10/05/12 The clashing viewpoints over legal and illegal immigration in the US change dramatically when viewed through a framework that emphasizes human life, work and family, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades said last night at Ancilla College.

Bishop Rhoades, of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, presented a coherent, Catholic-centered overview of the controversial topic as the first of this year’s long running Lampen Lecture series at Ancilla College.

Bishop Rhoades provided a brief look at church teachings on work, family life, and human rights before delving into the public debates about immigration.

“There are many stories of immigration in both the Old and New Testaments. The movements of people, starting with Exodus to the flight of the holy family to Egypt, are all immigrant stories still speaking to us today,” Bishop Rhoades said.

Rhoades spoke to a large group Tuesday night bringing together the threads of Catholic Church teachings with principles of social justice and modern legislative attempts to reform immigration laws.

“This is an important issue of public policy that has moral implications in light of the principles of the dignity of the human person, justice, and human solidarity.  The U.S. bishops support comprehensive immigration reform that promotes true respect for law, protects the human rights and dignity of immigrants, keeps families together, and advances the common good,” Bishop Rhoades said.

Several states have passed laws to restrict immigration beyond the limitations set by US immigration law. Several attempts to reform immigration laws in the US have floundered with changes in the economy and the challenges of election year politics. The Catholic Church has a broader outlook, a global view, on this issue, and recognizes the right of people to migrate when there are just reasons as well as the right of nations to control their own borders and to regulate immigration.  Balancing these rights can be difficult, Bishop Rhoades emphasized.  The U.S. Catholic bishops call for a more just and more generous immigration policy.

The next Lampen Lecture is Blessed Mary Catherine Kasper by Sister Linda Volk, PHJC set for November 7, 2012, at 3:00 PM in room 231 of Ancilla College. All Lampen Lectures are free and open to the public. Ancilla College, located two miles south of US 30 near Plymouth, Indiana, is a sponsored ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.