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Vatican joins protests as France expels Gypsies

Catholic World News - August 20, 2010

The Vatican has joined in criticism of the French government for a campaign to round up and deport Gypsies living illegally in the country.

French immigration authorities put 130 members of the Gypsy, or “Roma,” minority on a plane to Romania on August 19. The previous day, another 86 had left. While French officials say that the departures are voluntary, they have threatened to expel any Roma people who decline to leave voluntarily. The flights followed a roundup of illegal immigrants living in Gypsy camps.

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, the secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Migrants, said that it was “against European norms” to expel members of a particular minority group. “One cannot generalize and take an entire group of people and kick them out,” he argued.

Romania’s President Traian Basescu has also protested the French policy, and said he would bring his argument against the “xenophobic” campaign to the European Commission.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Aug. 20, 2010 8:29 PM ET USA

    “One cannot generalize and take an entire group of people and kick them out” - It's nice to know that even an Archbishop, if motivated, can speak plainly and without equivocation. Such clarity is reserved for pushing an elite internationalist political agenda.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Aug. 20, 2010 7:15 PM ET USA

    I really want to "think with the Church" about illegal immigrants, but somehow I'm just not getting it. What, exactly, is unjust about a country enforcing its immigration laws?

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