Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pope Francis expects Catholic parishes to step up to refugee crisis; Finland prime minister offers his summer home, as door-knocks get more personal

Lauren Lee-Johnson has a column on CNN, on how “you” can help with the migrant crisis, especially from North America.  The article lists some charities.  My own favorite is Save the Children  which is on my regular donation list with a bank handling my trust.  I prefer well-known, secular charities. There are many church-associated charities, of course; but a few have allegedly been involved, however indirectly, on the wrong side of some political issues (like anti-gay behavior in Uganda). 
But European sources (and now CNN) report that Pope Francis has called upon all European Catholic parishes (which would cover all of continental Europe, especially the Mediterranean, Catholic countries) to sponsor one migrant family each, link here.   This is one family per parish (or "sanctuary"), not household, but would raise a question about parish members taking in families personally within any parish (or sponsoring specific migrant families with targeted financial contributions, which could also be expected in North America).   European civilians have been generous with donations at the train stations.
And Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipila has offered his home in Lapland to refugees, according to an NBC report. 

In the U.S., Houston TX is said (on CNN) to have helped place more Syrian refugees than any other area (although Michigan, around Detroit, also has been involved heavily). But how does this play out against a similar crisis in the US from violent Central America? What will Donald Trump say about this? Furthermore, many people (as in Facebook comments) ask, what about our own homeless? 
At the same time, legitimate questions are asked as to why rich Gulf states (like UAE, or even Saudi Arabia) don’t do a lot more to take in refugees.  This will be a problem with many people in Europe since most are apparently Muslim themselves, usually Sunni.  

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