The Bishops, Trump and Religious Liberty

The Washington Post's Michelle Boorstein notes  that while U.S. Catholic bishops have been active in helping Syrian immigrants overcome barriers to their entry into the United States, they have been quiet about Donald Trump's controversial call for all Muslim immigrants to be barred from entering the country.

For example, she quotes Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami as saying that he thought the whole matter is covered by the bishops' "Faithful Citizenship" document. That's his response, given the emphasis Catholic bishops have put on religious liberty?

Boorstein wrote that she wasn't able to reach Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the bishops' committee on religious liberty. But in a story it moved today, Catholic News Service reported that Lori said proposals such as Trump's have raised “great religious freedom alarms.” The story continues:

Archbishop Lori told CNS that while there are growing security concerns and a fear of terrorism, denying entry into a country based solely on religious affiliation may only worsen the situation.

“I think those things have to be addressed in sensible ways,” he said. To address growing security threats, the archbishop emphasized that governments must do so in “ways that do not in fact make this situation worse by inciting more violence.”


Paul Moses, a contributing writer at Commonweal, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @PaulBMoses. 

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