Bishop laments Spain’s refugee response as church begins World Day of Migrants & Refugees campaign

Bishops' conference poster on Jan. 17th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Photo: CEE

• Countries with far less per capita income doing more to help refugees •

The Catholic prelate in charge of the Commission on Migration for the Spanish Bishops Conference (Conferencia Episcopal Española, or CEE) has said the overall European response to the influx of refugees fleeing the war in Syria has been “inadequate,” with the exception of the response from Germany and Sweden, which he said have set an example for the rest of Europe.

Bishop Ciriaco Benavente of Albacete said that Spain’s response had been no better than that of most of the rest of Europe, emphasizing that other countries (such as Syrian neighbors Jordan and Lebanon) with far smaller per capita income are caring for more Syrian refugees than is Spain.

Bishop Benavente made the remarks last week as the Spanish Catholic church launched its campaign to draw attention to the “World Day of Migrants and Refugees” slated for Jan. 17th, mentioning the call made recently by Pope Francis for European countries to show greater mercy and charity toward Syrian refugees seeking asylum.

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