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2014-06-23

AFRICA - "Immigrants are transforming our Church", say the Catholic Bishops of North Africa

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - The issue of immigrants and migration was the focus of the work of the Conférence des Evêques de la Région Nord de l'Afrique (CERNA) which was held in Rome, from June 15 to 18. In the final statement sent to Fides Agency, the Bishops of North Africa stated that "the courage, hope and faith of immigrants often arouse our admiration. They contribute always more to the vitality of our Christian communities and we have the joy of frequently celebrating baptisms and confirmations".
"However, we are touched by the tragic situations that a large number of them suffer - continues the statement - the frequent violation of their rights but also the trafficking of whom they are the victims". "We denounce the fact that they are treated as criminals, even by public opinion", the Bishops said, announcing that "they want to be even more careful to the terrible exploitation of women and children".
According to the statement, the Countries of North Africa are now not only a transit country for migrants but also their host countries. The Church in North Africa intends to work together with the Church in the Countries of origin of immigrants and the Countries of destination, to better coordinate the pastoral action.
The Bishops finally recall the precarious security situation in Libya and this is why unfortunatey His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, His Exc. Mgr. Sylvester Magro, Apostolic Vicar of Benghazi, and their respective Vicar Generals were unable to attend the Assembly. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/06/2014)

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