Catholic leaders raise immigration awareness at border Mass - Tucson News Now

Catholic leaders raise immigration awareness at border Mass

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Top Catholic leaders attracted international attention by celebrating Mass in the shadow of the border fence in Nogales, Ariz, all to bring attention to, what they say, is the need for immigration reform.

As Mass was held in Nogales, Mass was celebrated simultaneously in San Luis, south of Yuma.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, celebrated Mass in Nogales. He was joined by several members of the U.S. Conference of Bishops. They're in Southern Arizona to bring attention to what they call the human toll of the current immigration system.

"Our message is that immigration laws, to be just, have to protect human rights and human life and not undermine them," Cardinal O'Malley said.

The cardinal and the bishops say the current system divides families. But on this day, the border fence did not divide the congregation as Cardinal O'Malley passed communion through the gaps in the imposing barrier.  

The church leaders say the law should allow people to cross the border legally to work. They say that frees resources to address serious border crime, such as human, drug and weapons trafficking.

They are calling the current immigration situation an economic, social and humanitarian issue that damages the United States.

There were prayers for change and for those who have lost their lives in the desert, immigrants, border patrol agents and others.

"To ask our Lord to bring peace and consolation to the families of those who've lost loved ones in the desert and to call upon our president and our Congress to not delay further in addressing a broken system of immigration policy," said Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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