Defending Refugees

Catholic bishops in Germany and Austria have urged their countries to continue accepting refugees, despite demands for new restrictions after violence on New Year’s Eve in Cologne and other cities. “We need a reduction in numbers, but fixing an upper limit would be difficult,” Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier told the daily paper Trierischer Volksfreund Jan. 27. “We also need flexibility. But it’s up to politicians to say how this can be achieved in practice, and it can’t be done only at a national level,” he said. Some Germans have called for a cap on refugees, following violent incidents involving people newly arrived from Syria and other countries. Meanwhile, the German church’s special representative for refugees said he believed a cap would violate the Geneva Convention and Germany’s Basic Law. “Christians cannot allow people who’ve faced untold suffering and are needing help to encounter closed borders,” Archbishop Stefan Hesse of Hamburg told German media.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Gaffigans have produced comedy specials, best-selling books and five children. They even survived a brain tumor. What have you done lately?
Bill McGarveyMarch 21, 2018
You have likely seen the profiles, the gifs, the memes, the television spots. But there is much that you have not seen.
Zac DavisMarch 21, 2018
Msgr. Dario Vigano, then-prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communication, is pictured at a news conference at the Vatican in this Feb. 8 file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Mgr. Dario Vigano offered his resignation on March 19, saying he did not want the flap over the Benedict letter to hinder reforms in the communications office.
Gerard O’ConnellMarch 21, 2018
A woman reacts to Pope Francis' final words during the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in this 2015 file photo. The pope will attend the next W.M.F., to be held Aug. 21-26 in Dublin. (CNS photo/Brian Snyder, Reuters) 
Pope Francis will attend the ninth World Meeting of Families on August 25 and 26, making him the second pontiff to visit Ireland.
Gerard O’ConnellMarch 21, 2018