“How can we believe that closing borders and reinforcing security can provide a lasting solution to this migratory crisis?”
Archbishop Laurent Ulrich of Lille, Archbishop Vincent Dollmann of Cambrai, Bishop Olivier Leborge of Arras, and Lille auxiliary Bishop Antoine Herouard said that emotions were “running high” in the Catholic community and among groups assisting migrants.
“The challenges of contemporary migration are certainly complex, and we Catholics are also very small in the face of this,” the bishops said.
Citing the pope’s words at a 2018 Mass for migrants, they said that “with Pope Francis, we believe in the response ‘of solidarity and mercy’; ‘a response less concerned with calculations, than with the need for an equitable distribution of responsibilities, an honest and sincere assessment of the alternatives and a prudent management.’”
Cardinal Robert Sarah, the former prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, told the French radio station Europe 1 on Nov. 25 that migrants’ deaths represented a “triple betrayal.”
“Young people from Africa are being taken away from their country, their understandings, their lifeblood,” the Guinean cardinal said.
“Then, these young people are presented with Europe as an Eldorado. They are told that they will have everything, when this is not true.”
“And finally, we do not react against the smugglers who take advantage of their naivete and make them die in the middle of the sea. We should fight this evil at its roots and present Europe as it is, with its difficulties too.”
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