Bishop McAleenan: Rwanda asylum plan at odds with the teaching of the Church

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Bishop Paul McAleenan, our Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, has commented on the recent Court of Appeal ruling on the government’s plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda. The Court ruled that Rwanda is not a “safe third country” and the policy of deporting asylum seekers there is unlawful.

Drawing on principles outlined in the recent Department for International Affairs document, Love the Stranger, Bishop McAleenan reaffirms that the proposed policy is “at odds with the teaching of the Church”:

“As Christians, our starting point must be the innate dignity of every person because each of us is created in the image and likeness of God. We, therefore, should never view people arriving on our shores as a political problem, but as brothers and sisters to whom we have responsibilities and who greatly enrich our communities.

“The proposal to send some of those seeking asylum to Rwanda stands at odds with the teaching of the Church. It is the responsibility of the UK Government, and the whole international community, to ensure that we have an immigration system that upholds the dignity of human life. We continue to pray for all those seeking to support and uphold the dignity of those who seek safety.”

An earlier statement from Bishop McAleenan on the proposed policy can be found here: