HOAC09March2015

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/

In addition the social action organisations of the church have also rejected this agreement, which "violates the international and European conventions ratified by the Member States which expressly prohibit the return of people who are persecuted or victims of war. It is therefore inappropriate. Furthermore this agreement can only increase the pain, suffering and death of those who risk their lives everyday to seek safety and protection at the gates of Europe'. Therefore, we also call on the Government, political parties and parliament to come to a common position so that, at the meeting of the European Council of March 18, the Spanish position will be to express our solidarity, and that the responsibility of the EU is to ensure the protection and welcome, and also the safe passage of all those unprotected human beings and victims of conflict and persecution. Pope Francis insists in Laudato si ' on the moral attitudes that we need to cultivate with seriousness and urgency: « True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good» (No. 178). “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty”. (No. 229). We also call on the Christian community and social organizations sensitive to this situation to express their rejection of these policies. HOAC Madrid 09 March 2015

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