News & Events
Sep 16, 2015
Responding as Catholics to the refugee crisis
Following the call of Pope Francis during his Angelus message this past September 6, 2015, the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has released an open letter to Canadian Catholics on how all the members of the Church can respond to the refugee crisis. In his letter, Archbishop Durocher proposed seven ways Catholics can respond, including diocesan or parish sponsorships of refugees as well as donations toward the work of Canadian Catholic "aid and development agencies which do outstanding international work and are deeply involved in assisting Syrian and other refugees and displaced persons." Also today, the Archdiocese of Toronto announced the launch of 'Project Hope', a special emergency appeal to respond to the tragic situation of refugees.
Open Letter to Canadian Catholics
By Archbishop Paul-André Durocher
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
A drowned Syrian child washed up on a beach. A mother and daughter forbidden to board a train, their savings spent on a now useless ticket. Razor-sharp barbed-wire fences to keep refugees out. Miles and miles of homeless trudging along Europe’s roads. Millions of refugees in makeshift shelters throughout the Middle East, in Africa and other regions.
My dear brothers and sisters,
These past weeks all of us have been haunted by the images of refugees flooding into Europe from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. Since his pontificate began, Pope Francis has repeatedly reminded us of their need for help, and appealed to the world not to turn our hearts away when homeless masses seek shelter, protection and a better life. Shortly after his election as Bishop of Rome, the Holy Father visited the island of Lampedusa to focus attention on the boatloads of refugees who have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean:
These brothers and sisters of ours were trying to escape difficult situations to find some serenity and peace; they were looking for a better place for themselves and their families, but instead they found death. How often do such people fail to find understanding, fail to find acceptance, fail to find solidarity. And their cry rises up to God!