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Cardinals say immigration at ‘dark moment’ in US but call for hope

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Two Catholic cardinals called the current U.S. immigration situation "a terrible crisis" and "a dark moment in our nation’s history" in remarks they made July 28 at the opening Mass and plenary session of the 2008 National Migration Conference. Both Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, and Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles urged participants to hold on to hope in their work with immigrants for local and national church agencies.

Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino Speech

President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony Speech

 The July 28-31 conference attended by more than 850 people was co-sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services.

Much of the agenda, built around the theme "Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice," reflected the struggles faced by those who work with immigrants.

Workshops were scheduled on topics such as "How to respond to federal raids," "Identifying and supporting survivors of traumatic events," "A Catholic response to human trafficking" and "Parenting challenges from an African immigrant perspective."