Cardinal Francis George, speaking in his former diocese of Yakima, has criticized the United States’ immigration policy as unsustainable.
The bishop of Yakima for nearly six years in the 1990s, Cardinal George is presently Archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
According to the Yakima Herald-Republic, he had returned to Yakima to participate in the lifetime award ceremony for Catholics of central Washington. The awarded medallion is named for him.
At the awards ceremony at Holy Family Church, he told the crowd of about 180 that the Church does not support breaking the law or illegal immigration.
However, he said, “you have to respect the people in front of you.”
“If you have neighbors and family members who have been subjected to society financially, socially and religiously for decades, they should be able to live here with security,” the cardinal remarked.
Cardinal George encouraged the audience to be hopeful during the economic recession, the Yakima Herald-Republic says.
He also discussed the issue of the sexual abuse of children by clergymen, remarking that the Church is being more responsible but has more work to do as long as victims are still hurting.