We, the undersigned pastoral ministers, deacons and priests of the Iowa City Deanery, (encompassing the Catholic parishes of Johnson, Cedar, Washington, Louisa and Muscatine counties) wish to affirm the Iowa Bishop’s Statement of Nov. 17, 2015, supporting the settlement of Syrian Refugees in Iowa and the United States. (http://iowacatholicconference. org/2015/11/statement-on-syrian-refugees/)
These Syrian refugees are fleeing war, misery and death and we believe that the process by which they are being vetted, mitigates any major fears we may have about our safety.
Because welcoming refugees to our country is in accord with the highest of humane and American values, and because we acknowledge the teachings of Jesus Christ who said:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited with me.” — Matthew 25: 35-36.
We urge members of Congress, Governor Branstad and the 26 governors who wish to deny Syrian refugees refugee status in our country, to legislate with reason and compassion and not out of fear or political expediency.
Carol Kaalberg, Rev. Timothy Sheedy, Deacon Derick Cranston, Rev. Corey Close, Deacon Mitch Holte, Rev. Gregory Steckel, Deacon David Montgomery, Rev. Joseph Roost, Deacon David Reha, Rev. Richard Beyer, Rev. Vitolds Valainis, Rev. Dennis Martin, Deacon David Krob, Rev. Steve Witt, Deacon Jerry Miller, Rev. Richard Okumu, Deacon Robert Snavely, Rev. Edward Fitzpatrick, Rev. Stephen Page, Rev. Gary Beckman, Rev. Jeff Belger, Rev. Joseph Sia, Rev. Bernie Weir, Rev. David Hitch, Rev. Msgr. Francis Henricksen, Rev. Edmond Dunn, Rev. Michael Spiekermeier, Rev. Louis Leonhardt, Rev. William E. Kaska, Rev. Walter Helms, Rev. Thomas Doyle, Rev. Rudolph T. Juárez