In 2003, the bishops of the United States and Mexico issued a joint document to address the growing number of migrants between the two countries and the need to treat the travelers with the utmost care and charity. With more migrants traveling from Central America into the United States than ever before, its words ring just as true today as they did twenty years ago. Though written before his papacy, the letter underscores a major tenet of Pope Francis’ pastoral direction: that the Catholic Church is an entity without borders.
“For two decades, Strangers No Longer has provided an important moral framework that has informed the Church’s engagement on the migration issue,” said El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz. “While much about our social and political landscape has changed during the past twenty years, the Church is unwavering in its commitment to walk with newcomers, especially the most vulnerable.”
As part of Strangers No Longer’s anniversary, the USCCB is encouraging Catholics to read the letter and reflect on the plight of migrants throughout the year. The full English text of the letter can be found here.