The Texas Catholic Bishops encourage all parties—including governmental leaders, political officials, and advocates—to avoid impulsive judgments in setting public policies regarding the placement of Syrian refugees. The horrors of modern terrorism are frightening, but they demand from us a strong renewal of our faith and our commitment to Christian teachings and the common good.

We firmly believe that it is possible to maintain security at home while also welcoming refugees. The Bible abounds with calls for us to demonstrate hospitality to those in need. In Romans 12:13, we are told that Christians should “extend hospitality to strangers.” Christ himself expressed praise and appreciation to those who expressed compassion, for “…I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:31-46).

Our Catholic refugee agencies will continue to resettle refugees in the United States in accordance with our existing agreements and federal law. All cases will be handled in the same manner in which they have been handled in the past, and in agreement with established guidelines, which include sharing information with state and local stakeholders.

At the same time, we remain open to working with government agencies to ensure strenuous measures that assure public safety and security to legitimate refugees needing assistance, but in a way that balances our concerns and commitments to mercy and compassion.

The Texas Catholic Conference tries to be judicious in issuing alerts and does so when contact from constituents will make a difference at a critical moment in furthering the agenda of the Bishops of Texas. You may direct questions to Jeffery Patterson, Texas Catholic Conference Executive Director, at jeff@txcatholic.org