In response to various media requests Bishop Wallace-Padgett has issued the following statements:
As United Methodists we join countless others who have expressed their opposition and heartbreak regarding immigration policies that separate parents and children. As our denomination’s Social Principles state, “We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children.”
I urge our country’s administration to make changes to policies that separate children from their parents and to work to reunite families. I urge United Methodists to join me in praying for all involved in the current situation – children, families, care providers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, our nation’s administration and policy makers, and those working for justice. I additionally urge all of us to relate to one another in grace as we seek justice.
From the United Methodist Social Principles:
Rights of Immigrants – We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all. We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families. — 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline ¶162.H
As with any complaint in the United Methodist Church, in order to honor the integrity of the process, confidentiality is essential. Thus it would be inappropriate for me to comment.
Per our United Methodist Book of Discipline when a complaint is filed against a layperson, their pastor or district superintendent “take(s) pastoral steps to resolve (it).”(¶ 2703.3) Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a member of a United Methodist congregation in the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference.
My prayers are with all involved in the complaint process.