A statement from Bishop Malooly concerning executive orders on immigration

February 3, 2017

My Dear Friends,

In December, I had the pleasure of celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Holy Angels Church in Newark and Saint Paul’s Church in Wilmington – two of our larger Hispanic Catholic communities. During my time with them, I expressed my solidarity with them and the local, regional, and national Hispanic population, and with all immigrants and refugees.

I join with my brother Bishops and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to stand up for the rights and dignity of all people, especially those who are persecuted, vulnerable, and looking for a better life and home for themselves and their families.

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, recently wrote a letter on this topic to his flock. I concur with Archbishop Lori, and share excerpts from that letter with you:

In recent days, President Donald Trump signed a number of executive orders that have caused many of our immigrant sisters and brothers to fear for their future in this country and for the stability of their families, including one order that suspends the U.S. refugee admissions program. In addition, the orders call for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the expedited deportation of those who are living in our country without authorization, and the barring of entry of citizens from a number of countries of particular concern (all Muslim majority). 

I echo the concerns expressed by many of my brother bishops across the United States, including Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the Committee on Migration for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who wrote, “We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope.” Citing the Conference’s desire to work with the new administration, Bishop Vásquez added, “We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones. 

While we affirm the right of sovereign nations to control their borders, we likewise affirm our moral responsibility to respect every human being’s dignity. We must remember that those fleeing horrendous and unspeakable violence and grinding poverty have the right, as children of God, to provide for the basic needs of themselves and their families. Scripture reminds us repeatedly of our obligation to care for the widow, the orphan and the stranger. “You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt.” (Lev. 19:34) 

I echo what Archbishop Lori clearly says about our present situation and how we need to respond on behalf of our people.

For over 240 years, immigrants have contributed in countless ways to our great country and to the Church in the United States. We must continue to open our hearts to new immigrants, and work to protect family units, because many of those who come to us today form the future of our parishes and communities.

May God bless you,
Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington


For more information about the USCCB and its stand on immigration, go to www.usccb.org

For Archbishop Lori’s letter in its entirety, go to www.archbalt.org