04 september, 2015
Photography: The Italian Coastguard/Massimo Sestini.
The Rector of the Fatima Shrine, Fr. Carlos Cabecinhas, said today "the dramatic refugee crisis to which Europe must respond cannot leave us indifferent and demands concrete solutions"; and he also said further "the Sanctuary will provide a home for stable reception of refugees." The Rector announced that, in addition to this initiative, "the sanctuary will also provide a building, normally used to house pilgrims, to welcome transitorily, those refugees awaiting for permanent housing." His Excellency, the bishop of Leiria-Fatima, António Marto, had already made known publicly to the media that he would inquire into the available resources the diocese could offer to participate in this action of humanitarian aid, in consonance with the position of the Catholic Church in Portugal regarding this matter. In this sense, he was in contact with all parishes, Houses of Mercy, IPSS and religious congregations to "join forces to the Platform of Assistance to Refugees at national level", sustained by the Episcopal Conference. Bishop António Marto says "the mere possibility of hosting only one family would already be very good".