Catholic World News

EU prelates affirm importance of hospitality to migrants, religious freedom

November 30, 2016

Representatives of different religions, including two Catholic bishops, took part in an annual dialogue with a leading EU official on November 29.

The theme of this year’s dialogue was “Migration, Integration, European values: from words to action.”

Belgian Bishop Jean Kockerols, who serves as first vice president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), told the European Commission’s Frans Timmermans that “it is our duty to recall that every refugee has the right to receive a fair and human treatment.”

“The question of a common solution to the refugee crisis is a question that touches directly upon the values and the future of Europe,” added the prelate, who said that hospitality is part of the foundation of Christianity.

Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of Copenhagen said that family reunification is “a key issue and also one dealing with fundamental rights, as everybody has a right to found a family and all members of such a family the right to live together.”

Bishop Kozon also called upon those who operate refugee centers to respect religious freedom. He said:

The Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and some Free Churches are doing a lot to help immigrants of their denomination and also Muslims who want to convert. This functions when refugees can freely contact the churches. It is, however, often difficult for representatives of the churches to enter camps and centers, because authorities want these places to be religiously “neutral.”


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  • Posted by: [email protected] - Nov. 30, 2016 7:27 PM ET USA

    Hooray,hooray! Forget the values of Europe and bring in thousands who do not respect your culture or laws. They want to sweep under the rug the problems with the migration right now. Many countries have stopped the influx and tried to reverse it. Including Merkel. Sad what is happening.

  • Posted by: feedback - Nov. 30, 2016 10:34 AM ET USA

    Christian hospitality would start with welcoming the most vulnerable human beings and respect for the lives of the unborn. Opening borders to unlimited numbers of young Muslim men, while completely disregarding the real dangers they bring to the social order and Christian civilization, has nothing to do with "Christian hospitality."