The Catholic Bishops’ of England and Wales welcome the EU’s approval of quotas for a fairer relocation of refugees across Europe along with a more co-ordinated approach in handling the migrant crisis. We welcome the arrival of the first group of the 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps through the government’s vulnerable persons resettlement scheme. We urge the UK Government to commit the resources necessary for the implementation of the resettlement programmes for the short and long term, beyond the period for which funding is guaranteed to Local Authorities.
Whilst recognising that the current migrant crisis in Europe requires a co-ordinated global response for peace and sustainable development, we urge the UK Government to use the diplomatic channels available to bring an end to the conflict in Syria with the urgency that the situation deserves. Meanwhile we will continue to encourage our government to do more by providing legal and safe routes into the UK. We will support our government to bring in more vulnerable women and children before the winter approaches and to cut off the illegal routes of traffickers and people smugglers.
In the last few months we have witnessed desperation, human misery, loss of lives and tensions but we have also witnessed love, compassion and generosity.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Catholics in our dioceses in England and Wales for their prayerful support and generous donations in cash and in kind since Pope Francis’ call for concrete action in the current migration crisis in Europe.
We urge you to continue to live the Gospel in Christian witness and service to “Show hospitality to the strangers”. We encourage you to reach out in love and welcome the refugees in your lives, your homes, your parishes, your communities and in the UK. We invite you to stand in solidarity with the refugees and give them HOPE that the Syrian war will end.
Our web section on the Refugee Crisis