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

logoAfter 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

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.  aidboxTheir web site can be found at: 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 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 Final Declaration from the General Assembly of the European Movement of Christian Workers The seminar of the European Movement of Christian Workers (ECWM) that took place in Strasbourg from the 27 to the 30 October 2015 concluded with a final declaration on the two big subjects of the seminar: A universal basic income within a framework of dignified work and economic solidarity and the current question of refugees.

A Basic Income

In some countries, the debate regarding a basic income has still not yet begun. In contrast, in other countries, it is already quite advanced. When talking about a basic income, we understand this to be an income that enables people to have a minimum income that keeps them above the poverty line and to live a dignified life. This right is not to be linked with work or professional related remuneration. On the other hand, the application of a basic income would avoid the stigmatisation of people who for one reason or another are unable to access the labour market. We must also work to raise the awareness of those who reject a guaranteed basic income. It’s important they understand that its implementation will not make the beneficiary non productive for wider society. We consider that a guaranteed basic income is indispensable today because in a number of cases, remuneration from work does not give the necessary income to live in dignity. We note that the world today is evolving towards a new technological paradigm in the way that society is organised, no longer providing employment for all. The current crisis has driven numerous companies to reduce the size of their workforce, whilst demanding their work force works overtime. At the same time there is a large number of long term unemployed workers who feel they have an undignified life due to their situation. Workers have the right to live in dignity and to be free to choose their work. To do this , we need to ensure a sufficient source of income. The solution would involve the application of a basic income financed through a redistribution of wealth. As a Christian workers movement , we must follow the gospels and various documents of the Magisterium of the Church’s social teaching, encyclicals , etc, recognising that Jesus is always at the centre. As representatives of the Movement of Christian Workers in Europe we have to demand that the human person must take precedent over that of capital. Basic income therefore must meet the needs arising from the three fundamental pillars of the social Magisterium of the Church : the dignity of the person, the common good and the universal destiny of goods. The members movements of the ECWM note that basic income is central to their releflections and preoccupations about workers. The current threats to decent work and decent life require concrete policy responses. We want to change the situation with and for all workers, whether in Europe or elsewhere. We demonstrate our concern for them through solidarity. The members movements offer this reflection to their members wishing to join networks that defend the demand for a basic income in their country and want to convey this concept to social organizations, trades unions and political , through direct dialogue or by the members of our movements who are engaged in social and community organisations. As ECWM we wish to coordinate with other European bodies so that this debate is put on the agenda of political structures, trades unions and the church , and we suggest that the WMCW could bring the debate to global organizations working in the field politics , the church and trades unions.


Europe and its citizens are currently facing a completely new situation:...........

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