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Southern Religion

Immigrants in detention being denied spiritual care

The number of U.S. migrant detention beds has risen 200% since 2000 as detention of illegal immigrants was employed in the war against terror. Catholic bishops believed imprisoned migrants have a right to spiritual care. Cindy Wooden reported:

Representatives of Jesuit Refugee Service and others “have found that detainees in the United States do not have access to religious literature, such as the Bible or Quran,” [Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, told the Vatican’s World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees], and they seldom have access to a religious leader from their own faith.

Wester said the church “must insist” on delivering full pastoral care:

[T]hat access to detention centers and detainees [be] provided so that sacraments can be administered regularly; that pastoral workers can ensure detainees are being treated properly; that detainees can receive spiritual comfort and counseling; and that church workers can inform family members about how the detainees are doing.

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November 12, 2009 - Posted by | Catholic, Religion | , ,

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