Card. Tagle on Caritas for Refugees: love heals and affirms the dignity of a person

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20/07/2017
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According to the UN Refugee Agency, about 65.3 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes, leading to the highest displacement numbers in recorded history. Out of that number, there are almost 21.3 million refugees, and more than half of them are under age 18.

The leaders of Caritas spoke about the way the Church, and Christians at large, can help the refugees who may be coming into their specific countries.

CARD. LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE
President, Caritas Internationalis

“The Church, especially through Caritas, we show to the world the universal love of God. A refugee is a human being. You don't ask what country the person comes from. You don't ask their religion. You just see a brother, a sister who's suffering and this is the love of God, it's for everyone.”

MGSR. LUC VAN LOOY
President, Caritas Europa

“It's absolutely necessary that we come back on speaking about the Christian culture that is at the bottom of our European culture. There is a Christian culture alive in Europe and this comes out now in these certain situations.”

Msgr. Looy says in his home in Brussels, he is witnessing the integration of refugees firsthand and the openness that many citizens have in welcoming and including them in society.

MGSR. LUC VAN LOOY
President, Caritas Europa

“I see all over the place, refugees taking on jobs. I see intelligent people from Syria becoming at home in my place and I see people respecting them. I see doctors, Syrian doctors having a lot to do by Belgian people. This is the most important thing. Of course there are many others that have never found any place to be and they're still lying outside, no? But when I see that many have been integrated and accepted and respected...that's something the Christian culture in Europe can do.”

While providing tangible objects and goods for refugees is always needed, Cardinal Tagle says it is precisely Christian love that can help the refugees far more than material goods ever can.

CARD. LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE
President, Caritas Internationalis

“When they see people able to stand up or at least experience that they are loved, that they are thought of and that they are good and sought after. Then it is already worth more than the food, than the water that you give, although those are necessities too, but yes. Love heals and love affirms the dignity of the human person.”

This love can be practiced by listening to the stories of the refugees, inviting them to events and helping them as they try to find their place in their new home, whether it is in Europe or in other parts of the world. 

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