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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cardinal Sean leading compassion for our immigrant friends

Right to Life advocates have a moral leader in Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston. His leadership for pro-life humanitarianism was evident when he celebrated Mass on the US-Mexico border at Nogales Arizona.

NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — Roman Catholic leaders made a rare visit to the border and celebrated Mass (Tuesday, April 1, 2014) in the shadow of the fence separating the U.S. and Mexico, offering Holy Communion through the steel barrier to people on the Mexican side as they sought to bring attention to the plight of immigrants.

Unfortunately, many pro-life zealots who block access to women who need health care because they're poor, but might be desperately seeking pregnancy termination (aka "abortion"), aren't necessarily in line with extending compassion to people who are immigrants.  Abortion is always an act of desperation or sometimes a medically necessary procedure. On the other hand, treating immigrants like they're criminals, in my mind, is like aborting them from society. Abortion of a fetus is just as moral an issue as aborting immigrants. Abortion of immigrants means denying them health care, deporting them and, worst of all, separating them from their families.

Of course, I apologize in advance to Cardinal Sean for blending the concept of compassion for immigrants with protecting a woman's access to reproductive health.  I'm a registered nurse, therefore, comfortable making the correlation.

My exemplary admiration for Cardinal Sean's extension of compassion to the immigrants who gathered along the horrible wall in Nogales, in Arizona and Mexico is meteoric. 

In September 2015, Pope Francis will visit the US to celebrate at a family conference in Philadelphia. Among the people who will be invited to meet and greet Pope Francis will, no doubt, be many immigrant families of diverse religious affiliations.

The Christian Science Monitor reports:

New York — Pope Francis, the first pontiff ever to hail from the Western hemisphere, will be making his first official visit to the United States at a critical time for his progressive pastoral agenda, which has included promoting a more inclusive ministerial tone for divorced and gay Catholics.

“Pope Francis's upcoming visit to the US is of crucial importance for his papacy,” says Andrew Chesnut, chair of Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “It’ll be interesting to see how much further he can move with his agenda on US soil, given that so many of the primary conservative opponents have been housed with the US bishops.”

During a speech on family values at the Vatican Monday morning, the pope announced that he planned to attend the 8th World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Philadelphia next September. The conference, first established by Pope John Paul II in 1994 to provide a forum for the challenges contemporary families face, was last held in Milan in 2012.

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