All of us in the West, and here in the UK and Ireland, have a massive moral obligation to give urgent practical help to Ukrainian refugees.
Those of us who are Christian have an extra responsibility to welcome these refugees.
When we welcome these refugees, we literally welcome Jesus Christ.
If we fail to welcome then then we ate letting Jesus Christ down.
These are the six questions Jesus said he will ask us on Judgement Day;
1. Did you feed the hungry?
2. Did you give a drink to the thirst
3. Did you clothe the naked?
4. Did you care for the sick?
5. Did you visit prisoners?
6. Did you welcome strangers into your home?
I have already registered with the UK Governent to host refugees in the house I live in.
It is a very large house with several spare bedrooms.
My priestly colleague Father Paul has one spare bedroom in his apartment, and he has also signed up.
I’m sure others from The Oratory will be offering practical help and support too.
EMAIL FROM OUR FRIEND ROBERT NUGENT ON THIS TOPIC
Maybe you can do a post on the blog calling out the Church to take some action for the refugees from Ukraine. There are 1355 Parishes in Ireland for 4.5 Million Catholics. Many of these parishes have properties that can be used to temporarily house families. These families are mainly women and Children as Men have not been allowed leave Ukraine. Kinga my wife has been helping on the border.
Example would be Knock, there are many empty properties that could house 250-300 people with local schools and services. Look at the Knock youth centre that has been empty for 2 years. Also many of these Ukrainians are Orthodox so we should allow them to practice their faith and allow Priests to minister to them.
If every Catholic Parish just took 20 women and Children it would mean 27100 have a place to go. While immigration is a hot topic for some right wing Catholics, we have to look at the humanity of the situation and not let politics get involved.
I personally don’t support any side in this conflict, I have no faith in either side, But I do have faith we try to help those families who need stability until this all gets resolved. The Church has to open the doors now, and us laity will help fund them with clothes, money, food, etc.. We are not looking for money from the Church, just access to the properties. For example in Ballina the Church has several houses for priests in the town and a very large residence for the Bishop. The 4 priests in the separate houses could live with the Bishop for a while and allow Families to use the houses. The Clergy have to lead by example in this crisis, not just asking for prayers, but leading by example.
Robert hits several important nails on the head there.
Bishops, priests, and religious orders should lead the way on this and put their money where their mouth is.
You will always find an excuse for not doing the right thing:
My insurance will not cover me for this.
I like to keep my home private.
My partner will not allow me to do this.
I have a weakened immune system.
I’m afraid they might rob me.
I only have one bathroom.
Forget the excuses.
If you are a good human being, you will do this.
And if you are a card carrying Christian – then my friend, you have no excuse whatsoever!