Europe's Bishops Request Aid for African Refugees

Note International Nature of the Problem

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ST. GALLEN, Switzerland, APRIL 4, 2011 ( The Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) is underlining the need for solidarity in aiding refugees from Africa who are fleeing to Europe due to wars in their homelands.

This was the message sent by the CCEE presidency, including the council’s president, Cardinal Péter Erdő, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, and its two vice presidents: Cardinal Josip Bozanić, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia, and Cardinal Jean Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France.

«The soul-stirring influx of emigrés arriving in Europe, especially from Libya, victims of the war, is well-known to all of us,» the prelates acknowledged.

They continued: «Masses of refugees reach Europe on Italy’s coasts.

«However, the issue does not affect just one nation, but calls for the solidarity, and institutional solidarity, too, of all peoples on the European continent, as well as that of the structures of the European Union and other continental bodies.»

The council leaders asserted, «We believe the effective participation of all leaders in resolving this truly serious and pressing problem is urgent.»

«In every human person we must see the inalienable dignity of the creature bearing in himself or herself the image of God,» they added.

«We are also responsible for safeguarding legal order and are respectful of the dignity of all people in the countries of our continent,» the prelates affirmed.

They concluded, «We pray that arms may give way to reason and dialogue.»

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