Catholic World News

Detroit’s Chaldean bishop responds to deportation of Iraqi Christians

June 14, 2017

Bishop Francis Kalabat, the Chaldean Catholic bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Detroit, described the federal government’s immigration roundup of dozens of Detroit-area Iraqi Christians as “a very strange and painful day for our community in America.”

“With the many Chaldeans that were awakened by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and consequently picked up for deportation, there is a lot of confusion and anger,” he said. “What the Church has been doing is working with the many agencies to try to stop this bleeding.”

Bishop Kalabat added:

The Church does not oppose justice, all hardened criminals that are a danger to society should be picked up. Many who were picked up are not hardened criminals but for the last decades have been great citizens. The Genocide bill that was just passed by Congress last week to protect Christians goes against this very thing.

This will take a lot of effort but acting in disrespectful ways in front of the federal building only bring harm and not good. We understand the pain that many members of our community are going through but [e]motional outbursts will not bring change.

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  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Jun. 15, 2017 5:35 AM ET USA

    It sounds to me like Bishop Kalabat has it exactly right. Hardened criminals should go, but people under the threat of genocide should not. It also smacks of "payback" within ICE for the rounding up of populations that were favorites of the previous previous administration.

  • Posted by: jackbene3651 - Jun. 14, 2017 6:01 PM ET USA

    The persecution continues for these poor souls.