Statement of Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger Bishop of Tucson April 24, 2018
Yesterday’s (April 23) deeply troubling jury decision related to the Border Patrol agent stationed in the Nogales area, who fired multiple shots across our border with Mexico, killing a 16-year-old boy on October 10, 2012, raises serious issues of justice and accountability. While we are privileged to live in a nation whose greatness is rooted in its democracy and fair treatment of all, such decisions reveal that our democratic institutions are not without flaws and occasionally grave injustices. I find myself in a close bond of fraternity and solidarity with the family of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez and the many who have been unable to achieve the kind of authentic justice upon which our nation was founded.
While the issue at hand is primarily one of law enforcement, nonetheless, it is yet another reminder of our broken immigration system. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, along with the Arizona Catholic Conference, continues its longstanding commitment of urging Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The key values that underscore this reform are (1) affirming the human dignity of all persons regardless of their legal status, (2) the right to have a well-regulated border, (3) the right of people to immigrate, and (4) an orderly process to welcome new immigrants whose inalienable human dignity must always be respected.
We must keep in mind that customs and border control agents are oftentimes placed in situations of great danger. Too, there are times when their efforts have resulted in saving the lives of those in great peril. We rely upon their high degree of professionalism and integrity. However, I respectfully call for continued scrutiny of the methods and procedures employed by those who secure our nation’s borders, for transparent accountability, for a renewed sense of dignity and the humane treatment of all persons regardless of their legal status, and for authentic justice when human rights are denied.
+Edward J. Weisenburger
Bishop of Tucson
We are in the middle of our annual Priest Convocation. Our presenter, Father Felix Just, S.J., started Tuesday evening with a presentation on “Evangelization and Preaching: The Example of Pope Francis.” Yesterday, we heard him present “Proclaiming the Jesus of mark's Gospel in Lectionary Year B”. We priests also have heard presentations by Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston, our director of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection and our Human Resources Department. We also have held a few important meetings, made slightly easier by having most of our diocesan priests together in one place.
Also, Convocation provides many opportunities for prayer and worship to uplift us, and to give us a little break from the usually busy schedules we all work through.
This evening, we will celebrate with our jubilarian priests. Just as a reminder, they are:
Father Stanley Nadolny, ordained in May 1968, celebrating his 50thjubilee. He is at St. George Parish in Apache Junction
Father Robert Gonzalez, ordained in June 1978, celebrating his 40thjubilee. He is serving at St. John the Evangelist in Tucson.
and the following priests are celebrating 25 years in priesthood:
Father Martin Martinez, serving as pastor at St. Rita Parish in Vail
Father Raul “Rudy” Rosales, serving at St. Bartholomew in San Manuel
Father John Paul Forte, O.P., serving at the St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona.
Father Lawrence Sanders, C.Ss.R., pastor at Santa Catalina Parish in Oro Valley.
Father Bartolome Vazquez Johnston,pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary of Mary in Somerton.
I will be conferring the sacrament on young people at the following parishes: San Martin de Porres Parish (Sahuarita), San Felipe de Jesus Parish (Nogales), St. Joseph Parish (Hayden) and Infant Jesus of Prague (Kearney) and Our Mother of Sorrows Parish (Tucson) Religious Education Program students.