Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Urges ‘Unconditional Respect for Human Life and Dignity’
Today, the Catholic Church commemorates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, first declared “Patroness of the Americas” by Pope Pius XII in 1946, a title later reaffirmed by Saint John Paul II in 1999.
WASHINGTON – Today, the Catholic Church commemorates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, first declared “Patroness of the Americas” by Pope Pius XII in 1946, a title later reaffirmed by Saint John Paul II in 1999. Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:
“In Our Lady of Guadalupe, we encounter the mother of all mothers—a loving bridge between worlds and peoples who unifies through her maternal embrace. In choosing to appear to Saint Juan Diego, a man characterized by his native origins and modest station in life, she reveals to us that the love of God transcends boundaries, natural and manmade, for the salvation of all.
“As Catholics, we affirm and defend an unconditional respect for human life and dignity, no matter the circumstance. Recent policy proposals that would undermine respect for the sanctity of human life, including that of the humble migrant seeking asylum at our border, remind us of the perils of our own culture, in which hope and unity collide with an abundance of fear and division, often yielding indifference to our shared humanity. Especially in this Advent Season of preparing to welcome Christ and contemplating his own family’s journey, we know that much remains to be done in our country to support families, especially the poor, and to more readily welcome new life and the stranger among us, in whom God reveals himself.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe, help us to walk with confidence, to imitate your unwavering trust in the will of God, to love beyond boundaries, and to accept the demands of solidarity. Intercede for us, your children, and guide us in our pursuit of peace and justice, that through our commitment to protecting human life on Earth we may find ourselves better prepared to inherit the gift of everlasting life in heaven.”