Pope Urges Open Arms for Immigrants to US

Tara Dooley, Houston Chronicle, April 16, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI urged the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops and cardinals Wednesday to support new immigrants to the United States.

“I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials and to help them flourish in their new home,” the pope said during a prayer service at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said he was pleased that the pope “commented almost immediately on the role of immigrants in our culture.”

“I welcome his statements,” said DiNardo, who attended the prayer service and a ceremony earlier in the day at the White House. “I think they represented from the Holy Father a sense . . . of the immigrant human person and the difficulties they have.”

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In his address to the president and the crowd, the pope said he was “happy to be here as a guest of all Americans.”

“I come as a friend, a preacher of the Gospel and one with great respect for your vast pluralistic society,” he said.

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