America - Jesuit Review
Texas (Agenzia Fides) - "As a pastor, I also welcome you on behalf of Christ, present in our borderland community in so many beautiful ways—present in our resilience, our spirit of compassion and service,” he said in a statement. “And present in the poor knocking at our doorstep, in the migrant and refugee": with these words Mgr. Mark Joseph Seitz, Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso, welcomed the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris who went to El Paso, Texas yesterday, to better know the experiences of migrants and those who work for them on the border between the United States and Mexico.
Bishop Seitz expressed his gratitude for the visit and for Ms. Harris’ focus on the factors driving immigrants north to the United States. He also relayed greetings from Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"Borders are places where the drama of human life—its suffering and aspirations—unfolds and they put squarely before us a moral choice", said the Bishop of El Paso, "to build bridges or encounter walls of fear".
President Joe Biden charged the vice president with addressing the escalating number of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border back in March. Earlier this month, she traveled to Guatemala to meet with President Alejandro Giammattei and expressed the Biden administration’s goal to "help Guatemalans find hope at home" (See Fides, 9/6/2021).
"We have inherited a tough situation", said Vice President Harris during her meeting with Bishop Seitz and religious organizations. She then added: "In five months we’ve made progress, but there’s still more work to be done, but we’ve made progress".
In his remarks during the meeting, Archbishop Seitz quoted St. Oscar Romero: "There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried". The Bishop encouraged the vice president and other administration officials to listen to the stories of those who have chosen to travel north. At the end of the meeting, Bishop Seitz gave the vice president a rosary blessed by Pope Francis during Romero’s canonization Mass. He called it "a reminder of the divine fire within you, calling you deeper, to put faith into action by working for a world in which we all recognize each other, every human person, as sisters and brothers". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/6/2021)