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Catholic bishops slam Trump’s ‘immoral’ practice of separating families

‘Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.’

By Eric Boehlert - June 14, 2018
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Donald Trump

Catholics who work for ICE and help carry out Trump’s inhumane policy of ripping children away from their parents might soon face “canonical penalties” — which could include excommunication — if one U.S. Bishop has his way.

That extraordinary suggestion came from Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Arizona, following the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ denouncement of Trump’s immigration policy in stark new terms, which makes it clear they see the issue as a moral failure of historic proportions.

“Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral,” stressed Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement released Wednesday.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who oversees the Boston archdiocese, said, “I cannot be silent when our country’s immigration policy destroys families, traumatizes parents, and terrorizes children. The harmful and unjust policy of separating children from their parents must be ended.”

Politically, the very public criticism poses a major problem for Republicans. And Catholic voters represent a huge voting block in several swing states, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, U.S. bishops might soon visit the detention centers where children are being held after they have been taken from their parents. In Brownsville, Texas, that detention center is a converted former Walmart that “looks more like incarceration than temporary shelter,” NBC News reports.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions this year announced that 100 percent of immigrants found crossing into the U.S. illegally would be prosecuted, which means children are automatically separated from parents referred for criminal prosecution.

Session even recently decreed that most victims of domestic violence and gang violence will no longer be granted asylum in America.

The intentionally cruel policy has created stunning stories of heartbreak, like the mother who reportedly had her child ripped away from her while she was breastfeeding the baby.

Last year, when Trump needlessly destroyed the Dreamers program to protect young undocumented immigrants who were brought to America by their parents, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the decision “reprehensible” in a scorching public denunciation.

“Today’s actions represent a heartbreaking moment in our history that shows the absence of mercy and good will, and a short-sighted vision for the future,” the bishops announced.

Trump has now doubled down on the absence of mercy and good will.

 

 

 


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