Catholic bishops, agencies criticize Trump decision on global compact

David Robinson, executive director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, said the agency was “saddened and disappointed” at the administration’s decision, saying it is “turning its back on life-saving cooperation with other nations.”

“Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is committed to Pope Francis’ vision of the full embrace of migrants and refugees — to welcome, to protect, to promote, and to integrate them — and to global cooperation that works towards this vision,” he said. “We encourage everyone, especially those compelled by the teachings of the church and of the Holy Father, to join in building compassion and welcoming for migrants and refugees.”

At the opening ceremony for the Puerto Vallarta conference, Pope Francis in a videotaped message invited everyone, individually and collectively, “to welcome, protect, promote and integrate” migrants and refugees as part of a global common response. He called on those working on the global migration compact to be inspired by “compassion, foresight and courage.”

In his remarks to the conference, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, said the “right to migrate, whether in times of crisis or stability, must be recognized and respected.”

He said the global compact “must establish a comprehensive international framework, featuring international cooperation and shared responsibility, to manage global migration and human mobility.”

“Strong and careful consideration must be given to bilateral, regional and international agreements and processes for the protection and the best interest of migrants as the basis for international cooperation in the global management of migration,” Archbishop Auza said.

“The centrality of the human person obliges us to treat every migrant with dignity and respect,” he said, adding that Pope Francis has summarized the most crucial issues the global compact must address in four verbs: “to welcome, protect, promote and integrate.”