by Max Brantley
BISHOP ANTHONY B. TAYLOR ISSUES PASTORAL LETTER ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF IMMIGRANTS TO CATHOLICS IN ARKANSAS
Today Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock released “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me: A Pastoral Letter on the Human Rights of Immigrants.”
Bishop Taylor said he was motivated to publish the letter because he “believes that the major current issue about which American Catholics are most confused today has to do with immigration.”
He will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in Morris Hall Chapel on the grounds of St. John Catholic Center at 2500 North Tyler Street. The bishop will discuss the pastoral letter and answer questions from the news media. He will also be available for individual interviews.
The new pastoral letter is available on www.dolr.org, the official Web site for the diocese. It was also published in the Nov. 8 issue of Arkansas Catholic, the diocese’s weekly newspaper.
Bishop Taylor said the human rights of immigrants “is an issue that is close to my heart and very important to many Catholics in Arkansas.”
In addition, “the defense of human rights is a necessary component of our Catholic faith.” Therefore, “I decided to make this the topic of my first pastoral letter as bishop of Little Rock,” he said.
“I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me ...” according to Bishop Taylor, is intended “to teach briefly, but authoritatively, the biblical and theological principles that are the indispensable foundation on which any just and humane approach to immigration must be built.”
The pastoral letter, he said, applies “these principles to the current reality of immigration and immigration law in the United States.” “It does not propose specific legislative solutions but does emphasize that the protection of human rights should be the starting point for any attempt at immigration reform,” the bishop said.
The pastoral letter will be presented in all the parishes of the diocese Sunday, Nov. 23, the feast of Christ the King. Bishop Taylor will record a homily for this occasion and ask Catholics statewide to participate in a three-week study of the document during Advent using a study guide being published for this purpose.
Bishop Taylor was ordained and installed as the seventh bishop of Little Rock on June 5, 2008. Prior to this he served for 28 years as a priest in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City where he was ordained to the priesthood on Aug. 2, 1980.
The Diocese of Little Rock was established Nov. 28, 1843. It covers the entire state of Arkansas.