As an order of Catholic Sisters who have devoted our lives to nurturing the health and well-being of others—particularly women and children—we, the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, are distressed beyond words at the cruelty taking place at our borders. We condemn in the strongest terms the bullying of defenseless children and parents that has taken place and continues to persist in the name of “border security.”
To separate children from their parents, especially when they have already lost home and safety in their family’s search for asylum or a better life, is an appalling, indefensible act. To justify it using Scripture goes beyond all that is decent.
We have heard that the numbers of children detained are well beyond the numbers originally reported. The fact that months after the separation, hundreds, maybe thousands, have yet to be reunited with parents despite a court order speaks of a heartlessness and carelessness beyond belief.
We were especially saddened by reports that workers in those internment camps were instructed not to comfort or hold or offer any kindness to those children—even babies and toddlers. The long-term effects of such utter lack of compassion for small children will be devastating.
Jesus told his followers to welcome the stranger and the poor. He invited the children into his arms: “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for of such is the kingdom of God.”
We join with the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR) and with all those who stand for justice for the stranger, the immigrant, and the refugee in calling on our elected leaders, especially those in Congress, to demand that these families be reunited at once and that such inhumane policies will never again be part of our national conscience. We keep in our prayers those who are striving for justice for our brothers and sisters at our borders.
(Sr.) Judith A. Bell, FSM
Franciscan Sisters of Mary (FSM)
On behalf of all the FSM