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Dear Ms Johnson,

The recent published comments on Twitter by officials of the Home Office reveal the callous attitude of this Office to the plight of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

These traumatised people do not, surely, take lightly the huge risks on open boats to cross the cold waters of the English Channel. They are fleeing unliveable conditions in their own country in the hope of finding a peaceful and more humane future in the country with the 6th largest economy in the world. They have the right to be listened to and to be treated with respect and empathy from the moment they show their intention of seeking asylum on our shores.

Please do your utmost to insist that the government in Westminster ensures that all refugees and asylum seekers are treated fairly and with dignity, whether they are on the French shore line of the English Channel, on a legal or illegal crossing attempt, or on the shores of the South of England.

Our common humanity demands this, even before we appeal to our Christian traditions of hospitality and care for the outcast.

Yours sincerely,

 

The Community of Missionaries of Africa,

St. Vincent de Paul Parish,

13 Hardy Street,

Liverpool L1 5JN

 

 

Please find here a copy of the talk given by Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald on Sunday evening to the zoomed AGM of the archdiocesan J&P Commission. 

 

Forgive your Enemy

Posted on 17th June, 2020

Little did Patrick Hutchinson think he was about to hit the World news. All he wanted to do is what "he had to do"; save a man's life. But this man was a violent member of the English Defence League and Patrick was there in defence of "Black Lives Matter". 

He ignored the enemity and saved his ennemy from a severe beating. 

Jesus teaches us to love our ennemies and to turn the other cheek. 

 

Watch it here.

 

 

END THIS RACISM

Posted on 2nd June, 2020

END THIS RACISM

On Tuesday 2nd June, many buildings in Liverpool will be lit up in purple in memory of George Floyd, who many say was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, USA.

 

St Vincent de Paul’s church building will unfortunately not be able to don the colour purple, simply because we do not have the means. However, our hearts are surely purple as we share in the pain and perplexity of George Floyd’s grieving family and of all the African Americans in the USA. Many of them speak of being frightened. Others speak of being marginalised. They all know what it is to suffer the prejudices of racism.

 

Racism is a pernicious evil that affects us all in one way or the other. When I lived and worked in Burkina Faso, I knew racism at first hand. I suffered from it. You could see it in many peoples’ eyes. As soon as they saw me, even if it was only to pass each other on the street, I could see the judgement in their eyes. Too many of the people would look at my white skin and think “This man has power”, or “This man has money”, or “This man has influence”. As my time there prolonged, with the younger more educated generation, it was beginning to change to: “This man is here to exploit us” or “he is of those who colonised us and took away our freedom and left us in this mess”.

Either way, I was being judged by the colour of my skin.

 

So, I feel very much for those who are of another colour and live in this country or the USA where they are classified by their skin or their facial features. Hispanics are deemed to be criminals and drug pushers, or they are poor and prepared to work on low-pay and steal “our” jobs. Blacks too are judged as criminal and are not safe to jog or walk in the street and are presumed to be violent and a threat to a white person’s life… Asians are also classified and told to return whence they came. But, who in the USA is not an immigrant from elsewhere, if not the Amero-Indians whose spirit has been crushed by the overpowering and greedy white settlers of 100 years ago?

 

To a Christian, it is totally abhorrent, to judge another and especially so by his or her race, gender or religion. St Paul recognised the evil of this attitude in his day and wrote to the Christian Community of Galatia: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28) We are all equal in the love of God. We all have the same rights, the same duties and the same potential. No one should be preferred, and no one should be left aside because of his race or his colour.

 

Racism often raises its ugly head here at home and we must be ready to recognise it and to eradicate it. The effort is even more urgent than the fight against Covid 19, for it destroys life and society. How much of the Brexit struggle was coloured by racism and tribalism? How much of our government’s attitude to immigrant workers, who care for our elderly and vulnerable and sick with such dedication, attention and courage, is not coloured by racism? These carers can tell us how it feels to be unwelcome or even rejected because of the colour of their skin or the difference of their language; as can police officers or sports people and many others of the ethnic minorities of this country.

 

Yes, this Tuesday, is a good opportunity for us to reflect and look at our own attitude to this deadly sin of racism. If we cannot colour our house or window or door with purple, we can certainly colour our hearts. It is time to change. It is time to accept that we are all one as children of the one God.

 

Terry Madden at St. Vincent de Paul's Church, Liverpool One