Archbishop of San Antonio: United States was built by immigrants
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- During a forum on international immigration, Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio said the United States is a country built on immigration and that Christians should respond to this challenge in accord with the teaching of Christ: I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

During the forum, which was organized by Mexico’s Secretariat for Foreign Relations and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Archbishop Gomez noted the economic, social and cultural contributions of immigrants to their new countries.

In the case of the United States, the archbishop said according to the 2002 census, Hispanic immigrants number more than 37 million and represent 13.3% of the US population.  Of these, 66.9% are from Mexico; 14.3% are from Central and South America; 8.6% are from Puerto Rico; 3.7% from Cuba; and the remaining 6.5% from other Hispanic countries, including Spain.

Emphasizing that his objective was to present a pastoral perspective, Archbishop Gomez recalled that the North American identity has been definitively marked by the phenomenon of immigration.  Nevertheless, he warned that “today there is a more articulated, more organic, perhaps more ‘politically correct’ but more intellectually and politically sophisticated ideological resistance (on the part of natives).”

“The most significant expression of this prejudice is perhaps the book ‘Who We Are’ by Samuel P. Huntington,” which Archbishop Gomez said carries great weight among “the intellectual higher-ups of American political parties,” and which claims that Hispanics, “if they maintain their identity and continuing coming in the same numbers, ‘will destroy’ the achievements of the United States, which are unique in the world in terms of liberty and well being.”

Archbishop Gomez said he was saddened that the issue is dividing Catholics in the US.  However, he recalled that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the more prosperous nations have the duty to welcome, as much as possible, the foreigner who seeks security and a means of living that he is unable to find in his country of origin.”

With respect to illegal immigrants, Archbishop Gomez said granting them legal status would bring economic benefits to the United States, as well as affirm the moral reserve that Hispanics represent for the country. He also argued it “would help to bring greater development and stability in Latin America.”

He explained that such steps would not be the end, but only the beginning of the solution to the problem.  “It is necessary to harmonize immigration with the legitimate regulation which governments establish regarding the arrival of foreigners,” he added.

Regarding the role of Catholics, Archbishop Gomez said, “We must have the wisdom and the strength to listen to the call of God to live as brothers and sisters and to build a better world.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30