(CCCB – Ottawa)... In a letter to the country's national political leaders, the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, asks them to collaborate in better assisting refugees. The President cites the resolution by the recent 2015 CCCB Plenary Assembly which "calls on the Government of Canada to expand, accelerate, and facilitate the private sponsorship of refugees during this time of urgent need." Bishop Crosby explains that "Our discussion made it clear that this resolution is intended not only to encourage the present government in its ongoing efforts, but also to urge that such measures be continued and expanded by the next government with the collaboration of all the parties represented in the House of Commons."
In addition to calling on the Government of the Canada, the resolution by the Bishops of Canada is also addressed to dioceses, parishes and religious communities throughout the country, urging them to welcome refugee families. Canadian Catholics were also encouraged to support the joint campaign launched by three Canadian Catholic agencies to assist Syrian refugees seeking protection in the Middle East and Europe: the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Aid for the Church in Need Canada, and CNEWA Canada.
In his letter to the political leaders, the President of the CCCB reiterated that despite the complexity of the crisis, "the situation in Syria, Northern Africa and throughout the Middle East requires renewed and collaborative efforts in order to respond to the magnitude and urgency of the current humanitarian crisis." He urged each national party leader "– no matter which of you may be invited to form the next government and to serve as the next leader of the official opposition – to support efforts by the government and individual members of Parliament to ensure Canada effectively expands, accelerates and facilitates the private sponsorship of refugees. We particularly urge you to find more effective ways of reuniting refugee families, and to recognize the special urgency of the needs of children, single-parent families, and those minorities and individuals facing persecution."