Vatican City, Jun 20, 2018 / 05:04 am
In a new interview with Reuters, Pope Francis backed the U.S. bishops' opposition to the separation of migrant children from their parents at the Mexican border, calling the move “immoral” and “contrary to Catholic values.”
“I am on the side of the bishops’ conference,” the pope said, referring to statements made by U.S. bishops earlier this month.
Francis' comment was made in reference to the Trump administration's “zero tolerance” policy on immigration, which was rolled out in May and, among other things, enforces the separation of children from parents who have been detained by border officials.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, issued a statement during the bishops' biannual meeting in Fort Lauderdale last week. He criticized the policy, saying “separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”
He said later the bishops would consider the possibility of sending a delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border to see the detention centers for themselves and offer solidarity for incoming migrants and refugees.
“Let it be clear that in these things, I respect [the position of] the bishops conference,” Pope Francis said in the interview with Reuters.
When migrants arrive to a country, “you have to receive them, help them, look after them, accompany them and then see where to put them, but throughout all of Europe,” he said, noting that “some governments are working on it, and people have to be settled in the best possible way, but creating psychosis is not the cure.”
No full text of the interview was available, however, the pope also touched on a variety of other issues, including the possibility of a deal with China on the appointment of bishops, the sexual abuse scandal in Chile, the reform of the Roman Curia and the criticism he's faced.