating a generation of young persons who are the future leaders of our country.” 

During their visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, the bishops also toured the desert, to experience first hand the hardships many immigrants go through on their way to the United States.

The purpose of the visit, the bishops concluded was to show that the immigration reform is not a political, but an ethical issue. One of compassion, that goes hand in hand with Catholic teaching.


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