The following joint statement from the Provincials of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US was issued on 30 January 2017 in response to President Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and on travel to the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Statement from the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US on Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees
As members of a global religious order that works to form men and women of conscience and compassion, we denounce the Trump Administration’s Executive Order suspending and barring refugees and banning nationals of seven countries as an affront to our mission and an assault on American and Christian values.
The Jesuits – through our work in high schools, colleges, parishes and signature ministries such as Jesuit Refugee Service – have a long, proud tradition of welcoming and accompanying refugees, regardless of their religion, as they begin their new lives in the United States. We will continue that work, defending and standing in solidarity with all children of God, whether Muslim or Christian.
The world is deeply troubled, and many of our brothers and sisters are justifiably terrified. Our Catholic and Jesuit identity calls us to welcome the stranger and to approach different faith traditions and cultures with openness and understanding. We must not give in to fear. We must continue to defend human rights and religious liberty. As Pope Francis said, “You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian.”
In addition to this statement, Peter Bisson SJ, Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in English Canada, wrote the following to Jesuits and people of good will in Canada:
I encourage you to express your concerns to your MP and the Minister of Immigration about Canada’s own hospitality to refugees, migrants and travellers.
The attack on the Grand Mosque in Quebec City [on 29 January 2017] invites our solidarity with Muslims, and our prayer for a spirit of openness, hospitality and dialogue. The websites of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Assemblée des év├¬ques catholiques du Québec have statements on this.
Anything we can do to diminish fear and to promote a spirit of openness, respect and inquisitive dialogue will help to promote justice and peace.