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Portugal: Catholic Migration service, debate on refugees in Europe. “Humanitarian action” by the Church

The director of the Portuguese Catholic Migration service (Ocpm), Eugénia Quaresma, announced that, from 13th to 15th January 2017, the diocese of Leiria-Fatima will host the XVII meeting of socio-pastoral workers, in order to look into the situation of refugees in the European Union. Promoted by Ecclesia, Caritas, the national department of the youth pastoral service, and the Portuguese Catholic Migration service itself, the initiative will actually be focussed on: “Refugees: euros or people”, and will be open to agents who work with migrants, social workers, members of youth associations, and anyone who may be interested in the problem. In presenting the meeting, the director explained that the contacts they had with many European Bishops Conferences found that “in some countries there is no effective humanitarian action for refugees and migrants, apart the one implemented by the Catholic Church”. So, appealing to the huge wealth of human values that come from the evangelical scriptures and ecclesiastic documents, Eugénia Quaresma pointed out that “such lessons need to be put into practice, brought into the communities, spread and debated, so that the Christian ideals may be reflected in the building of the European Union”.

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