Catholic Teaching


Immigration and Refugees

The Church’s position on migration is rooted the Gospel and in the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching. A recent example of this teaching is in Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, a joint pastoral letter concerning migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States. The pastoral letter promotes five principles that should be used to help formulate migration-related policy:

(The first 2 principles were included in the January 14th bulletin)

3) Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders. The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories and their borders. However, wealthier nations, which have the ability to better protect and feed their residents, have a strong obligation to accommodate migration flows.


4) Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection. Those who flee wars and persecution should be protected by the global community. This requires, at a minimum, that migrants have a right to claim refugee status without incarceration and to have their claims fully considered by a competent authority.


(The 5th and final principle will be offered in next week’s bulletin)