Bishop Burbidge issues a statement on Afghanistan takeover by the Taliban

For more than 20 years, members of the U.S. military, the intelligence community, government contractors, missionaries and others worked tirelessly to establish peace in Afghanistan and provide for the critical needs of the Afghan people. With great pain and concern, we watch as the Taliban has seized Afghanistan.

It is imperative that we, as a nation, continue to live up to our moral duty to evacuate immediately at least those Afghans who assisted our military and ensure they receive protection and assistance in the United States or another peaceful nation. The vast majority of these individuals assisted the U.S. military as translators and in other capacities and are now in grave danger of unimaginable suffering.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is proudly working with the U.S. government to help resettle those receiving Special Immigrant Visas and fleeing Afghanistan as refugees. These brave refugees come to the United States with barely a suitcase of their belongings. By giving them an opportunity to live in peace, we acknowledge and uphold their inherent dignity.

I implore all in the Diocese of Arlington to pray for peace in Afghanistan. While the situation is dire, especially at times such as these, we must turn to Our Lord, the Prince of Peace, to guide us with wisdom and courage. May he protect the Afghan people and stabilize that country for the good of all within its borders.