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Catholic Church calls for immigration reform

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SMYRNA, Ga. -

The Catholic Church is flexing its political muscle on the issue of immigration. Bishops across the country have launched a campaign that calls on Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory calls the plight of the immigrant in America a moral issue.

"It absolutely is a moral issue and it's grounded in scripture," Gregory said.

Bishops nationwide are talking about in the pulpit this week.

"The Catholic bishops have identified this issue as an issue that needs to be addressed with comprehensive immigration reform," said Gregory.

But a conservative Washington think tank says the bishops have it all wrong. Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian says this is not a moral issue, but one of policy.

"The church, in this issue, really has turned itself nothing but another special interest lobbying group and that's not an appropriate role," said Kirkorian.

But Archbishop Gregory points out that church leaders have historically resisted calls for them to be quiet on political issues.

"Just talk about the Bible, father, and nothing else. This is in the Bible," Gregory said.

The Archdiocese of Atlanta will hold a workshop for church leaders on the issue of immigration reform Saturday at Saint Andrew Catholic Church in Roswell.

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