Italian Episcopal Conference At Its 74th General Assembly Photo: VaticanVa

Italian Church responds to accusations of subsidizing illegal migration

According to statements from the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), the CEI has never directly supported ‘Mediterranea Saving Humans – APS,’ but it accepted a request presented by two dioceses within a broad framework that, according to the Magisterium of Pope Francis, envisions the reception, protection, promotion, and integration of migrants, as well as attention and assistance to those displaced in the war zone in Ukraine

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 12.11.2023).- In recent days, the Italian Episcopal Conference and some dioceses, along with their parish priests, have been misleadingly scrutinized by certain media outlets. In the context of a judicial investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office of Ragusa against «Mediterranea Saving Humans – APS» for alleged assistance to illegal immigration and alleged violation of navigation code, defamatory accusations have been made against individuals and ecclesiastical institutions, starting with some chats used instrumentally and improperly. A practice that, regardless of the target, deserves indignation and disapproval.

With full respect for the judicial power and despite no legal dispute against the ecclesial community, the Catholic Church in Italy deliberately awaits the judicial process to unfold before intervening in the matter.

According to statements from the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), the CEI has never directly supported ‘Mediterranea Saving Humans – APS,’ but it accepted a request presented by two dioceses within a broad framework that, according to the Magisterium of Pope Francis, envisions the reception, protection, promotion, and integration of migrants, as well as attention and assistance to those displaced in the war zone in Ukraine. All of this with much less aid than reported by the press: 100,000 euros to each diocese in 2022 and the same amount in 2023.

A statement from the CEI emphasizes that «In this context, ecclesial action will and does move with freedom and respect for each one’s role, siding with those who suffer fleeing war, violence, and poverty. The Church’s commitment is to combat illegality with legality, preventing the Mediterranean from becoming more and more a graveyard: every life must be saved! The Church is the only institution currently funding development projects in poor countries or situations of special difficulty with continuity and substantial resources: about 80 million euros per year; supporting and promoting, together with governmental authorities and other institutions, humanitarian corridors – three are currently operational – the only legal and safe alternative to death voyages; ensuring the reception of refugees: about 50,000 only in the first half of 2023 in our country. All of this with the utmost transparency.»

 

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