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LA to become a “Sanctuary Diocese”

LA to become a “Sanctuary Diocese”

At its Convention last weekend, the Diocese of Los Angeles elected to become a “sanctuary diocese” for undocumented immigrants to the United States.

In the explanation to the resolution, the Rev. Francisco J. Garcia, Rector of Holy Faith in Inglewood writes,

For many years, immigrant families have suffered on the margins of our society. They have been scapegoated during difficult economic times and victimized by harsh anti-immigrant ordinances passed by some states and localities.

In the aftermath of the recent presidential election there is heightened concern that the campaign rhetoric villainizing immigrants will become policy targeting them because of their immigration status or religious beliefs.

As a people of faith committed to dismantling oppressive systems and building structures and communities that reflect God’s compassion and justice, we must do nothing less than make straight a highway in the desert for our sisters and brothers.

A press release from All Saints Church, Pasadena quotes its Rector, the Rev. Mike Kinman.

“The strong stand for human rights the Sanctuary resolution represents is nothing new for All Saints Church or for the Diocese of Los Angeles. But it is in moments like these — when those rights come under direct attack — that it becomes literally a life or death matter for that stand to be made unequivocally clear. In this season, we remember that God became human as one who was marginalized, targeted, and oppressed. For the Church to stand anywhere else but with those whom God became would be blasphemy and an utter betrayal of the Gospel.”

The resolution passed “by an overwhelming large margin,” according to the All Saints press release.

The text of the resolution reads:

Resolution Regarding Becoming a Sanctuary Diocese

Resolved, that the One Hundred Twenty-first Annual Meeting of the Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles declares the Diocese of Los Angeles to be a Sanctuary Diocese; and be it further

Resolved, that the Diocese of Los Angeles, as people of faith and people of conscience, pledges to resist the stated policy proposals of the newly elected Trump administration to target and deport millions of undocumented immigrants, and to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has granted temporary relief for thousands of young people in our communities and families; and be it further

Resolved, that the congregations and institutions of the Diocese of Los Angeles consider becoming Sanctuary Congregations and Institutions, serving as places of welcome, refuge, healing, and other forms of material and pastoral support for those targeted by hate due to immigration status or some perceived status of difference, and that we work alongside our friends, families, and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people; and be it further

Resolved, that the Diocese of Los Angeles connect with other local and national sanctuary communities and institutions, immigrant rights groups and coalitions, and engage in educating, organizing, advocacy, and direct action, and other methods as deemed appropriate in each context, to ensure the safety and security of the undocumented community; and be it further

Resolved, that the Diocese of Los Angeles assist in equipping congregations, clergy and lay leaders to engage in such work, appropriate to local contexts, capacity, and discernment.

Explanation

For many years, immigrant families have suffered on the margins of our society. They have been scapegoated during difficult economic times and victimized by harsh anti-immigrant ordinances passed by some states and localities.

In the aftermath of the recent presidential election there is heightened concern that the campaign rhetoric villainizing immigrants will become policy targeting them because of their immigration status or religious beliefs.

As a people of faith committed to dismantling oppressive systems and building structures and communities that reflect God’s compassion and justice, we must do nothing less than make straight a highway in the desert for our sisters and brothers.

This resolution puts our faith into action by standing with the growing number of cities, colleges and communities of faith declaring themselves places of welcome, refuge, healing, for those targeted by hate due to immigration status or some perceived status of difference as we work alongside our friends, families, and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people.

Submitted by:
The Reverend Francisco J. Garcia, Jr., Rector, Holy Faith, Inglewood

 

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