CHICAGO (CNS) — Less than a week after he was installed in his new position, Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich had a brief private meeting with President Barack Obama when the president visited the city to promote his executive actions on immigration.
In an interview aired on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Nov. 30, the archbishop said that he and the U.S. bishops support the president’s efforts. He expressed gratitude for the plan to help immigrants who lack legal status, enabling them to “come out of the shadows” and live out aspirations for a better life that “were placed in their hearts by God. We have to attend to that. It’s not just something they want on their own. God has always called us to a better life.”
In the CBS program, recorded before his meeting with Obama, Archbishop Cupich said: “It’s been too long of a time for people to wait for comprehensive immigration reform. We see this as an important first step, hopefully to jumpstart” legislation.
Archbishop Cupich was installed as head of the Chicago Archdiocese Nov. 19, replacing Cardinal Francis E. George, who retired as head of the archdiocese. On Nov. 25, he and Obama met at the Copernicus Center Chicago, where the president was speaking to rally support for his immigration initiatives. The meeting lasted seven minutes, according to archdiocesan spokeswoman Colleen Dolan.
At an event later that day, Archbishop Cupich said the meeting focused on the immigration actions Obama announced Nov. 20. The archbishop said he thanked the president for his actions. The plans Obama announced include a program to defer deportation for potentially more than 4 million people who are in the U.S. illegally but who have children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, and make other changes in enforcement priorities.
In the meeting with Obama, as in the CBS interview, Archbishop Cupich said the rules for how the administrative actions are implemented should include protections so that people who sign up for the deferred deportation program are not put at greater risk of being sent home if the program is changed under a future president.
Archbishop Cupich also posted a statement about the immigration policies Nov. 26. In that statement, he said that, along with his brother bishops, he wanted to extend his gratitude and support of the administrative relief measures.
He listed some of the many organizations run by Catholics and other people of faith that have worked to support immigrant families, “working tirelessly, sharing in our common goal to alleviate suffering, dispel fear and to remove the barriers that prevent so many hard-working men, women and their families from being able to pursue their God-given potential and fully share their God-given gifts.”
However, the statement added, “we must not forget that there are millions of people left out of these recent relief decisions, still forced to live in the shadows.”
Work must continue, the statement said, to support efforts to pass what he called “comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Release of Guantanamo detainees appears to be on upswing
NEXT: District Court judges in three states rule to allow same-sex marriage
Share this story