Calais charity Seeking Sanctuary has received Pope Francis’ backing for its work.
The charity received the news from Mgr Anthony Figueiredo of the Migrants and Refugees section of the Vatican’s new Dicastery for Integral Human Development as he paid a visit to CAFOD and Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN).
Mgr Figueiredo was particularly interested in the work of CSAN member Seeking Sanctuary and its grassroots work delivering material aid to refugees at Calais and raising awareness of the migration crisis.
“We were pleased that a senior Vatican official was taking such an interest in Seeking Sanctuary and the support from so many parish and religious communities in providing humanitarian assistance to the desparate plight of migrants in Northern France,” Ben Bano, of Seeking Sanctuary, told The Universe. “We also drew his attention to the many unaccompanied minors in Northern France and the ongoing risk of trafficking and exploitation.
“The Holy Father continues to take a personal interest in these issues and we were assured of his support and commitment in seeking just and humanitarian solutions to these issues,” he added.
Mgr Figueiredo also took away Messages of Hope from the CAFOD and CSAN Lampedusa Cross campaign, as well as information about the Catholic contribution to the Community Sponsorship refugee resettlement scheme.
He then met with Caritas CEO Phil McCarthy to present the Holy See’s current campaign on refugees.
Mgr Figueiredo and the Migrants and Refugees section answers directly to Pope Francis and is eager to support Catholic refugee and migration work in the Church. He also visited the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and Caritas Salford, home of the first refugee family to be welcomed under the Community Sponsorship scheme.
Picture: L-R: Ben Bano (Seeking Sanctuary), Faith Anderson (CSAN Public Affairs Officer), Mgr Anthony Figueiredo (Migrants and Refugees Section, Dicastery for Integral Human Development), Libby Abbott (CAFOD Campaigns Officer), Phil Kerton (Seeking Sanctuary).