Current Public Statements
Roman Union Ursulines of the USA
Call on President Biden to Resettle 62,500 Refugees
Following our Ursuline mission to welcome and accompany, we join The Leadership Conference of Women Religious in calling on President Biden to keep his promise to increase the 2021 Presidential Determination to better address the current need. We are facing a global refugee crisis. At least 79 million people have been forced to flee their homes; 29 million are refugees; most are children. The United States has a moral obligation to respond to the unprecedented need.
While we are encouraged by the administration’s restoration of regional allocations that end President Trump’s restrictive resettlement categories, failure to raise the current admissions goal leaves thousands of vulnerable refugees, including women and children, in danger. We urge the president to meet his commitment to raise the presidential determination for fiscal 2021 by his May 15 deadline.
The United States has a long history of welcoming refugees. We have the resources, the ability and the moral obligation to resettle 62,500 refugees as President Biden promised. Women religious have been blessed to be able to accompany and serve refugee communities across this country for a very long time. Catholic sisters remain committed to welcoming refugees seeking safety for themselves and their families.
Ursuline Statement on the conviction of Derek Chauvin
The Roman Union Ursulines of the USA stand together with the National Black Sisters’ Conference and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, in our commitment to the sacred dignity of each human person as emphasized in Catholic Social Teaching.
In the aftermath of the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, we recommit to working for real and sustained systemic change in the struggle to end institutional racism in every aspect of our society.
We will not rest and our work will not be done until the belief that all people are created equal and entitled to the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is a lived reality for every American citizen.
We Stand Against Racism and Sexism
The Roman Union Ursulines of the USA join the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and condemns racism and sexism in all their harmful forms whether the violent acts of white supremacists and misogynists or the daily acts of hate and discrimination that diminish us all.
We grieve with the citizens of Atlanta and the Asian-American and Pacific Island communities. We mourn with those who have lost loved ones to hateful acts of violence, with all who live in fear, and with all whose dignity is threatened by xenophobia and chauvinism. We lament the racism and sexism that continue to afflict our communities, threaten neighbors and denigrate all we hold dear.
We acknowledge our own complicity in institutional racism and sexism. We commit ourselves to cleanse our hearts and rid our land of these twin evils. We promise to continue to use our voice and our energy to build God’s beloved community where all are one.
March 23, 2021
“God is on Our Side”
The Roman Union Ursulines of the USA support the recent statement, “God Is On Your Side,” by twelve U.S. Catholic Bishops in support of at-risk LGBT youth and the work of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. We respect the intrinsic dignity of all human life, including the lives of LGBT youth, who face many challenges, including bullying, harassment and violence, as well as being at higher risk for suicide. As followers of Christ, we are called to welcome and defend those on the margins, especially those whom society rejects. As Jesus commands us, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” [John 13:34]. LGBT youth are children of God, created by God and loved by God. We stand in solidarity with them.
Statement of the Roman Union Ursulines of the
United States on May 30, 2021
The Fatal Arrest of George Floyd
The video of the police brutality against George Floyd brings to focus again the reality that as a nation we have the urgent task of seeking justice and equality for the people of color in America.
As Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union of the United States
we urge lawmakers to address systemic, race-based injustice. We add our voices to all who plead for societal changes in every facet of our life where racial inequality is condoned. It is time to address this issue with purpose.
“No one can say anymore, ‘This does not concern me.'”
Imitate Christ by becoming neighbor to every man, and woman.”
Pope Francis to Ursulines
Toward a More United Country
The Roman Union Ursuline Sisters of the United States, called to be artisans of peace, unite in prayer for all the people of our nation. We watched with horror at the lawless events unfolding in our nation’s Capitol on Wednesday and we are deeply concerned for the future of our democracy.
Today we add our voice to that of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and many others in pledging to commit our energy to “helping to build a more perfect union.” We will work with others to proclaim the Gospel message of nonviolence, of hope and of peace during this time of great pain and division. We call on all Americans to join with us to encourage our newly elected leadership to lead the way to a more united country that upholds the rights of every individual.
January 8, 2021
Religious Organizations Admonish United States’
Formal Exit from Paris Climate Agreement
As religious organizations representing a diversity of faith traditions we profoundly regret that today the United States formally exits the Paris Agreement on climate change, the world’s best framework for action to address the climate crisis. Global climate change presents an unprecedented threat to the integrity of all life on Earth and a challenge to values that bind us as human beings.
Even as climate change impacts all of God’s creation, we know that the consequences of climate change both in the U.S. and around the world are felt more keenly among low-wealth communities and among those that have suffered long histories of racial and ethnic discrimination and exploitation. Our principle of the common good calls us to be in solidarity with those most adversely impacted by climate change now while avoiding the temptation to pass this problem along to future generations as a result of our own neglect or narrow interests.
The Trump Administration’s abandonment of the Paris Agreement undermines a key pillar of international cooperation against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. It also leaves the U.S. behind in the global transition to a clean energy economy.
Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action
The Episcopal Church
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns
Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region USA
Mennonite Central Committee, Washington Office
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team
Union for Reformed Judaism
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
United Methodist Women
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action
As Roman Union Ursulines of the USA Region,
as well as members of LCWR,
we stand with these religious organizations
admonishing the United States’
formal exit from the Paris Climate Agreement.
We hear again the words of Pope Francis:
” I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.
We need a conversation which includes everyone,
since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
A Call to End Violence
The Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union in the United States join with all people of good will in calling for an end to violence in our communities.
We can no longer tolerate the ever-growing gun violence manifested so recently in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. We call for effective legislation to ban the sale and use of assault weapons and more stringent regulation on the sale of all guns, beginning with effective background checks and waiting periods.
We can no longer tolerate the insidious, racist language that pervades so much of our national dialogue. It is key that we recognize the value of each human person, no matter his or her ethnicity or nation of origin.
We can no longer tolerate the mistreatment of the most vulnerable in our society, those without access to power.
The name of our God is Compassion, the name of our God is Mercy. St. Angela Merici, our foundress speaks of God as the Lover of us all. It is a reminder to us of our shared humanity and the need to extend respect to all persons, while being willing to challenge xenophobic words and unjust actions. We commit ourselves to lives rooted in love, compassion and courage.
A Call to Stop the Inhumane Treatment of
As we enter into our Fourth of July celebrations recalling the values and aspirations our Founding Fathers had for our new country and its people, the Roman Union Ursulines in the United States are both saddened and appalled at the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. Like countless others, we denounce the unconscionable mistreatment of children at the US-Mexico border while in US custody. We call on members of Congress and the current Administration to take all measures possible to provide these children with the basic necessities of food, water, shelter, health care and above all, to reunite these children with their families.
The world watches in horror the accounts in the media of the death of children along with the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions at the detention facilities. Are we a country that remains silent and supports these atrocities or will we continue to be a place of refuge for children and families fleeing from poverty, violence and persecution?
Congress must act NOW to protect these children and families by addressing this humanitarian crisis at the border caused by the policies of the present Administration: separation of children from their parents, the ongoing detention of families; and measures to slow down and prevent asylum-seekers from making their claims. Policies must be enacted based on human rights and that ensure dignity and justice for all.
On this Independence Day, 2019, do the words of the Declaration of Independence live on in our hearts and actions: “We hold these truths…that all are created equal”?
July 3, 2019
Roman Union Ursulines of the United States
The Roman Union Ursuline Sisters of the USA hold in prayer our Jewish brothers and sisters who today begin laying to rest the 11 victims who died in Saturday’s massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue.
May we recommit to spreading only peace and love, never violence and hate. May we put aside our differences and rejoice in our shared humanity. May we never accept the unthinkable as inevitable. Above all, may we value the sacredness of each life.
Statement on Refugee Caravan
The Roman Union Ursulines in the United States support this statement and encourage others to do so.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is deeply troubled by President Trump’s continued denigration of those fleeing untenable situations in their home countries. These are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers who have been forced from their homes by unimaginable violence and insecurity; runaway corruption; and droughts and floods linked to climate change. These are women and girls fleeing intolerable situations of domestic violence. These are young men and women who have no access to quality education and no hope of economic opportunity.
These are courageous people who have rejected cultures of corruption and exploitation. They are traveling the same road trod by our forbearers who fled tyranny and violence in search of the American dream. They are people of hope and promise who only want the opportunity to contribute their toil and talent to this nation.
We reject the president’s rhetoric of fear and policy of division that poisons our politics. We choose instead to embrace a dream for America that is filled with hope for a nation united in service of the common good. We stand with Pope Francis who calls us to “promote the dignity of all our brothers and sisters, particularly the poor and the excluded of society, those who are abandoned, immigrants and those who suffer violence and human trafficking.”
We urge the administration to manage refugee arrivals humanely and in a manner that respects their dignity and rights under U.S. and international law and to:
· Allow migrants to approach our border and ask for protection in the United States and to be admitted for processing in a timely manner.
· Ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal counsel and receive a fair resolution of their claim.
· Guarantee that parents and children stay together after they are apprehended. Holding families indefinitely in detention or detaining parents while releasing their children violates the values of this nation and the standards set forth in the Flores settlement.
· Eschew detention of those awaiting adjudication of their asylum petitions in favor of alternatives that are more humane and more cost efficient.
· Direct Homeland Security to cooperate with faith-based and humanitarian organizations who are prepared to assist asylum-seekers.
The United States has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees. Women religious have been blessed to be able to accompany and serve migrant communities across this country for a very long time. We will continue to welcome them as our national history demands and our faith requires.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic sisters in the United States. The conference has nearly 1350 members, who represent more than 45,600 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
Statement of Support of LCWR’s Statement Against Muslim Ban
As members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Roman Union Ursuline Leadership Teams and their members in the United States endorse LCWR’s statement, expressing disappointment in Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s Muslim ban:
The Leadership Conference of Woman Religious is deeply troubled by the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of President Donald J. Trump v. State of Hawaii that challenged the legality of the Trump Administration’s third attempt at a Muslim ban. The court’s flawed ruling adds to the climate of fear and anti-Muslim sentiment in this country and threatens the values upon which our national community is built.
As women of faith, as Catholic sisters, we believe that all people are created in God’s image, all are worthy of respect, and all are entitled to the protection of their human rights and religious liberty. We strongly object to President Trump’s continued attempts to use his authority to create policy by fiat, particularly when that policy is used to deny access to our Muslim sisters and brothers because of their religion. Such discrimination violates our deeply held faith beliefs and is inimical to the principles upon which this nation was founded.
LCWR joined other faith-based groups in filing amicus briefs in this case challenging the government-imposed anti-Muslim discrimination. When religious-based discrimination is permitted, especially when sanctioned by those at the highest levels of government, the free-exercise of religion by members of all faiths is threatened.
We will stand with the Muslim community and all who are subjected to the deeply troubling discriminatory policies of this administration. We call on Congress to exercise its power to challenge the President’s offensive and dangerous policy and ensure that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution are upheld.
We concur with Justice Sotomayor dissent:
The United States of America is a Nation built upon the promise of religious liberty. Our Founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality in the First Amendment. The Court’s decision today fails to safeguard that fundamental principle. It leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns.
St. Angela Merici, our foundress, encourages us, “Love them all because they are God’s children …Welcome them and bear with all of them impartially.”