- “Not Because They Are Catholic, But Because We Are Catholic”: The Bishops’ Engagement with the Migration Issue in Twentieth-Century America
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 101, Number 1, Winter 2015
- pp. 74-99
- View Citation
- Additional Information
From the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century American Catholic bishops were mainly guided by two priorities in their work on behalf of migrants arriving in the United States: providing for the pastoral and material needs of their flock and advocating for fellow Catholics. In the second half of the twentieth century the primary rationale behind the bishops’ migration-related activities began to shift. Although pastoral and institutional considerations remained important, a universal moral ethic—a “social mission”—became more pronounced as the guiding force behind the Church’s work with migrant populations.