Who could fail but be moved by the image of a dead child washed up on a Turkish beach? It is a graphic description of the thousands who have suffered as they seek to escape war, oppression, hunger and homelessness in their homeland. This mass movement of suffering humanity is surely one of the most tragic events we have witnessed in Europe since the Second World War.
Of course it is true that the real solution to this problem is the creation of peace and stability in countries torn apart by civil war. Failure to create conditions of peace on the part of the West has resulted in thousands of migrants, young and old, seeing no alternative but to leave their homeland in the hope of finding a civilised life.
“If every city took 10 refugee families, if every London borough took 10 families, if every county council took 10 families, if Scotland, Wales and every English region played their part, then in a month we would have nearly 10.000 places for vulnerable refugees fleeing anger, seeking safety” (Yvette Cooper).
If these figures were projected throughout Europe proportionately, we would not just be scandalised by the death of innocent children and desperate adults. As a civilised society we would play our part in relieving the causes of that suffering in a dignified and humane way. Churches, chapels and voluntary organisations are in a unique position to contribute to a solution to these human tragedies.
I am grateful to one parish in the Archdiocese of Cardiff for providing accommodation for asylum seekers. There could be many more.
We as a ‘Catholic’ Church are also reaching out to these people through our Catholic International Aid body, Caritas Internationalis. Caritas has been providing support to migrants in Calais, the Greek Islands and Syria. They have established an Emergency Relief Fund, of which you can be a part, simply by clicking the Caritas logo below to donate.
Archbishop of Cardiff
Addendum (5th September 2015)
In response to the above statement I have received information on this excellent local initiative to collect clothes and other essentials for the refugees in Europe. These collections willtake place during the coming week. Obviously the deadline is demanding as you will see from the poster. But so is the crisis.