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Bishops respond to events in Cuba, ruling on DACA

A round-up of U.S. bishops' statements in response to issues in the news

Express solidarity, prayers for Cuban people

WASHINGTON | In response to the recent events in Cuba, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement July 19, 2021:

“As protests continue in Cuba and among the diaspora in the United States, we would like to express our solidarity, as well as that of our brother bishops in the United States, with our brothers in the Cuban episcopate, and with all men and women of goodwill in Cuba.


“As the Cuban bishops declared in their July 12 statement, ‘A favorable solution will not be reached by impositions, nor by calling for confrontation, but through mutual listening, where common agreements are sought and concrete and tangible steps are taken that contribute, with the contribution of all Cubans without exception, to the building-up of the Fatherland.’

“In the same spirit as the Cuban bishops, we urge the United States to seek the peace that comes from reconciliation and concord between our countries. For decades, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in conjunction with the Holy See and the Cuban bishops, has called for robust cultural and commercial engagement between the United States and Cuba as the means to assist the island in achieving greater prosperity and social transformation.

“We pray that Our Lady of Charity, our mother, watches over her children in Cuba, and that, together, our countries can grow in friendship in the interests of justice and peace.”


Welcome pope’s ‘desire to foster unity among Catholics’

WASHINGTON | On July 16, 2021, Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter, Traditionis custodes modifying the norms regulating the use of the 1962 Roman Missal issued before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement in response:  

“Today Pope Francis published Traditionis custodes, an Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio on the use of Latin liturgical texts approved prior to the reform of 1970. I welcome the Holy Father’s desire to foster unity among Catholics who celebrate the Roman Rite.

“As these new norms are implemented, I encourage my brother bishops to work with care, patience, justice, and charity as together we foster a Eucharistic renewal in our nation.”


Urge Congress to act after court ruling on DACA

WASHINGTON | On July 16, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to be unlawful. DACA allows certain undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children — known as Dreamers — to remain in the country.

DACA provides temporary protection from deportation and grants work authorization; it does not create a pathway to citizenship. Not all Dreamers are eligible for DACA, nor have all DACA-eligible individuals received protection through the program. Today, there are approximately 650,000 active DACA recipients in the United States and around 3.6 million Dreamers total.

Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response to the court’s ruling:

“While we are disappointed with this ruling, we know that DACA was never meant to be a permanent solution for Dreamers. This ruling is simply the most recent development in a long list of events warranting action by Congress. The Senate currently has multiple bills before it that would grant permanent relief to Dreamers, including the American Dream and Promise Act passed by the House of Representatives in March.

“Dreamers contribute to our economy, serve in our armed forces, and raise American families, but they are prevented from becoming full members of our society. All Dreamers, not just those receiving DACA, deserve the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential in the only country most of them have ever known. This is not only a matter of human dignity but also family unity, considering the 250,000 U.S.-citizen children with Dreamers as parents. Current DACA recipients continue to receive protection, but for how long?

“My brother bishops and I urge the Senate to join the House of Representatives in passing legislation that would provide legal status and a path to citizenship for all Dreamers. In doing so, we recall the words of Pope Francis: ‘Immigrants, if they are helped to integrate, are a blessing, a source of enrichment and new gift that encourages a society to grow.’”