Month: May 2016

Speakers discuss refugees’ plight, ‘shared responsibility’ for resettlement

On May 23, 2016 the Catholic News Service published an article by Allana Hayes which discussed the plight of refugees and the shared responsibility for resettlement. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired Archbishop of Washington, referring to the current refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq, gave the keynote address at the “Refugee Crisis in the Middle East: A Shared Responsibility,” sponsored by the Center for Migration Studies of New York. The Cardinal also said that since our inception we have offered refuge to millions of persons around the world. For many of us, our families are in that group.

Mazlin Kamuona and Omar al-Muqdad, refugees from Iraq and Syria, are among the millions of people who have fled to the United States in the nation’s history to escape religious persecution. They spoke during a panel session on resettlement and refugees’ experiences of integration into a new country. Kamuona said,  “They are safe now in a free country, and for that I am happy to call the United States my home.”

You can read the full article here: Shared Responsibility

You can also read it here: Refugees Plight


Cardinal Veglio on refugees: Europe has behaved like Pontius Pilate

On April 28, it was reported that Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, President, Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People spoke about the need for some practical concrete things to be done with respect to Europe and the influx of refugees. He points to the agreement with Turkey and the  Balkan border closures which have worsened the situation.  Caritas has expressed its rejection of this agreement and has described it as “unacceptable.” The Cardinal states clearly, “this word comes off as a little strong but yes, the attitude of Europe is a bit ‘Pilate-like.'” He points out that sending Syrians back to Syria “is the most humane and  Christian way of behaving.”

You can read the statements by the Cardinal here: Europe – Pontius Pilate

Please provide your comments here: Catholic Refugee Sponsors’ Council



Office for Religious Freedom Closed by the Government

The Office for Religious Freedom in Canada was opened in February 2013. In March of 2016 it was closed by the Government. Its international mandate includes the following: protect, and advocate on behalf of, religious minorities under threat; oppose religious hatred and intolerance; and promote Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance abroad.

Many groups opposed this decision. Among them are: The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) the Catholic Refugee Sponsors Council (CRSC) and some Government leaders including Patrick Brown the leader of the Opposition in the Province of Ontario.

The CCCB, in its statement pointed out that the office was an important signal to the international community and to Canadians – as well as a reminder to our civil servants and our country’s diplomats – of the singular importance of religious freedom, and of the unfortunate lack of voices in society prepared to come to its defence.

Please read the entire statement by the CCCB here: CCCB Letter of Regret

Catholic Refugee Sponsors’ Council (CRSC) also expressed disappointment at the closure. Please read the CRSC letter here: CRSC Letter of Disappointment

The leader of the opposition in Ontario, Mr. Patrick Brown MPP has written a letter as well. He expresses dismay on behalf of the Opposition Party in Ontario to the closure of the Office of Religious Freedom. He refers of various United Nations declaration to which Canada has accepted which speak of religious freedom and the necessity to uphold and promote it.

Please read the entire letter from Mr. Brown here: Mr. Patrick Brown Letter of Dismay


Your comments and feedback are welcome: Catholic Refuge Sponsors’ Council