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Malta: Bishops “welcome with joy” proposal for “Encounter of reflection and spirituality for peace in the Mediterranean”

“The Church in Malta and Gozo welcomes with joy the recent news that the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) is launching an ‘Encounter of reflection and spirituality for peace in the Mediterranean’, with the participation of Catholic Bishops from countries around the Mediterranean to prevent “the cries and hopes of the poor from drowning and being buried in the Mediterranean”. The Bishops of Malta and Gozo, Charles J. Scicluna and Mario Grech, wrote this in a statement in which they criticise the fact that “in spite of the promises made by the leaders of European countries to meet in concrete terms the needs of migrants and refugees”, there seems to be little “political will to give urgent consideration to this worthy cause”. The Bishops referred to the tragedy that had occurred in the Mediterranean at the end of January, when two migrants died and another 800 were rescued, and wrote: “We are witnessing yet again, practically helplessly and without much general interest, to another tragedy of people who are perilously crossing the Mediterranean”. This time, “the danger of the latest crossing was significantly diminished due to the timely intervention of voluntary organisations that dedicate their resources and abilities to come to the aid of the poorest of the poor”. The initiative of the Italian Church is therefore welcomed also because it will help the “exchange of cultures and peoples” and will “rouse Europe to embrace the poor that are knocking on its doors”.

 

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