Catholic Church leaders have decided to use immigrants and those who seek to help them as pawns in a political battle. Church leaders recently threatened to discontinue funding for several charitable organizations that belong to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), which has decided to support equal treatment under the law for gay and lesbian couples in Illinois. The Church has insisted that member organizations disassociate from the ICIRR because of its support for civil marriage for gays and lesbians in Illinois - or lose their funding. We are urging Church leaders to withdraw this unjust threat against charitable organizations that serve our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.
We note that the Church has insisted that these organizations disassociate from the ICIRR because of its support for civil marriage for gays and lesbians in Illinois. In essence, Church leaders have decided to use immigrants and those who seek to help them as pawns in a political battle about an issue that is entirely unrelated to the care and welfare of those who seek refuge in our country.
We write to you as loyal and proud Catholics to urge in the strongest possible terms that you rescind this threat. This action is not worthy of the Church we know, love and respect.
Our faith teaches that we all have a duty to care for the least among us. The action threatened by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development seems at best inconsistent with Church teaching; at worst, it seems cruel.
We call on Cardinal George to lead our Church in the righteous path by withdrawing this unjust threat. We call on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to continue funding the important and critical work of these groups.
Should the Church ignore our call, we will call on Chicago’s philanthropic community to join together to fill any gap caused by the Church’s capricious act. We are confident that our community will come together to ensure that no advocate or immigrant will be harmed by the Catholic hierarchy’s misguided decision.