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Leading Philippine bishop appeals for mercy toward migrants, refugees

January 21, 2016

Stating that “there can be no excuse for turning them away, and no justification for their ill-treatment,” the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has issued an appeal for mercy toward migrants and refugees.

“The Philippines, for now, seems to be spared direct threats from ISIS and other purveyors of that kind of violence that has shaken the confidence of even powerful nations,” wrote Archbishop Socrates Villegas. “We would be deluding ourselves, however, were we to overlook the fact that, in our midst, there is also a ‘deficit of mercy.’”

“We have had a beautiful tradition of welcoming the oppressed from other lands and offering them succor, a haven, even if only temporary, from the tedium of flight and journey,” he added. “We must, in our treatment of refugees, be true to this tradition. This, ultimately, is the most profound dimension of the much-vaunted hospitality of the Filipino!”


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