EUROPE/SPAIN - Migration: "The Church is the critical conscience before the authorities"

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Cadiz (Agenzia Fides) - "At a time of great migrations that arouse suspicion and rejection, the Church wants to respond with the force of charity, to create the culture of encounter": this is how His Exc. Mgr. Rafael Zornoza Boy, Bishop of Cadiz and Ceuta, expressed himself during the opening of the meeting of Pastoral Care of Migrants in European cities, which has the theme: "Borders and Migrants. To accompany people from one side of the border to the other" ("Fronteras y Migrantes. Acompañar a las personas, a uno y otro lado de las fronteras").
The meeting is sponsored by the Commission for migration of the diocese of Cadiz with the support of the Commission for Migration of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. It opened yesterday, March 9, and will end on March 11, with a hundred participants. The initiative, which began two years ago, aims to address not only the overcoming of physical barriers, but also "other borders" that migrants face when they are outside their country of origin: stereotypes about some cultures, outbreaks of rejection and racism that we are seeing in different parts of Europe, or discrimination at work.
According to the note sent to Agenzia Fides, Mgr. Zornoza Boy wanted to emphasize the role of the Church as "critical conscience and voice, so that the leaders of the political world may act with justice and equity, while respecting the rights of persons and international treaties".
The Bishop then made specific reference to the situation in the Strait of Gibraltar, where, he said, "we are witnessing the most tragic drama of those who want to cross the Strait in boats, rafts or in dangerous and illegal ways, with the consequences of violent deaths, shipwrecks and disasters that occur".
The situation in the south of Spain is becoming very tense for the continuous entrance attempts on behalf of groups of Africans. In 2014, 11,146 people came (from the "southern border"). Over 20,000 people, always in 2014, tried to pass the border net in Ceuta and Melilla, but only 2,300 managed. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 10/03/2015)