Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church
Kansas City's Jesuit Parish
1001 East 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Wednesday, Jun. 13th 2018

A Toxic Mixture – June 13, 2018

I heard a report on NPR’ “Morning Edition”  today about migrants from northern Africa fleeing in rubber rafts, rescued from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea by a Doctors Without Borders ship – and then turned away by both Italy and Malta.  They are now on their way to Spain and – please God – refuge, shelter, safety, a new life.

What struck me most as I listened to this now-all-too-familiar story was one doctor’s mention that the migrants were suffering from chemical burns. He explained that the rubber rafts are leaky, unstable crafts and these brothers and sisters of ours sit crowded together on the bottom of the raft in a toxic mixture of gasoline and water for hours and hours.  Their skin breaks down.  They suffer second degree burns that are “horribly painful.”

Our world is experiencing the largest forced migration crisis in recorded history. Over 65,000,000 people are displaced from their homes because of war, civil unrest, terror, violence, crushing poverty, and climate change.

It is horribly painful. It’s not right.  It’s not what God wants.  And we are called to do something about it.

Pope Francis in his March 19, 2018 apostolic exhortation “On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World” reminds us that the situation of migrants is EQUAL to the defense of the unborn.  He writes, “Equally sacred [as the innocent unborn] are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and the elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.” #101

And thanks be to God even our US Catholic Bishops (who for far too long have acted and taught as if abortion were the only prolife issue) are speaking out about our country’s broken immigration policy. Today Cardinal DiNardo, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaking on behalf of the Bishops, condemned the continued use of family separation at the US/Mexico border.  Children are not to be separated from their parents.  Babies are not to be separated from their mothers.  The Bishops call it out – “[this] is not the answer and IS IMMORAL.”

Likewise the Bishops condemned Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to deny asylum based on claims of domestic abuse or gang violence. Cardinal DiNardo wrote, “at its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life.”  Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego wrote, “we have truly lost our moral compass as a country.”

The migrants rescued by the Doctors Without Borders ship are receiving wound care. Our national politics also needs some ”wound care” from the toxic mixture of xenophobia, racism, fear, greed, and selfishness.  Let us pray…and take action…for healing.

3 Comments on “A Toxic Mixture – June 13, 2018”

  1. Bill Schmidt Says:

    powerful message, Mariann. i committed to doing something about the refugee situation, and Steve Bruns & I did some initial work before the funerals interrupted things. We had 2 more visits to go (Don Bosco & the Jewish Center) before meeting with Sue Robb. She”s coming to our house after we return from CA. Do me a favor? Ask if she could stay a few minutes after to talk to me about refugees. Thanks
    Bill Schmidt

  2. Janelle Lazzo Says:

    My reaction to the children being snatched away from their parents was to be as horrified as you . I did not know about the chemical burns of the fleeing refugees. That is even more horrendous. What is happening in our country? I am also distressed because some people that I love, who, like me, are the descendants of immigrants, probably also unwelcome when they arrived in America–poor, uneducated, terrified–are trying not to see that the immigration policies of the Trump administration are as dastardly and extreme as they are. This separation policy is a solution looking for a problem. It accomplishes nothing but engenders all kinds of human misery.
    I looked at the boys on TV today–ten to 17. Can you imagine your own children placed in a similar position–let outside for two hours each day, cooped up the rest of the time, uncertain, lonely, scared? I was so gratified that the Catholic bishops took a stand against this horror, and also, Democrat that I am, that the politicians brave enough to go to the border and try to buck this , are Democrats. One congressmen remarked that the only representatives in Congress with enough authority to send delegations in protest are the committee chairmen, and they are all Republicans . I think we all know what must be done in the next election.
    In the meantime, I think we have to sound our personal alarms wherever we are, although we cannot be guaranteed that our protests will fall on accepting ears. I have contacted our Kansas senators already, but my voice in this matter will probably go down the proverbial rabbit hole like the rest of the opinions I share with them. Nevertheless, they cannot be led to believe that they will get away with this. I never thought it would be demonstrated that the primary motivation for much of the current crop of deadbeats in Washington to get elected to an office was, of all things, to get reelected. But many Republicans seem to be saying, with their spinelessness and unwillingness to oppose Donald Trump, that that is the case. I am not at all sure why he gets to call the shots. The thoughtless use of Twitter must be more powerful than I thought!
    Anyway, bravo, Mariann McCormally! You go, girl, and there is a good chance you will be taking some of the rest of us less thoughtful and brave types, with you.

  3. Tom McCormally Says:

    You tell ’em Mariann! Proud to be your brother!

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Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church
1001 East 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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