From Catholic Information Service for Africa
VIENNA, September 16, 2008 (CISA) -The Catholic Church in Europe has pledged to treat African immigrants as brothers and sisters - regardless of their legal status - in accordance with the demands of the Gospel.
Senior Church officials attending a conference in the Austrian capital also said
African and European governments should work harder to end the widespread
poverty in Africa which is forcing increasing numbers of people to attempt
dangerous journeys to Europe in search a better life.
The participants noted that the presence of African migrants in Europe is a
diverse and complex phenomenon, which must be confronted in a variety of spheres
- political, cultural, social and pastoral - and with the cooperation of the
It was unanimously agreed that the situation in many African nations, with poverty, underdevelopment and the desperation of many people, is dramatic, often forcing people to undertake risky journeys to Europe.
But leaving aside how African migrants may have arrived in Europe,
they must always be treated as human beings, as brothers and sisters, just as
Jesus has commanded us, the conference agreed.
Good. About time too. Now, what about getting governments to follow suit?
We have barely-regulated global finance (look at the current mess), global trade in goods, and narrow protectionism in the movement of people.
In fact anyone can go where they like if they've money. Rich Africans are very welcome. What we have is high barriers against the poor. Time that the logic of globalisation was applied to people: everyone is valued equally no matter where they live or die.