Migrations. German Protestants received by the Episcopal Conference and the Senate

The EKvW delegation meeting at the Italian Senate with it's president Pietro Grasso

Rome (NEV), March 16, 2017 – A delegation of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia (Germany) was in Rome on March 7th in order to meet several public and ecumenical institutions. To act as a common thread of the appointments on the agenda, the drama of migration towards Europe, the refugees and migrants reception, the humanitarian corridors.

Led by its President, theologian Annette Kurschus, and accompanied by Paolo Naso, coordinator of the project of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) “Mediterranean Hope – Refugees and Migrants Program”, in the preceding days the delegation had visited several facilities of FCEI and of the Waldensian Diaconia in Sicily.

The delegation was first received by Mgr. Nunzio Galantino, General Secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), Don Francesco Soddu and Oliviero Forti of the Italian Caritas. On the table the issue of ‘humanitarian corridors’, to which – Galantino informed – CEI will join in spring, in partnership with Caritas and other expressions of the Catholic community, opening a corridor from Ethiopia.

Appreciation for churches’ work in migrants and refugees reception was also expressed by the President of the Senate, Pietro Grasso, during the visit of the German delegation. Present in this occasion the president of FCEI, pastor Luca Maria Negro. At the end of the visit President Grasso remembered to the German guests that Italy should not be left alone on the front of refugees reception. He also invited Pastor Negro to participate in the forthcoming celebrations for the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome.

The morning ended with a meeting at the Ministry of the Interior. To welcome the delegation Domenico Manzione, deputy-minister of the Interior, who reiterated the importance of the ‘humanitarian corridors’. He declared himself ready to consider the development of this good practice with a more direct commitment of the State structures.

In the afternoon the delegation met Benedetto Della Vedova at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The day ended with an ecumenical prayer at the Community of St. Egidio, in Trastevere.