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Saturday, December 3, 2016
South Africa: archdiocese appeals for end to violent attacks on migrants
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¬†The Archdiocese of Pretoria issued the following statement last night We Catholic priests in the archdiocese of Pretoria, united with Archbishop George Daniel, have noticed some alarming signs in South Africa of a lack of generosity to receive immigrants, asylum seekers and a growing xenophobia. We call, therefore, on all Catholics and all South Africans of good will to work for an open and welcoming society where every single human being is treated in a just and truly human way. "This is what Yahweh asks of you: Only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Only if we do these things can we expect to walk humbly with our God. For Yahweh is a champion of love and justice, a God who made all of us in His image. Xenophophia is a denial of that fact. It is an offense against God. Xenophobia is a serious offense against God precisely because it violates the innate dignity of the human person. At its core xenophobia is a failure to love our neighbour. Since we cannot claim to love God unless we love our neighbor, we can only be one with God if we reject xenophobia and work aggressively to remove it from our personal lives, our church, and our society. Every offense against the dignity of the person is an offense against God himself, in whose image human beings are made. This dignity is common to all, without exception, since all have been created in the image of God (Genesis1:26). Jesus' answer to the question "Who is my neighbour? (Luke 10:29) demands of each individual an attitude of respect for the dignity of others and of real concern for them, even if they are strangers. ( Luke 10:30-37). As the very name "Catholic implies, one of the primary characteristics of our Church is its universality. We are a church that is extremely diverse, representing races and ethnic groups from every part of the globe. The Catholic Church, which embraces men and women "of every nation, race, people and tongue (Revelation 7:9) is called to be, "in a world marked by ideological, ethnic, economic and cultural divisions, the "living sign of the unity of the human family. As your Pastors: ∑ We commit ourselves to do all we can to offer all immigrants the pastoral care they need. ∑ We call churches and all citizens to ensure support for immigrants. ∑ We urge all communities to offer immigrants hospitality, not hostility, along their journey. ∑ We commend churches that have established shelters that provide appropriate pastoral and social services to immigrants. ∑ We encourage Catholics and all people of good will to protect the human rights of all immigrants. As complex as the situation is, the South African government is not doing everything in its power to avert the causes that led to a looming immigrant crisis in our country. For example, the governments quite diplomacy on Zimbabwe has proven fatal. It is a shame that we cannot bring justice and peace in places like Darfur and Somalia. The police and the courts must be empowered to deal with those who violate other people,s human rights. Order and sanity must be restored in affected areas. The systematic lack of service delivery is a breeding ground for crime and lawlessness. Let us ensure that all South Africans and immigrants have access to basics: employment, food, shelter and dignity. Morena boloka sechaba sa heso, O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho. (God save our nation; end all strife and suffering). Signed by all the clergy in the Archdiocese of Pretoria at the Annual Clergy Meeting (22 May 2008) Roman Catholic Church Archdiocese of Pretoria 140 Visagie Street Pretoria
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