Declaration of the Action Catholique Ouvrière in the Diocese of Rouen (28 July 2016 Following all the acts of violence in the last year, there are today people and members of the ACO from the diocese of Rouen, who are living through a difficult moment, particularly the friends of St-Etienne-du-Rouvray and its neighbourhoods, who knew Jacques Hamel and also those taken hostage.
An official memorial service took place on 28 July, 6000 emotional yet dignified people, ( in the presence of the Communist Mayor and elected representatives of the region, Mgr Lebrun and representatives of all religions…) This short message was written by a small group of the ACO and distributed during this ceremony.
Love will always be stronger
On Tuesday 26 July 2016 terrorism struck at the heart of the Church of St Etienne-du-Rouvray (in Normandy Northern France)
We are members of the Action Catholique Ouvriere and we are in communion with the family of Fr Jaques Hamel odiously assassinated, and also with the victims of this attack. We share the immense pain with all the Stephanais.*
Fr. Hamel was attentive to the lives of the people, welcoming, discreet and we particularly recognise his work and support of the Mission Ouvriere (Mission to the Workers).
Let’s not allow hate and mistrust to spread!
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are convinced that living together in harmony is possible. This odious act will not break the strength of our solidarity. We want to continue to build fraternity, solidarity in the places where we live with the Muslim community, and all those other religious communities and with those who have humanist and pacifist convictions.
The richness of a Multicultural society should be shared: let’s dare to care, to listen, lets take care of one another… it is together that we will overcome these tribulations.
“ All our members equally have to take care of one another. If one member suffers, all suffer with him” St Paul First letter to the Corinthians (12,25-26)
We remain committed more than ever to a struggle for the dignity of each and every human being, for justice and peace in our country and in the world.
*Name given to the people from the town of ST Etienne du Rouvray.
ACO of Rouen 28 July 2016 Messages of support can be sent to ACO Diocese Rouen 76 137, Rue Saint Julien 76100 Rouen France
After the attacks at the airport and metro in Brussels, the city that represents the heart of Europe, we express our total rejection of all forms of violence. We are committed to building a culture of acceptance without naivety, whilst opposing discrimination which simply takes advantage of the barbarity of terrorism in many parts of Europe. Terrorism is the exploitation of the individual and of God living in the person. We support the words of Cardinal Erdo, President of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe: "At this time of distress we call on all people of good will not to be overcome by fear but to continue to pray for peace in Europe, in the Middle East and around the world." Pope Francis reminds us in Evangelii Gaudium: "Until exclusion and inequality are reversed within a society and between different peoples it will be impossible to eradicate violence." We are committed as Christian workers in Europe to continue working towards overcoming exclusion and inequality, relying on dialogue and the common good and avoiding positions of hatred and intolerance towards migrants. We express our closeness and solidarity with the families of the victims of these horrible attacks. Manolo Copé Coordinator European Movement of Christian Workers http://mtceurope.org/en/news-from-europe/45-nota-del-coordinador-del-mtce-ante-los-atentados-de-bruselas-2
The ECWM co-ordinates 20 organisations from 15 countries of the European Union (EU) and Switzerland. It totally rejects the draft agreement reached between the EU and Turkey on refugees. This agreement is a serious step backwards for human rights. The countries of the EU cannot sign an agreement with Turkey which is contrary to International Law. This agreement violates International and European Conventions ratified by Member States which expressly prohibits the return of persons who are subject to persecution or victims of war. We can easily forget that behind the increase in migration there is always the inhumanity of an unjust economic system in which profit prevails over the dignity of the human person and the common good. We cannot build a fortress Europe and refuse to welcome the stranger. The challenge remains to build a Europe of the people
The Permanent Commission of the HOAC expresses its support for the social action organisations of the Church and expresses its rejection of the announced agreement between the European Union and Turkey which is a major setback for human rights. The HOAC does not want to be indifferent to the suffering of thousands of people who are fleeing from war, conflict, and religious persecution and demands that Europe help and welcomes them. We are united with the ministers of the church who have expressed their sorrow and distress at the latest humanitarian tragedies affecting migrants and refugees. We can easily forget that behind the increase in migration, there is always the inhumanity of an unjust economic system in which profit prevails over the dignity of the human person and the common good; as well as the violence, persecution, hunger and destruction generated by the war. We think that in the European Union the duty of welcoming the stranger, and caring for those who are at risk of losing their lives is sadly missing. We have witnessed the unacceptable spectacle of the bargaining and 'auction of quotas' by European Governments. There is a great deal of generosity, solidarity and humanitarian action on the part of individuals, groups and institutions, but, as a whole, the reaction of European societies is far from being what it should be. Therefore, we join the Spanish Commission for the Support of Refugees (CEAR) in the denunciation of this agreement, which represents a major setback for human rights. Commenting on the collective expulsions contained in this agreement, CEAR states that it is «contrary to international law. The evaluation of an application for asylum must be individual and also cannot be based solely on nationality, since it would be discriminatory.» https://www.cear.es/category/noticias/
As some politicians make disparaging remarks about migrants arriving in Western Europe, we are reminded that welcoming the Stranger is a fundamental tenet of our faith. Thousands of our fellow human beings are fleeing their homelands because of war, famine and oppression. Many of them make it as far as Northern France and we are familiar with the news coverage of the jungle in Calais.
Many members of our sister movement in the ACO France (Action Catholique Ouvrière) are welcoming the stranger into their neighbourhoods of Calais and Dunkirk. Eve Marie Dubiez who is a close friend of the MCW has sent us regular information about the treatment of refugees in Northern France. There is some evidence of human traffickers, some of who come from Britain who control the camps and charge refugees rent for shelter there. She says its type of “mafia” who impose the law of the jungle as European Governments are doing little. She wrote to us a few days ago to say that things are very tense in both camps due to the action of the Police and the lack of facilities for eating and showering.
She also said that there are now more volunteers there than there is accommodation for them to stay. However she informed us of ‘Aid Box Convey’ based in Bristol that now appears to be coordinating aid and voluteers to support refugees in the North of France. Their web site can be found at: www.aidboxconvoy.co.uk its current focus is on supplying the new camp in Dunkirk with welcome boxes. We've also recently set up a list on Amazon to ease the process of contributing to the boxes. The site says:
The MCW joined representatives from 12 European Movements including those from Switzerland, Spain, Germany, South Tyrol, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Portugal and France for a seminar in Strasbourg from the 27-30 October, to examine the theme of ‘Dignified work in solidarity economy’.
The Movements were able to work together accepting their diversity but also reinforcing their communality in proclaiming the good news of the gospel to workers across Europe and indeed at a global level.
Our lives today and the issues that affect them appear so complicated and complex which makes the past, in retrospect, appear simple and
straightforward. We rely on the news from the TV or radio or newspapers. Most of us may find ourselves in a rut of watching, listening or reading the same ones week in, week out. For others the social media is their window on the world to find out what is happening on an hourly or even minute by minute basis. How then can we unearth what other viewpoints might exist; what additional views might shed a new light on the issue in question to assist us in developing or forming a different perception from one already gleaned?