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Card. Turkson, 2016 / © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Migration: “The Very Idea of the Human Being is at Stake”

Cardinal Turkson Invites Europeans to Be “Truly Ambitious”

In face of the migratory crisis, Europeans should be “truly ambitious” because “the destiny of humanity is at stake. The very idea of the human being is at stake,” said Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development. The Cardinal granted an interview to the Huffingtonpost on the eve of  a crisis meeting of Interior Ministers of the European Union at Tallinn, Estonia, on July 5, 2017.

Recalling the migratory flow from Africa to Europe, he invited to make distinctions: “The African Continent is very diversified. One cannot continue to speak of Africa as if it were a uniform body – a monolith! It is one thing if people flee from wars; it is something else if people flee because there is no work . . . In the first case, it is necessary to build true peace; in the second, the paradigm of development must be changed.”

For the Prefect, the solution resides at the same time “in Europe and in Africa.” In regard to the Old Continent, he deplored the “enormous delay on a cultural and also political vision” of the phenomenon. A delay linked “to the profound misunderstanding of the movement of peoples . . . regional vision do not suffice: a global vision is necessary.”

He appealed for “a common policy and a lofty and historic cultural vision” so that Europe can “raise its head as model of peace, justice and freedom.” Courage and honesty are necessary.”

“A Europe barricaded on itself, without the breath of an ideal, is not longer Europe,” he said. And he asked: What would Adenauer, Schumann and De Gasperi do today?” The Cardinal encouraged Europeans to be “truly ambitious: to look at the idea of Europe and to look at history, not at the moment. The destiny of humanity is at stake. The idea itself of the human being is at stake.

“One would say that in the West one is unable to go beyond two visions, which certain policies exacerbate to draw electoral advantages,” continued the Cardinal. The vision according to which “each one must stay at home and build walls,” and the vision on the basis of which “it is necessary to receive in a disordered way.”

“Both are erroneous, incomplete, unreasoned and old visions, daughters of ideological debris of the past,” he stressed. The Dicastery’s Prefect proposed a median way that puts at the center “the person, all persons with their rights and their duties in view of the common good.”

In regard to Africans, he said they “must be put in condition — and find the means themselves to put themselves in the condition of growth. The question is: how to proceed there where there is corruption, organized crime, the interests of foreign countries . . .?

About Anne Kurian

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