One Human Family

Background Article

Our Church teaches that we are one human family. As children of God, we are brothers and sisters called to be responsible for one another. Loving our brothers and sisters throughout the world requires that we work for peace and justice.

“A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world.”

Pope Francis, Mexico/Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development, 7/14/2014

These brothers and sisters include immigrants to our country, both legal and illegal. Our U.S. bishops have advocated a viable path to citizenship for the undocumented, more generous family reunification policies, and a temporary worker program. In “Strangers No Longer,” the bishops state that nations have the right to control their borders. They also state that this right must be balanced against the right of persons to migrate so that they can realize their God-given rights. It all comes down to a matter of balancing. A nation has a responsibility to the common good of its own people and this must be balanced against a need for universal common good.

Additionally, the bishops recognize that there are conditions that compel people to leave their homes out of desperation and lack of opportunities to provide for themselves and their families. These issues must be addressed if an effective and comprehensive response to migration is to be achieved in our country.

  • What do I know about the immigration issues in the United States?
  • Do I pray that there be justice for all who migrate to our country?

Brothers and Sisters to Us
USCCB’s Pastoral Letter on Racism, 1979

Migrant and Refugee Children Resources
Downloadable fact sheets from the USCCB

Photo by EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection