Cardinal Wuerl voices Catholic support for immigrants but urges caution about sanctuary churches

Source: The Washington Post

March 2

Cardinal Donald Wuerl,  leader of the Washington Archdiocese’s 620,000 Catholics, said Thursday that the church’s values compel it to oppose the deportation of people already living in the United States.

But Wuerl expressed caution about the idea of churches acting as sanctuaries for those seeking to avoid deportation, as some congregations across the country have offered.

“When we use the word sanctuary, we have to be very careful that we’re not holding out false hope. We wouldn’t want to say, ‘Stay here, we’ll protect you,’ ” he said, explaining that he’s not sure churches can legally guarantee protection to people who might move into a church building, or that federal agents would necessarily respect the boundaries of a church as a place that they cannot enter. “With separation of church and state, the church really does not have the right to say, ‘You come in this building and the law doesn’t apply to you.’ But we do want to say we’ll be a voice for you.”

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