“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.” (CCC 2241)
When the wall that separated West Berlin from East Berlin was destroyed on 9th November 1989, it seemed that the iron curtain could finally be relegated to a nightmare to be placed in the drawer of bitter memories.
Instead, the history of recent years has shown us that we are able to raise other walls high to hide grudges and atrocities. It is very interesting that raising such walls are by citing reasons for safeguarding the common good.
New walls are emerging in our history. During the campaign that drew him to the presidency, Donald Trump promised his constituents to build a wall that would prevent Mexican neighbors from illegally immigrating to United States, the country of liberties. Meanwhile, two other strongly symbolic walls have already been raised. The first divides the city of Jerusalem between Muslims and Jews; the second, three meters high and more than 800 kilometers long, was built to prevent the people escaping to Turkey seeking refuge from the ongoing massacres in Syria.
We are jointly responsible for this second wall! Yes, you understood correctly, because for the most part the wall was financed with the tax revenues of the countries of the European Union. Moreover, we not only bear the costs, but we pay the Turkish regime to keep around four million refugees in the camps. In this way, in fact, we aim to close forever the eastern route that, passing through Athens and the Balkans,that leads to Europe.
The European Commission believes that this wall allows to monitor both the uncontrollable flow of refugees from Asia and the checkpoints that limit departures from the African continent. Ashamed to say it is true and just happened!
Let us clarify: Europe could not and cannot sustain the huge migration flows in progress. And this is for an economic reason and for political stability. However, we must ask ourselves, with honesty, if raising walls can represent a solution to the problem of social and economic injustice without falling into the most atrocious amorality.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the richest nations are bound to welcome, to the extent possible, the foreigner in search of safety and the resources necessary for life, which he cannot find in his country of origin”. In the Social Doctrine of the Church, the popes remind us that immigration is always the result of injustices perpetrated in the country of origin and that, as Christians, we are called to take responsibility for building a fairer and just world with all men.
It is, therefore, necessary to find solutions that safeguard the dignity of asylum seekers and, therefore, respect the principles of that solidarity and subsidiarity that all men are capable of in the light of the common good.
Alfonso Amarante C.Ss.R.
In Cammino con SAN GERARDO (May 2018)