ORLANDO, Fla. (OSV News) — The Catholic Church in the United States remains “committed to the common good” in navigating several political issues impacting the poor and vulnerable, especially migrants, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the conference’s Spring Plenary Assembly June 15.
Archbishop Broglio, who oversees the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, told fellow bishops gathered in Orlando, Florida, that “we cannot fail to see the face of Christ in all of those who need our assistance, especially the poor and the vulnerable.”
“I did not do a survey, but I would imagine that many of us have ancestors who either recently or at least in the 19th century came to these shores looking for a better life,” he said. “Even those on the Mayflower were looking for freedom of religion and a new life.”
The Catholic Church’s commitment to the common good requires its cooperation in the distribution of humanitarian aid in partnership with local, state and federal officials, as well as faith communities and “like-minded organizations,” he said.
Archbishop Broglio lamented congressional inaction on comprehensive immigration reform, and said, “I know that this can put us at odds with certain groups or those who fear immigration, but our commitment is to the truth about the human condition and the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death.”
“We strive to encourage those well-intentioned lawmakers who are seeking to enact effective and humane border management as part of a framework of comprehensive immigration reforms,” he said.
Archbishop Broglio also identified “turmoil and unrest” in Haiti and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as areas of concern for the conference and U.S. Catholics.
“We continue our prayers for an end to the aggression and the invasion,” he said. “There are no easy solutions.”
Archbishop Broglio also said “our thoughts and prayers also go to Archbishop Gomez and the faithful of Los Angeles,” in reference to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ recently announced plans to honor a group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at a Pride Night event. Some have described the group’s parody of Catholic imagery as irreverent or anti-Catholic, a claim the LA chapter of the group disputed.
“The disrespect for the truths and traditions of our faith, for the legendary commitment of religious women to building up society, and the tarnishing of what has so often been called the ‘national sport’ harken back to the ‘know nothings’ of the 19th century,” Archbishop Broglio said. He noted the conference invited the faithful to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart June 16, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, and make an act of reparation, or an action offered to the Lord with the intention of repairing the spiritual damage inflicted by sin, for “the blasphemies against our Lord we see in our culture today.”
The Dodger’s invitation to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was briefly withdrawn after protests from those who called the group anti-Catholic, but was later reinstated with a public apology to the group from the Dodgers.
The address to fellow U.S. bishops was Archbishop Broglio’s first as USCCB president, a three-year role to which he was elected in November at the bishops’ fall biannual meeting.