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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Commentary: Immigration response for Pope Francis

Americans must rise to the occasion and accept more refugees.

Father John Michalowoski, s.j. calls for response to accept refugees.

Dear Julie, (writes Father John)
Pope Francis in Greece
I agree with much of what you have said about the Pope bringing 12 refugees with him to Rome. He is trying to enlighten people’s consciences. However there is a glaring omission. What about the U.S.? We could accept 50,000 refugees a year for a number of years. We did more than that after Vietnam and for Cubans who fled their country. In doing so, we would simply be following the good example of our Canadian neighbors who are accepting more than 25,000 this year. Instead we are caught up in the zenophobia of many presidential candidates.

Secondly, although many Muslim nations are closed to the refugees, clearly Jordan (over 90% Muslim) and Lebanon (over 60%) are doing more than their share. Somewhere between 20-25 % of each nation’s population are refugees. Turkey also has millions of refugees, though it is a much larger country (perhaps 75 million) and treats them rather poorly.

A third point is to recognize the fact that Pope Francis went to Lesbos with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholemeo and the Greek Patriarch. Catholic and Orthodox Christianity are united in preaching the message that all are called to care for their neighbor in distress, as Jesus taught in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Although popes since Saint John XXIII have worked with the Ecumenical Patriarchs of Constantinople, this is the first time that I can think of where the Greek Patriarch has participated.

Peace in the Risen Lord Jesus,  John, SJ

(Maine Writer- what I don't understand is how one evil man, President Assad of Syria, can continue to be the root cause of such horrific humanitarian carnage. He is just one man.)

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