Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - "Migrants and refugees always bring energy and dynamism to a new country. If today we Australians are what we are and who we are today, a dynamic, young prosperous country, it is thanks to the love of freedom and the love of fundamental human values on the part of our ‘new’ Australians". This is what was declared by Bishop Vincent Long, OFM Conv, in a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the Australian Bishops' Conference. The words of the Bishop characterized and introduced the Week of Migrants and Refugees, which the Australian Catholic Church lives from 19 to 25 August, on the theme proposed by Pope Francis, "It is not just about migrants".
Mgr. Long, the Australian Bishops’ Delegate for Migrants and Refugees, a body of the Australian bishops, spoke with heart, humour and a political edge about arriving in Australia as a Vietnamese refugee boat person, and in this regard stated: "We, the Vietnamese boat people, have been generously accepted to this country, and since then we have contributed by doing good. Most of us are well settled and doing our bit for the country, with their various commercial activities. Furthermore, we are making our presence felt even in the Australian Church too".
"Despite the ‘final solution’ that the former senator Fraser Anning proposed in Parliament last year, we are here to stay", Bishop Long said, referring to comments made by the former Queensland senator in August 2018, who had proposed a return to "a white Australia".
"I wonder w here would we be without the vibrant faith and strong community spirit of migrants and refugees. We therefore honour the legacy of this great country not by excessive protectionism, rather we make it great by our concern and care for asylum-seekers and refugees and migrants in the spirit of compassion and solidarity which has marked the history of this nation", concluded Mgr. Long. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 22/8/2019)