Statement from Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh Regarding Humanitarian Crisis of Central American Children

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Posted: Sat., July 19, 2014


Holy Family Institute, a ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Emsworth, will be providing temporary humanitarian aid to children from Central America.

The children, who are all under the age of 12, will be temporarily sheltered at Holy Family Institute.

You probably recall that Holy Family Institute performed a similar ministry for many Haitian children after the devastating earthquake in that country. This is exactly the same kind of humanitarian response.

The children will not remain in Pittsburgh but will be placed with relatives or other sponsors nationwide.

There have been questions as to why Catholics are involved. The Catholic Church responds to humanitarian crises here at home and all across the world because we are pro-life. Being pro-life requires we protect and care for vulnerable persons from conception to natural death.  It has been reported that some of these children are fleeing violence. The current law requires that they receive a hearing to determine if in fact they are refugees fleeing grave danger.

Whether they are traveling because of poverty, or violence, or with the hope of reuniting with relatives on the other side of the border, followers of Jesus are called to protect these children and help them because they are very vulnerable and defenseless against any abuse or misfortune.

At the same time we respect the rule of law and the right of nations to have secure borders.  Ultimately, the root causes of why people are fleeing their homelands must be addressed by the international community.