October 7, 2022

The bishops of the Canary Islands call for courses of hospitality for migrants and refugees

Santa Cruz de Tenerife (EFE).- The bishops of the dioceses of the Canary Islands, José Manuelos, and Nivariense, Bernardo Álvarez, have published a joint pastoral letter asking the members of the consecrated life of the Canary archipelago to begin ‘hospitality corridors’ for migrants and refugees.

On the occasion of World Migrants and Refugee Day, on September 25, the two bishops of the Canary Islands point out that the islands are part of Europe’s southern border where they “permanently harbor a multitude of vulnerable boats, loaded with migrants at risk desperately seeking the peace and well-being they lack in their home countries.”

Many of these people “try to die and our shores become cemeteries, frustrating dreams and illusions of so many children, youth and adults, who are being swallowed by the waters of this immense ocean,” add José Mazuelos and Bernardo Álvarez.

According to their records, there have been more than 1,000 missing people so far this year, and the “show is always Dantesque and normally awakens the pain and solidarity of men and women of goodwill.”

The bishops note that last April there was a meeting of Pastoral Migratoria deputies and volunteers from all the dioceses of Spain, convened by the Undersecretary of Migration of the Spanish Episcopal Conference.

Among the other unanimously reached conclusions was the establishment of “hospitality corridors” and facilitation, among all church organizations, “the transit of our migrant brothers, to prevent their overcrowding on the islands, in an effort to cooperate with our public institutions that sometimes struggle to make it effective”.

In the dioceses of Canariense and Nivariense they do not want to be silent or profile themselves and emphasize that “we cannot be aware of the pain of the brother. The encounter with the other is also an encounter with Christ”.

For this reason, they are asking the Pastoral Delegations of Migration to prepare a draft of a possible project that can be presented to the Episcopal Conference and later extended to the rest of the dioceses of Spain that want to implement it.

The bishops believe that “under the current circumstances, such cooperation on the part of the Consecrated Life communities present in the Canary Islands could be a most eloquent gesture, and they believe it to be a “good gesture of ‘synodality’.” and would be a good gesture’. expression that we are in the midst of our people, participating in their pain, suffering, and next to the poorest and most disadvantaged, as the Lord did, who always showed an authentic fondness for them.”

And they entrust the hopes of all migrants and refugees, asking all communities and social groups that welcome migrants and refugees “to help them be Good Samaritans living the commandment of charity.” EFE

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