The bishops of communities along the southwest border, including Cardinal Robert McElroy of the Diocese of San Diego, have issued a statement in response to the developing situation of the large number of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Their full statement follows:

“Daily, we witness the human consequences of migration, both its blessings and its challenges. As pastors of border communities, we minister to migrants and native-born persons alike. Our congregations include asylum-seekers, enforcement officers, landowners, and elected officials, who come together, not as strangers or adversaries but as sisters and brothers, equal in dignity and worth before the Lord.

“Since our nation’s founding, Catholics across this country have been at the forefront of efforts to welcome newcomers of all faiths and nationalities. As Christians, we are called to see the face of Christ in those who suffer, those who lack the basic necessities of life, and we judge ourselves as a community of faith by the way we treat the most vulnerable among us. We are each bound by a universal call to serve one another and to protect the sanctity of human life in all its forms.

“Therefore, we remain committed to supporting the efforts ongoing within our dioceses and beyond to promote the God-given dignity of every person, including those who have recently arrived in our communities. Further, as a Church committed to the common good, we always cooperate in the administration of humanitarian aid with local, state, and federal officials, frequently in partnership with faith communities and like-minded secular organizations.

“Finally, we join together in prayer, entrusting these works of mercy to Our Lady of Guadalupe as a source of unity throughout the Americas. May each of us be blessed with a humanitarian heart that beats with fraternal compassion for those in need.”

The bishops endorsing this statement as the pastors of U.S. communities along the southwest border include:

Cardinal Robert W. McElroy of San Diego
Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio
Bishop Peter Baldacchino of Las Cruces
Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville*
Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso*
Bishop Michael J. Sis of San Angelo
Bishop James A. Tamayo of Laredo
Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger of Tucson

Original story in Southern Cross.