Fate of refugees is shame for Christian world: Cardinal

The fate of the refugees is a dramatic cry and a shame for the Christian world, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, the Warsaw Metropolitan Bishop said on Tuesday during an ecumenical celebration “To die of hope” organised by the Sant’Egidio community during the Week of Prayers for Refugees.

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“We must remember that the problem of people, who are migrating, looking for a new place to live, including the severe problem of refugees, who flee from death, oppression and look for help, resilience, empathy, still exists,” Cardinal Nycz stressed adding that the period of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19 disease pandemic overshadowed this problem in social awareness.

“We cannot forget about those thousands, tens of thousands who have died, who drowned in the sea, lost their houses and possessions,” he said.

“We have to awaken our consciences, open our hearts in order not to be immune to the dramatic cry and simultaneously a shame for the Christian world, Christian Europe, but also for Poland as well – a response given every day for this about which Pope Francis keeps talking about,” the Cardinal stressed.

He emphasised that “justifying ourselves that we help Ukrainians” is not sufficient.“We have to be capable of granting at least strong, symbolic aid to those, who have to be accepted as parentless orphans, without even a small tent, who are knocking to the gates of Europe,” Cardinal Nycz exclaimed..

He also referred to the latest visit of Polish President Andrzej Duda to Italy and his meeting with the Sant’Egidio community, which helps refugees by organising “humanitarian corridors”. “There is a bright ray of hope that the situation in this matter will start to change in our country,” the Cardinal said.

The ceremony “To die of hope” has been organised since 2015, when the largest migration crisis in Europe began. More than 3,700 people, who tried to get to Europe have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea since then.