Tucson, Ariz., Jun 20, 2018 / 16:00 pm
A bishop who suggested last week that the Church consider canonical penalties for Catholics involved in the separation of families at the United States' southern border said Wednesday that penalties are not central to a discussion of immigration reform.
On immigration reform, "the critical issue at hand isn't canonical penalties, even if the concept has intrigued many. The real issue is children being used as pawns in a contorted effort at punishing their parents or deterring future asylum seekers," Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson wrote in a June 20 op-ed for the Arizona Daily Star.
At a meeting of the US bishops' conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., June 13, Weisenburger asked if the bishops' canonical affairs committee could offer "recommendations, at least to those of us who are border bishops, on the possibility of canonical penalties for Catholics who are involved in this."
"For the salvation of these people's souls," he added, "maybe it's time for us to look at canonical penalties."