Whenever a natural disaster occurs, something so monumental that it challenges our ability to comprehend that much suffering, you tend to hear the same kinds of comments and questions: Where was God? Why would God do such a thing?
In his current column, Put Out into the Deep, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn tackles not only the spiritual and philosophical side of that debate but the more practical and logistical details of fixing what has been destroyed in Haiti.
"We cannot blame God for evil, nor for natural disasters. Only with the eyes of faith can we understand the problem of human suffering and its redemptive quality when it is joined to the sufferings of Jesus Christ who through His sufferings redeemed the world. We cannot forget St. Paul’s words to the Colossians when he said, 'In my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the church,'" Bishop DiMarzio writes, segueing into a discussion of immigration and the needs of Haitians both here in the U.S. and back in Haiti.
"...I am advocating, however, for the facilitation of immigration benefits pending for people in Haiti who have relatives here. Because of the long queue, they are not able to take advantage of them. These persons should be immediately processed so they can come to their relatives in the United States. I am also advocating for what we might call 'earthquake visas,' a kind of TPS (Temporary Protective Status) for persons in Haiti who can come to the United States because they have relatives or individuals willing to sponsor them, taking full responsibility for their care and welfare. This also would not present any added burden to us in the United States. Hopefully, our elected officials will heed the advocacy that we make on behalf of the Haitian people affected by this terrible tragedy."
To read the full column, click HERE.