Chair of the Office for Migration Policy addresses the need to build peace in the Middle East and ease the plight of Syrian Refugees
Bishop Patrick Lynch, a Southwark Auxiliary and Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Office for Migration Policy has spoken about the suffering of refugees in a message released for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees:
“In his message for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees on 17 January, Pope Francis invites us to respond to the challenge of migrants and refugees through the Gospel of Mercy. In practice, this means recognising the dignity of migrants and refugees, recognising their suffering, affirming their rights and working (with governments and other agencies) to address the causes that have led to the increase in the number of migrants and refugees.
“Our first priority as the Office for Migration Policy is to continue to work with the UK Government as it seeks to welcome and re-settle 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next few years. With this in mind I will soon be meeting the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Syrian Refugees to discuss the progress of this work and to see what still needs to be done. Another challenge, which will be undertaken in partnership with the French bishops, is to persuade parliamentarians in France and the UK to find a solution to the situation of refugees in Calais.
“Thirdly, we will continue to encourage governments to renew their efforts to build peace in the Middle East, North Africa and other parts of the world – a peace where the dignity of every human being – no matter what their faith – is defended and promoted.
“Finally, as Pope Francis himself says, we must do all we can to inform public opinion and ‘prevent unwarranted fears and speculation detrimental to migrants’.”
Rt Rev Patrick Lynch
Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark
Bishop Lynch is Chair of the Office for Migration Policy and is a member of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs
The government has promised to accommodate 20,000 refugees over the next five years. Follow this link to urge your MP to contact the Home Secretary to encourage her to devote sufficient resources for domestic and international resettlement mechanisms, so that as many people as possible can be accommodated within the first year and the potential of extending the government’s offer of sanctuary to others can be considered.
Our web section highlighting the response to the Refugee Crisis.
Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2016