A month after endorsing CNEWA’s campaign to aid refugees, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has issued a powerful pastoral letter on the subject entitled “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me.” (old/broken link: https://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/commissions-committees-and-aboriginal-council/national-commissions/justice-and-peace/documents/4318-i-was-a-stranger-and-you-welcomed-me-pastoral-letter-on-welcoming-refugees)
Citing both biblical teaching and the recent words of Pope Francis, the bishops state:
The immense and unprecedented refugee crisis today is heart-breaking, moving us to tears and urging us to act. As leaders of the Catholic Church in Canada, we believe that discussion is not enough; this is a time for urgent action. Every single day, desperate people try to cross a vast ocean of indifference. These people are called refugees. They are often treated simply as a problem or a concern, but to us they are our brothers and sisters, fellow human beings who need our help right now.
Among other things, the bishops urge the faithful to provide moral and spiritual support to those in refugee camps; call on the federal government to expand the acceptance of refugees in Canada; and support vital aid organizations — including, most notably, CNEWA.
This is a strong and powerful statement on behalf of our suffering brothers and sisters around the world. It cries out for attention. Please read the entire document (old/broken link: https://www.cccb.ca/site/images/stories/pdf/Pastoral_Letter_Refugees.pdf) and share it. And if you can, prayerfully consider supporting us in our mission — one that can help carry out our call as Christians and truly help the stranger so in need of being welcomed.
And thank you!