Catholic World News

Cardinal laments plight of migrants, disintegration of Italy’s social fabric

March 15, 2016

In a lengthy address to the permanent council of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa touched on a number of themes, including the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

The prelate, who serves as the conference’s president, said on March 14 that the migrants and refugees seeking to enter to Europe are “like Lazarus knocking at the door of the rich countries ... Can Europe, the cradle of civilization and rights, build walls and dig ditches?”

Noting that Italian Catholic institutions are sheltering 45,000 refugees, he said, “We repeat that the global indifference is something that cries out for vengeance before God.” 

The prelate also mourned the “progressive disintegration of the social fabric,” noting that there were 653,000 deaths and 488,000 births last year in Italy, while 100,000 Italians emigrated.

Stating that adopted children have a right to a mother and a father, Cardinal Bagnasco quoted the recent joint declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill and said that “the family is based on marriage, an act of freely given and faithful love between a man and a woman … We regret that other forms of cohabitation have been placed on the same level as this union.”

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  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Mar. 16, 2016 7:44 AM ET USA

    You have to wonder if the “progressive disintegration of the social fabric” in Italy can be halted or reversed by admitting overwhelmingly large numbers of refugees, however deserving, who will broaden and strengthen the presence of Islam in the country.