The following comes from a November 30 San Diego Union Tribune article by Kate Morrissey:
American leadership in the Catholic church laid low during the presidential election but San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy is now making clear that if President-elect Donald Trump makes good on campaign promises of mass deportations of unauthorized immigrants, the church is prepared to take “massive action.”
“During the past months the specter of a massive deportation campaign aimed at ripping more than 10 million undocumented immigrants from their lives and families has realistically emerged as potential federal policy,” McElroy said.
There are an estimated 81 million self-identified Roman Catholics in the U.S., about 25 percent of the population. McElroy said mass deportations could remove more than 10 percent of parishioners from U.S. churches.
When asked how to calm the fears of unauthorized immigrants, McElroy said, “I have fear, too. I think that’s one of the problems. As we speak with the undocumented community, we can’t give a false sense of serenity. Our only hope is to say we’re going to stand together.”
McElroy would not say whether churches would act as sanctuaries, but said it would have to be considered.
“The church can never acquiesce in or cooperate with such a grave evil in our society,” McElroy said.
“All of the steps in the Civil Rights campaign will have to be enlisted if we’re facing a true massive deportation that tears apart families,” he said, referring to priests and nuns who joined activists in acts of civil disobedience. “I hope we won’t get back to those days. If that’s the decision, we’re going to have to entertain those modes of operation.”