USCCB Decries Opening of Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, decried the opening of a 2,400-bed detention center in Dilley, Texas, constructed to house, among others, families fleeing persecution in Central America.
The detention center, operated by a private, for-profit group, was inaugurated December 15. “It is inhumane to house young mothers with children in restrictive detention facilities, as if they are criminals,” said Bishop Elizondo.
Texas Catholic Conference Statement on Immigration Executive Order
The Texas Catholic Conference expresses appreciation for governmental actions that take concrete steps to repair the nation’s broken immigration system. While President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration is being debated on various grounds, it provides reprieve to some hard-working, yet undocumented, migrant families who have lived too long in the legal shadows. Catholic parishes have witnessed the unnecessary damage that a fractured immigration system has had on our communities, and the Texas Catholic Conference has long advocated for both the U.S. Congress and the White House to find responsible solutions.
TCC Statement on Stay of Execution for Scott Panetti
The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops today expressed appreciation to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for granting a stay of execution for death row inmate Scott Panetti.
The Texas Bishops have long taught about the immorality of the death penalty and were particularly vocal seeking mercy for Panetti, who has been diagnosed by several doctors as suffering from severe mental illness.
The stay means Panetti's attorneys will have another opportunity to argue that the death penalty in his case would violate the constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The Texas Catholic Conference will continue to advocate for the commutation of Panetti’s sentence.
USCCB Welcomes Relief for Immigrant Families
In a statement issued Thursday, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, welcomed President Obama’s decision to defer deportations for many undocumented immigrants and their families.
Even though the bishops applauded the effort to keep families together, they also reaffirmed their call for both the President and the U.S. Congress must work together for permanent reforms.
Texas Bishops Featured at USCCB Fall General Assembly
The bishops of Texas played prominent roles in the 2014 Fall General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on November 10 – 13, in Baltimore. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S. of San Antonio was selected as chairman-elect of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. The man he is succeeding in that post, Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, delivered a stirring presentation on underserved communities and Catholic schools. In addition to the committee chair elections and discussions, the bishops also approved several liturgical items and endorsed the sainthood cause of Father Paul Wattson.
Statement on Executive Order on Immingration
By Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
While the recent announcement by President Obama regarding Executive Action on immigration is certainly welcome, it also serves as a reminder that there is much work that needs to be done in regards to immigration reform. I am grateful that this action will provide temporary relief for families living in constant fear of deportation and detention.
Devotion to Mary
By Bishop Kevin Farrell
Devotion to Mary is an essential part of our Catholic faith. For Catholic children learning the Hail Mary is an important spiritual rite of passage. There are many traditions about the Blessed Virgin. She has revealed herself in numerous apparitions. Some, including those at Lourdes, at Fatima and Tepeyac, have been accepted by the Church as conforming to Catholic teaching. Others are under discernment.
A Thanksgiving Blessing
By Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller
"A happy and blessed Thanksgiving holiday."
With the following words, President Abraham Lincoln established the fourth Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving and a national holiday: “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens...
The Church, the State, and the Shifting Dynamics of Public Secularity
By Bishop Daniel Flores
We speak about the common good in a culture where our interlockers in public policy are engaged in a race to come to consensus about the popular good. The popular good and the common good are two different notions. Democratic and Republican governments since Plato and Aristotle have been recognized as forms of public order that work well when they work well, but very badly when they work badly.