Fr. Peter Daly
CNN during dinner one night, not long ago, I was surprised to see a former law
student of mine, Kevin Appleby standing at a bank of microphones in
Mark had been to a meeting at the White House to plead the case of the Kosovar refugees.
They were asking that these refugees not be sent to the Marine Base at
Our church argued that this was
inhuman. They should not be treated
like prisoners. They should not be sent
to a prison camp, where they will be kept behind concertina wire and guard
towers. Where they
would have to live in tents under a tropical sun. They would have no schools, no hospitals, and
no community support. It would be taking
them from one bad situation in the refugee camps in the Balkans to a worse
representatives and other refugee service organizations won the argument with
the administration. Through their efforts the Kosovars are now being brought to
Most of the
time the average Catholic does not get to see what the
U.S. Catholic Conference does on our behalf.
It is a bureaucracy in far away
But in this case, it is a result we can understand and appreciate. They were able to make a constructive change in policy. Through the bishops conference we also had a chance to teach government policy makers a little about Catholic social teaching and the writing of the popes on the rights of refugees. The principle of solidarity and human dignity mentioned so often in recent writings of John Paul II requires us to see every other human person as one like ourselves.
our church does this every day. Over one third of the people who come to the
In any case, we Catholics can be proud of the impact of our church in this situation. It is how the gospel changes and saves lives.