EXCERPT: The bishops of Alabama have joined with local Episcopal Church and Methodist officials in taking legal action against immigration legislation scheduled to come into effect on September 1.
The law makes it illegal to “encourage or induce an alien to come to or reside in this state if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that such coming to, entering, or residing in the United States is or will be in violation of federal law.” The law also makes it a crime to “transport, or attempt to transport, or conspire to transport in this state an alien in furtherance of the unlawful presence of the alien in the United States.”
“The law prohibits almost everything which would assist an undocumented immigrant or encourage an undocumented immigrant to live in Alabama,” Archbishop Rodi [said].
“This new Alabama law makes it illegal for a Catholic priest to baptize, hear the confession of, celebrate the anointing of the sick with, or preach the word of God to, an undocumented immigrant. Nor can we encourage them to attend Mass or give them a ride to Mass. It is illegal to allow them to attend adult scripture study groups, or attend CCD or Sunday school classes. It is illegal for the clergy to counsel them in times of difficulty or in preparation for marriage. It is illegal for them to come to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings or other recovery groups at our churches.”