June 20, 2018 Bishop Letter on current Immigration issue

June 20, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,

This is a critical moment in our nation, a land of immigrants. We hear the cries of the children who are being torn away from their parents and family. As the political debate rages, action must be taken, and families need to remain together!

At its core, this is a moral issue, not merely a political debate. This is about the sanctity of the family, a bond that cannot be duplicated or replaced. While we may differ in our views on how to fix the immigration crisis, we can all agree that returning children to their parents must be of utmost priority.

Unlike many of you, I am not a parent, therefore I can only imagine the horror and suffering that takes place when children are torn from their parents’ arms. I can recall, as we all can, as a child the times when separated from our mother and/or father for any length of time – the anguish, the uncertainty and the deep hurt.

Children are being taken from their parents and detained on our border. They have no parent to comfort them as they are exposed to irreparable harm and trauma facing an uncertain future. Is this how we really want to treat children? Does this address basic human dignity? I hear this deep concern shared with me as I travel throughout the Diocese.

The family is the basic unit of society. When families are forcibly pulled apart, society is severely wounded. While every country has the right to secure and safe borders, it is the moral duty of us all to protect children. The government should not tear apart the family.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, pray for the children, parents and families who are suffering separation at our border. Pray that our country, the administration and the lawmakers find a solution to the immigration debate that makes sense and keeps families together.

I stand with my brother Bishops in asking you all to urge lawmakers to put aside politics and act for the moral good – reunite children with their parents!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Frank J. Dewane

Bishop of the Diocese of

Venice in Florida