WASHINGTON — The extensive vetting process that all refugees undergo before arriving in the United States "screens out any possible threat of terrorism," said the executive director of the U.S. bishops' Migration and Refugee Services.
"We believe the risk is nil and certainly when we look at this (process) under a microscope, these are the most vetted people that come into our country," William Canny said.
The director said the State Department screening procedure — which the White House posted on its website Nov. 20 — is comprehensive and makes security its highest priority.
WASHINGTON -- An outpouring of grief, condolences and prayers came from Catholics across the United States in reaction to Nov. 13 evening attacks in Paris. The French government said the attacks were carried out by three teams of Islamic State terrorists.
The U.S. Catholic bishops Nov. 14 pledged their prayers for those killed and injured at three sites in France's capital and voiced their support for those "working to build just and peaceful societies."
BALTIMORE -- The head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration said he was disturbed by calls from federal and state officials for an end to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States.
"These refugees are fleeing terror themselves -- violence like we have witnessed in Paris," said Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the migration committee. "They are extremely vulnerable families, women, and children who are fleeing for their lives. We cannot and should not blame them for the actions of a terrorist organization."
WASHINGTON -- A draft statement on pornography to be considered for approval by the U.S. bishops at their Nov. 16-19 fall general meeting in Baltimore calls pornography "mortal sin" and urges Catholics to turn away from it.
"Producing or using pornography is a mortal sin that needs to be confessed in order for the person to receive God's forgiveness," says the draft version of "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography." "Those who produce and distribute pornography harm the common good by encouraging and even causing others to sin," it says.
BALTIMORE -- Church resettlement programs in the United States will continue to aid refugees who are fleeing violence and social ills despite calls that the country's borders should be closed to anyone but Christians.
The Church's response is focused on people in need of food, shelter and safety and not their particular faith, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,told reporters Nov. 16 during a midday break at the bishops' annual fall general assembly.