OPINION of the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in Bulgaria on the Placement of the Albakri in the town of Belene
In the Gospel, Jesus says, “… Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40).
In the light of these words, the representatives of the Catholic community in Bulgaria believe that every person, regardless of his or her racial, national, ethnic and religious affiliation, has the right to a dignified life, in which country he or she can live, especially when he/she has legally obtained the necessary documents for this. We believe in the gospel and human principles of compassion, compassion, and empathy, which prompt us to lend our hand to those in need.
In connection with the situation with the Syrian family’s accommodation in Belene, we believe that the facts are being distorted and thus the language of hatred is provoked. The Albakri family has come to Bulgaria legally, has a status, which means that its members have all the rights of Bulgarian citizens, except for voting right vote and conscription. Among their rights, it is their own choice to determine where to settle and lay the foundations of their new life, with honest work and in peace with their neighbors.
In view of all this, the representatives of the Catholic community in Bulgaria will continue their actions in support of those in need because we believe that the outstretched hand must be turned open with open arms, as Pope Francis says: “Those who accept the Father’s embrace, in turn open their arms so that everyone can be loved as children and feel “at home” in the great family of mankind.”
Bishop Hristo Proikov
Chairman of the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in Bulgaria