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USCCB backs Alabama bishops’ efforts to reverse immigration law

Catholic World News - September 09, 2011

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a statement supporting efforts by Alabama’s bishops to overturn a recently enacted immigration law.

“The Catholic Church provides pastoral and social services to all persons, regardless of their immigration status,” Archbishop Gomez said in his statement. “Our mandate is to provide for the pastoral and social care of all of God’s children. Government should not infringe upon that duty, as America’s founding fathers made clear in the US Constitution.”

“This new Alabama law makes it illegal for a Catholic priest to baptize, hear the confession of, celebrate the anointing of the sick with, or preach the word of God to, an undocumented immigrant,” Archbishop Thomas Rodi of Mobile said in August. “Nor can we encourage them to attend Mass or give them a ride to Mass. It is illegal to allow them to attend adult scripture study groups, or attend CCD or Sunday school classes. It is illegal for the clergy to counsel them in times of difficulty or in preparation for marriage. It is illegal for them to come to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings or other recovery groups at our churches.”

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