Bishops say Mass on US-Mexico border to highlight migrant deaths

A cardinal and 12 bishops celebrated Mass on the United States-Mexico border to commemorate those who died while trying to cross it.

Hundreds of would-be migrants trying to cross from Mexico into the US die each year in the desert of dehydration or hypothermia or in shootings by border patrols or vigilantes.

The bishops also gathered to urge the US Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

On April 1, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston gave the homily, speaking of the role immigrants play in US society and the suffering they endure to reach the country.

“Despite the xenophobic ranting of a segment of the population, our immigrant population contributes mightily to the economy and wellbeing of the United States,” Cardinal O’Malley said in Arizona.

The cardinal quoted Pope Francis’s comments on the Italian island of Lampedusa last year about the “globalisation of indifference”.

“We have lost a sense of responsibility for our brothers and sisters,” Pope Francis said.

Cardinal O’Malley quoted Pope Francis further: “The culture of comfort, which makes us think only of ourselves, makes us insensitive to the cries of other people.”

People from Mexico attended the Mass on the other side of the border fence and received Communion through the iron fence slats.

The previous day, the bishops had walked along rough desert paths used by migrants.

They crawled under strands of barbed wire, scrunching low to walk through a culvert beneath a road, and dodged cactus and sticker bushes.

The group then met with the Border Patrol at their regional headquarters, before crossing into Mexico to serve dinner at a church-sponsored “comedor,” or soup kitchen.

The “comedor” serves people who have been deported or who are figuring out whether they want to try to sneak into the United States.



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News category: World.

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