The following is a statement from Most Reverend James Tamayo:
Recently, His Holiness Pope Francis addressed visitors at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, Rome to share insight on the refugee crisis. He reminded his listeners that June 20, 2018 is World Refugee Day which is promoted by the United Nations. With the precarious situation in Yemen and other countries around the world, Pope Francis then appealed to international leaders and people of goodwill to create change that sparks peace in situations like Yemen so that "the already tragic humanitarian situation does not get worse.”
The Pope also emphasized that this year, World Refugee Day takes place on a day when “governments meet to adopt a global compact on refugees." The hope is that an accord will be adopted which will promote a migration that is safe, ordered, and legal.
As bishop of the Diocese of Laredo, I pray and call upon all people of goodwill to advocate towards the dignity due to all men and women, that those involved in protecting human rights will foster fair and humane changes to help, not harm, refugees.
With the unsteady trepidation found in many of these situations, one might ask him/herself, “How should I react?” Christian or not, one must be attentive towards those who by fleeing their homes are already anxious and suffer at the hands of “conflict and persecution,” as Pope Francis explained.
The Diocese of Laredo is a border diocese between the U.S. and Mexico. The Catholic Church recognizes the tragic situations which our neighbors in Mexico as well as our neighbors in Central America confront on a daily basis. Catholic Charities, located at 1919 Cedar Ave., Laredo, provides pastoral services to immigrants and refugees who seek to enter and reside in the United States through the legal process. We respect the laws of our government and as people of faith we also adhere to God’s greatest commandment to “Love one another as I love you.” (John 15:12)
May we, by our prayers and actions, be advocates for the unification of families especially in the case of unaccompanied migrant children and their parents. Every person regardless of their condition in life has value and can contribute to and assimilate into society when given the opportunity. On this World Refugee Day, I encourage everyone to pray and advocate for our displaced brothers and sisters.