In a letter to the country’s national political leaders, the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, asks them to collaborate in better assisting refugees. “No matter which of you may be invited to form the next government and to serve as the next leader of the official opposition – to support efforts by the government and individual members of Parliament to ensure Canada effectively expands, accelerates and facilitates the private sponsorship of refugees. We particularly urge you to find more effective ways of reuniting refugee families, and to recognize the special urgency of the needs of children, single-parent families, and those minorities and individuals facing persecution.”
The Bishop also said that the Office for Refugees of the Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT) is one of the nation’s largest refugee agencies. Staff from other Catholic dioceses and eparchies have formed a special organization, the Catholic Refugee Sponsors’ Council. Both ORAT and the Sponsors’ Council are active in providing advice and information for groups wishing to initiate sponsorship or resettlement, or already involved in such efforts.
“On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, I assure you that we will do all we can to cooperate with you, as well as with provincial and municipal governments, in assisting, sponsoring and resettling refugees from Syria, from throughout the Middle East, and from other areas of the world that are experiencing conflict or persecution. Furthermore, we will continue to collaborate in providing humanitarian assistance to the millions of others throughout the world who have been displaced because of famine, poverty or environmental disaster.”
You can read the entire letter here.