The lead Catholic Bishop for Migrants and Refugees has called on people in the UK to take up Pope Francis’ call in Fratelli tutti’ to oppose racism in all its manifestations.
Speaking on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales at the start of Hate Crime Awareness Week Bishop Paul McAleenan said:
“In his latest encyclical, Fratelli tutti’ Pope Francis puts before us a radical vision of human togetherness, addressing fundamental issues such as migration, peacebuilding, and the economy.
“One of the challenges he mentions is the need to tackle racism, warning that: ‘a readiness to discard others finds expression in vicious attitudes that we thought long past, such as racism, which retreats underground only to keep re-emerging. Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think.’
Our own society is not immune from this pattern of behavior. In recent years we have witnessed a disturbing resurgence of hate speech and hate crimes.
These take many different forms including Islamophobia, Antisemitism, hatred towards migrants and refugees, and hostility against Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities. During this Hate Crime Awareness Week, we should recommit ourselves to actively opposing racism in all its manifestations.
In the words of Pope Francis: ‘Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.‘