Skip to main content


Seekers of 'American Dream' Need Extra Help

6/20/2005 - 5:00 PM PST

Advertisment

Interview With Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson

CHICAGO, JUNE 20, 2005 (Zenit) - The Diocese of Tucson receives thousands of illegal immigrants who cross the border and the Arizona desert in search of the "American dream."

They do not always find that dream. Every year, more than 300 people die in what has been called "death row."

Now, border-crossers have more than the desert to worry about as anti-immigration groups are taking an active role to "hunt down" illegal immigrants to turn them over to the authorities.

In this interview with us, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson speaks of the initiatives of the Catholic Church to protect and help immigrants arriving in Arizona.

Q: Which is the most serious problem facing the Tucson Diocese and how is it trying to resolve it?

Bishop Kicanas: Obviously, it is the problem of immigrants. We are trying to carry out an integral policy of acceptance of immigrants to address the problems they are creating on the border with Mexico.

Q: What measures are you implementing in Tucson to integrate the immigrants into the Catholic Church?

Bishop Kicanas: The border is a priority for the diocese. There are a couple of initiatives that are being put into play. One of them is to tighten ties of union with our counterpart diocese, Hermosillo, in Sonora, Mexico, and also the Phoenix Diocese.

We three bishops are constantly talking about cooperation and understanding of the migratory phenomenon. The other derives from this joint endeavor -- by sharing efforts we can better serve the immigrants.

Q: What is your opinion about the forthcoming meeting of border bishops of the United States and Mexico in El Paso on June 23?

Bishop Kicanas: It will be a great opportunity for the bishops of Mexico and the United States, for the people who work in our diocesan teams, to know the border situation and how to protect the rights of illegal workers that cross it daily.

Q: Do you expect something from this event?

Bishop Kicanas: I expect a growing relationship between the bishops of both countries. We have already written a joint document; and taken steps towards unity. Now we must act together to take care of the immigrants.

Q: Does the state of Arizona have some experience that should be known by the rest of the bishops of both sides of the border?

Bishop Kicanas: Yes, there is a growing interreligious alliance in Arizona, a coalition of religious leaders, Jews, Muslims and Christians, who are very involved and interested in working for reform of the immigration policies of the United States. This is very important.

Q: What has the Catholic Church's reaction been like against groups dedicated to hunting down immigrants on the border with Mexico?

Bishop Kicanas: First, I think that those who head the border patrol have tolerated this. They are involved in these militias, in which people take the law into their own hands. They must be monitored and observed.

At the same time, they must be channeled. Many of them love their country. And what we must make them understand is that the majority of immigrants are not criminals, they are not terrorists: They are people struggling to survive.

Q: What, then, is the responsibility of religious leader on this subject?

Bishop Kicanas: It is to educate their people through detailed information, which helps people see the human face of immigration. I am convinced that this simple fact will make the difference. The immigrants are human beings, many of them with an unshakeable faith, desperate to be able to support themselves and their families.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org  CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

American, Dream, Kicanas, Immigrants, Mexico, US, Arizona

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
for the Lord honours the father above his children and upholds ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
[Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 2:22-40
And when the day came for them to be purified in keeping with ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:12-21
As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

December 28 Saint of the Day

St. Anthony the Hermit
December 28: Anthony was born about circa 468 at Valeria in Lower ... Read More