We post here a letter written by The Most Rev. Alan Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit to the priests and people of his diocese. We believe it reflects well the baptismal promise made, renewed and lived into by Episcopalians: “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? … ‘I will with God’s help.'”
“In light of a public proposal put forth recently to restrict the immigration of Muslims into the United States based on their religion, I thought it would be helpful to remind everyone of the Catholic teaching regarding Islam. Fifty years ago, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught that the Catholic Church treats with respect those who practice the religion of Islam. And for these past fifty years, Catholics and Muslims in southeastern Michigan have enjoyed warm relations marked by a spirit of mutual respect and esteem.
Restricting or sacrificing these religious rights and liberties out of fear – instead of defending them and protecting them in the name of mutual respect and justice – is a rationalization which fractures the very foundation of morality on which we stand.
While the Catholic Church refrains from weighing in for or against individual candidates for a particular political office, the Church does and should speak to the morality of this important and far-reaching issue of religious liberty. Especially as our political discourse addresses the very real concerns about the security of our country, our families, and our values, we need to remember that religious rights are a cornerstone of these values. Restricting or sacrificing these religious rights and liberties out of fear – instead of defending them and protecting them in the name of mutual respect and justice – is a rationalization which fractures the very foundation of morality on which we stand. This also threatens the foundation of religious liberty that makes it possible for us to freely practice our faith. These are not only Catholic sentiments on these issues; these, I believe, are the sentiments of all Americans.”
Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron,
Archbishop of Detroit
December 10, 2015
Detroit archbishop denounces proposals to bar Muslims from U.S. by David Gibson on Religion News Service