AMERICA/CHILE - Cardinal Ezzati: "The Church's doors are open to welcome and share the wealth of different cultures"

Tuesday, 6 December 2016 refugees   migrants   politics  


Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - On Sunday, December 4, a group of Haitian citizens received the sacrament of Confirmation in the parish of San Saturnino in Santiago del Chile, and on this occasion the Archbishop of Santiago, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, who presided the ceremony, defended the immigrants.
According to the note sent to Fides from a local source, last week a discussion on immigration policy in Chile took place. In this regard, the Cardinal said that "the Church of Santiago, through the Chilean Catholic Institute of Migration and many priests who accompany the many foreign brothers, lives a special experience, because the doors are open to welcome, integrate and share the wealth that these different cultures have".
During the ceremony, presided over by Cardinal Ezzati and the parish priest of San Saturnino, Father Juan Carlos Cortez, 15 Haitians received Confirmation, eight of whom were also baptized.
"The Lord comes into our lives in every moment of our existence, in a very special way for those brothers who are here to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. The Lord enters in their history for they are men and women of faith, when they open the doors to God", said Cardinal Ezzati.
According to the parish of San Saturnino, in the last two years more than 45,000 Haitian citizens arrived in Chile. Of these 450 have been welcomed into the community and participate in training activities (Spanish language courses), catechesis, social assistance, solidarity and workshops to learn a trade.
A survey published by a national newspaper reported that 85% of Chileans want the expulsion of immigrants with legal problems, and 75% consider it necessary to impose restrictions on immigration. The government initiated the political debate on the subject in recent days, in view of a revision of the immigration law. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 06/12/2016)