In Times of Fear

A message to the community on the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

by Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, Catholic Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana

The recent elections and public news have caused concern and fears in the hearts of members of our communities. Many undocumented parents are afraid of being deported or separated from their U.S. citizen children. Young people who registered for DACA are afraid that the registration will be used against them. School children — citizens or not — are being bullied or mistreated by peers because of their color, religion or ethnic origins.

As we prepare to celebrate the feasts of the “Guadalupana” and of Christmas, I want you to know that our Catholic Church, and her parishes, are praying with you and for you. I want to assure you that I am aware of the morally wrong things conveyed by words and actions.

Reports from here in Indiana tell of uncharitable and unjust treatment of both youth and adults. I stand with those who have been mistreated, and I support people and agencies which can offer material and legal help to those who need it.

I personally am asking that everyone behave respectfully to each of our neighbors, whether citizens or not, Christians or not. My special concern is for your children, for all children. No one should hear bad words or experience maltreatment because of their legal status or ethnic background. It would be the worst evil if public disrespect forced any of us to stay away from our dear religious celebrations at this time of year.

I authorized the Office of Family Life and Hispanic Ministry to distribute information about the legal rights you have and can claim, even if you are not citizens. We are not pretending to be lawyers, but want you to know how to find one if you need to. We do not promote anything illegal, but we want those people who have rights and responsibilities to be able to enjoy them. And we want to live in human and Christian solidarity with those whose lives are endangered because of uncertain status, threats of violence or unnecessary separation of parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters.

{Republished courtesy of The Catholic Moment newspaper, December 11, 2016.}

For information about the LUM Immigration Clinic, click HERE.

To view the CLINIC article, How to Prepare for Changes in the Presidential Administration, click HERE.


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