Bish­ops Sci­cluna and Grech call for con­crete solution to migration phe­nom­e­non

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

Arch­bishop Charles Sci­cluna and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech yes­ter­day called for con­crete so­lu­tions to the migration phe­nom­e­non in the Mediter­ranean.

The re­cent events, with mi­grants on board NGO ves­sels be­ing re­fused en­try into sev­eral ports – in­clud­ing Malta, are of se­ri­ous con­cern. Europe is clos­ing its doors, rather than open­ing them, to be­ing risk­ing their lives at sea.

“Dur­ing this fes­tive pe­riod, when it is easy for us to be alien­ated, we are du­ty­bound to re­it­er­ate the ap­peal we made last June for the lead­ers of our na­tion, to­gether with those of the Euro­pean Union, to of­fer con­crete so­lu­tions to the phe­nom­e­non of im­mi­gra­tion in the Mediter­ranean Sea,” the Bish­ops said.

“The de­vel­op­ments of these last few days con­cern­ing those who were on board the ves­sel Open Arms and those presently on board the ves­sel Sea Watch 3, present an in­vi­ta­tion to Malta and other Euro­pean coun­tries to ex­press sol­i­dar­ity in a con­crete man­ner. It is a source of great con­cern for us that, in­stead of help­ing, Europe is re­fus­ing to of­fer shel­ter; when doors are shut rather than opened to those on the open sea. At the same time, we recog­nise the ef­forts of the Mal­tese au­thor­i­ties to help the mother and her in­fant child who were brought to Malta by our Armed Forces.

“As a peo­ple, be­cause of the small size and also be­cause of the strate­gic ge­o­graph­i­cal po­si­tion of our coun­try, we have al­ways un­der­stood and pro­moted in­ter­na­tional sol­i­dar­ity and this is what we need to do in this present sit­u­a­tion as well. What use is it for Chris­tians to re­call the birth of a child if they do not seek to save these peo­ple: our hu­man broth­ers and sis­ters? What use is it for so­ci­ety to pro­mote life while choos­ing to aban­don hu­man be­ings to face death at sea? As we re­call the need for sol­i­dar­ity, we un­der­stand that we are also com­mit­ting our­selves to show this same sol­i­dar­ity to those who ur­gently need help be­cause they are flee­ing a cruel en­vi­ron­ment that vi­o­lently scorns hu­man dig­nity; they are flee­ing a cruel fate of slav­ery and even tor­ture and death.

“We bish­ops, whilst un­der­stand­ing the com­plex­ity and sen­si­tiv­ity of both the prob­lems as well as the so­lu­tions associated with im­mi­gra­tion, urge our lead­ers to make coura­geous choices that are al­ways in favour of life, and we also en­cour­age a sol­i­dar­ity that ex­presses it­self not only in words or mon­e­tary do­na­tions, but through con­crete ac­tions.”

The de­vel­op­ments of these last few days con­cern­ing those who were on board the ves­sel Open Arms and those presently on board the ves­sel Sea Watch 3, present an in­vi­ta­tion to Malta and Euro­pean coun­tries to ex­press sol­i­dar­ity in a con­crete man­ner. It is a source of great con­cern for us that, in­stead of help­ing, Europe is re­fus­ing to of­fer shel­ter; when doors are shut rather than opened to those on the open sea

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