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Italian Catholic church vows to house homeless migrants

Mon 10 Dec 2018
By Premier Journalist

Italian priests have declared that they will open the parish doors of every church under their control to welcome and look after people expelled migrants.

The Italian government's anti-immigration law may make thousands of people homeless.

 

The "Salvini decree" removes protection for people not eligible for refugee status. Those individuals unable to return home, have been left without a legal residence.

This decree was applied by several Italian cities soon after its approval by parliament earlier this month.

The Catholic Church has responded by saying it will help those who risk expulsion.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said last week that the Vatican's position is very clear: "You don't leave migrants in the street...you cannot put people in this position."

He added: "You must always focus on people and their rights."

The Bishop of Caltagirone, Monsignor Calogero Peri, has offered space for up to 40 people in beds across church fun facilities in his diocese. These would be used for people who risk expulsion.

Calogero Peri is quoted in the Guardian saying: "And if there are not enough beds? I have already spoken with other bishops: we will open the church doors of every single parish under our control.

"It's not a question of politics. It's a matter of protecting individuals. Imagine this: in Italy now it is a crime to abandon dogs, but it is not a crime to abandon people. Even worse, abandoning men, women and children is now the law."

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