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EU bishops’ commission welcomes discussion on increased border security

December 23, 2015

The European Council—the leaders of the EU nations, along with leading EU officials—met on December 17 to discuss the continent’s migrant and refugee crisis.

The Council agreed to decide within six months whether to create a continent-wide border and coastal security agency.

The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) said in response that it “welcomes in principle the conclusions” of the meeting “and the concrete steps they entail for the implementation of measures concerning the reception, support, and relocation of refugees in the European Union. Nevertheless it is to be regretted that the member states were not encouraged to take further steps for the integration of the asylum seekers.”

On December 10, COMECE published a four-page paper on migration, refugee, and integration policy.

Written by Bishop Ägidius Zsifkovics of Eisenstadt, Austria, the paper cited several Church documents in discussing the right to emigrate to protect one’s life, the “right and responsibility” of sovereign states to protect their borders, and the importance of migrants’ willingness to obey the law as they integrate into their new societies.

In a letter to the EU’s bishops, Cardinal Reinhard Marx called for solidarity towards migrants and refugees.

“We must encourage public authorities, civil society and the faithful in our respective countries to strengthen their solidarity towards those in need, including migrants and refugees who are crossing or coming to our lands,” he said. “For us Christians, it is imperative to love our neighbor and welcome the stranger. The extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016 is an excellent occasion to remind ourselves that welcoming others means welcoming God in person!”

On December 22, the International Organization for Migration reported that 1,005,504 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe this year. Almost all (971,289) have arrived by sea, and most have arrived in Greece (821,008) or Italy (150,317).


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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Dec. 24, 2015 1:19 AM ET USA

    It does not sound like they are "welcoming" a discussion. It sounds like they want to end it. It is time to consider whether or not you are inviting more harm by what seems to be an act of charity.