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For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-02-05

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Here is Bulletin_2017-02-05

1. V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N is Over: Hopefully, physically refreshed and renewed our Pastor has returned from his vacation. Word has it that this coming week he will be on retreat. Consequently, there will be Communion Services as there have been for the last two weeks. We pray that our Pastor has the opportunity to pray and refresh himself spiritually while on retreat.

2. Solidarity with Refugees: This week’s bulletin, the home page of the St. Peter Catholic Church Website, and the online version of this week’s bulletin carry the following statement:

Bishop Burbidge Voices Solidarity with Refugees

In his statement on the Executive Order halting refugee admissions, Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee of Migration and Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, highlighted our nation’s long and proud tradition of welcoming newcomers and refugees in a humane manner, even as we have pursued a strong vetting system to ensure our safety and security.  Together with Bishop Vasquez and my brother bishops, I encourage Catholics to contact our elected officials to make our voices heard: our communities have been and will continue to be hospitable to refugees, in keeping with our legacy of welcoming the stranger. Together, we also pray for comprehensive immigration reform and for peace, safety and harmony within our nation and throughout the world.                     

Show your support today for immigrants and refugees through this action alert, from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Comment 1: None of the versions of this announcement provide attribution. For your benefit, the statement was from the Arlington Catholic Herald – http://www.catholicherald.com/Faith/Bishop_Burbidge/Bishop_Burbidge_Voices_Solidarity_with_Refugees/

Comment 2: Embedded in the text of the statement were two important links. Unless you had gone to the online version of this week’s bulletin, you would not have known that those links existed. For your benefit, we will list them:

Comment 3: Even though the Catholic Herald statement and the two links cited in the statement discuss the President’s recent Executive Order, none of them provide an actual opportunity to read the Order. For your benefit, we will offer you the opportunity to read EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATEShttps://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

Comment 4: We at the Sheep of Kephas claim no special training in official Church doctrine on refugees or immigration. We look to the Magisterium, especially as exercised by the bishops and the pope. That is why we are somewhat confused. Bishop Vasquez cites no official document or Church teaching in the USCCB posting USCCB Committee on Migration Chair Strongly Opposes Executive Order Because It Harms Vulnerable Refugee and Immigrant Families.  Nevertheless, the USCCB urges you and me to send an email to the President and our elected representatives saying:

As a Catholic, I believe in the human dignity of all human beings, including immigrants and refugees. I strongly support the longstanding, U.S. government leadership on refugee protection that both Republican and Democratic administrations have asserted since the beginning of the current refugee program in 1980. I strongly support a refugee program that is safe for refugees and the communities that welcome them. While urging the government to continue improving the safety and security of the system continuously, I believe that the current program is a safe one.

I urge you to oppose this Executive Order and to urge the President to reevaluate the Executive Order. The proposed changes to the resettlement program are contrary to our country’s values and ideals of freedom, fairness, and compassion.

Comment 5: Please note, the above statement cites no Church teachings. We have many thoughts on this situation. But, what we don’t have, is instruction on Church doctrine. We understand that the bishops don’t agree with the Executive Order, but their statements are vague and incomplete.

Question: Have they really read the Executive Order? It does not appear so.

Question: How does this impact St. Peter’s? We individually are asked to act in the political realm based on Church teaching, but that teaching is not clearly explained to us.

Question: Where are the real shepherds in the Church?

 

Folks, in these current times, let’s do our homework and pray. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

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