Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

Santa Cruz de Tenerife (EFE).- The Bishop of the Diocese of the Canary Islands, José Manuelos and Bernardo Alvarez, published a joint pastoral letter asking members of the Canary Islands to initiate consecrated life. “Hospitality Corridors” for Migrants and Refugees.

On the occasion of World Migrants and Refugees Day, 25 September, the two bishops of the Canary Islands noted that the islands are part of Europe’s southern border where they arrive “many fragile boats permanently loaded with migrants. Those who risk desperately searching for the peace and well-being that they lack in their countries of origin takes.”

José Mazuelos and Bernardo Álvarez added, this huge number of people “died trying and our coasts become cemeteries, depressing dreams and illusions of many children, young people and adults, who are swallowed by the waters of this great ocean”.

According to their data, there have been more than 1,000 missing persons so far this year, and “the show is always Dantesque and usually evokes the pain and solidarity of men and women of good will.”

The bishop commented that last April there was a meeting of pastoral migratoria representatives and volunteers from all dioceses in Spain, convened by the Undersecretary of Migration of the Spanish Episcopal Conference.

Among other decisions reached unanimously was the establishment of “hospitality corridors” and, among all church organizations, “the transit of our immigrant brothers, to avoid their crowding on the islands, to try to cooperate with our public institutions which sometimes have difficulty doing it effectively”.

In the Diocese of Canarians and Nivarians they do not want to remain silent or stand in profile and emphasize that “we cannot be indifferent to the pain of a brother. The encounter with others is also an encounter with Christ”.

For this reason, they asked the representatives of the Migration Pastors to prepare a draft of a possible project that could be presented to the Episcopal Conference and which could then be extended to the rest of the dioceses in Spain who wish to implement it.

The bishops believe that “in the current situation, such cooperation can be a very eloquent gesture on the part of the Consecrated Life community present in the Canary Islands and they believe that it will be a “great gesture of ‘synodality’ and a good expression that we are among our people, Participating in their pain, suffering and standing by the poorest and most disadvantaged, as did the Lord, who always expressed a genuine predilection for them”.

And they offer hope to all migrants and refugees and ask all communities and social groups that welcome migrants and refugees to “help them to be good Samaritans, to live the commandment of love of neighbor”. EFE

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