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Spirit of the Merciful Samaritan: Catholic congregations play an inevitable role in humanitarian and social work

Spirit of the Merciful Samaritan: Catholic congregations play an inevitable role in humanitarian and social work

2012. 11. 28.

 

László Surján, Vice-President responsible for the dialogue between churches, religious organizations and the European Union expressed his acknowledgement to the services of Catholic congregations in the field of humanitarian and social work, stressing out the importance and need for better visibility of their projects and beliefs. "How could you judge someone – a person or an organization – without knowing it? We need to build up an open minded dialogue and make our actions visible in order to avoid prejudices" – pointed out the Hungarian EPP Group MEP.

Participant Philip Amaral is executive director of the European Jesuit Refugee Service, an organisation present in 14 countries, and whose motto is to accompany, serve and advocate. "Europe should show commitment to human rights, freedom and hospitality not only in theory but in real actions too. Sadly, many refugees who come here have to experience the most inhospitable side – months in a detention centre, no access to basic needs and often homelessness, and an inability to cross the EU's borders despite having genuine protection needs" – he told. SRA Joicy Joseph, from the Missionary Sisters of the Queen of Apostles explained how hundreds of sisters work with disabled children in India, on the Roma inclusion in Europe and on women empowerment in the Philippines. "Everywhere helping those who need it the most, this is our motto" – she added. Participant Csaba Böjte, a Franciscan friar from Transylvania received European Citizens' Prize last year as a result of his humanitarian and social work. He runs orphanages and care centres for poor children of the most disadvantaged families. In his speech Brother Böjte emphasized: "This work is not just doing something good, not just the act of a merciful Samaritan, but saving these children is fundamental for all of us. None of us knows which one will become a European leader or even a future Nobel Prize winner".