S.A. Archbishop Speaks Out on Border Child Separations

The Trump Administration's use of a bible passage to justify their zero tolerance policy on immigration has San Antonio's Catholic Archbishop sad and angry, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

"To use the Bible to cause harm is totally unacceptable," Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller says. "It is the word of God and is the God of life."

The spotlight is on the Texas border this week as members of congress visit shelters where adults and children are being held.  In defense of the White House policy, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions took a biblical stance. 

"I would cite you to the apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.  Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful," he said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders backed him up.  “It is very biblical to enforce the law," she said in a weekly White House press briefing.

Romans 13 is a well-known passage from the New Testament that talks about respecting the law.  The families that are separated are ones that broke the law by crossing the border without permission.

But Sessions' invocation of that passage is sparking criticism from many religious groups, including Catholics.  

Archbishop Garcia-Siller says the church has been strong on its stance, supporting an intact family.  He says what the government is doing goes against the Bible's teaching.

"Take care of one another, no matter the person's color or the way of life," he says the bible teaches.  "If they are suffering, we need to bring some sort of comfort."

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this week said new rules denying asylum to victims of domestic violence and gang violence are immoral. Archbishop Garcia-Siller says the widely circulated pictures of kids in cages made his heart ache.

"Why do they have to be used as pawns for deterring immigrant people from coming here?  Is it entertainment? What is it? What is the pleasure of this?"

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