Santa Cruz de Tenerife (EFE).- The bishops of the dioceses of the Canary Islands, José Manuelos, and Nivariense, Bernardo Álvarez, have published a joint pastoral letter in which they ask the members of consecrated life in the Canary archipelago to begin “ reception corridors” for migrants and refugees.

On the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, September 25, the two bishops of the Canary Islands recall that the islands are part of the southern border of Europe, which arrives “permanently at a multitude of fragile boats, laden with migrants who are in desperate danger of seeking the peace and well-being they lack in their country of origin.

Many of these people “die trying and our coasts become cemeteries, frustrating dreams and illusions of so many children, young people and adults, who are swallowed up by the waters of this immense ocean”, add José Mazuelos and Bernardo Alvarez.

According to their data, there are more than 1,000 people missing so far this year, and the “spectacle is always daunting and normally arouses pain and solidarity from men and women of goodwill”.

The bishops comment that last April a meeting of delegates and volunteers from the Migratoria pastoral from all the dioceses of Spain was held, called by the Undersecretary for Migration of the Spanish Episcopal Conference.

Among other unanimous conclusions, it was a question of setting up “corridors of reception” and of facilitating, between all the ecclesial organizations, “the transit of our migrant brothers, to avoid their overcrowding on the islands, by trying to collaborate with our public institutions which sometimes have difficulty in doing so effectively”.

In the Canariense and Nivariense dioceses they do not want to remain silent or profile themselves and emphasize that “we cannot remain oblivious to the pain of the brother. The encounter with the other is also an encounter with Christ”.

For this reason, they ask the pastoral delegations of migration to prepare an outline of a possible project which can be presented to the Episcopal Conference and which can then be extended to the rest of the dioceses of Spain who wish to implement it.

The bishops consider that “in the current circumstances, such collaboration on the part of the communities of consecrated life present in the Canary Islands can be a very eloquent gesture, and they believe that it would be a “good gesture of ‘synodality’ and a good expression that we are in the midst of our people, sharing in their pain, in their suffering, and alongside the poorest and most disadvantaged, as the Lord did, who always showed an authentic predilection towards them”.

And they entrust the hopes of all migrants and refugees and ask all communities and social groups that welcome migrants and refugees “to help them to be good Samaritans, living the commandment of love of neighbour”. ECE

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