Bishop Antonio Ceballos Atienza of Cadiz and Ceuta, Spain, called on authorities of the EU, Spain and Morocco this week to show and demand respect for the human dignity of immigrants who are deported, because the suffering face of Christ is reflected in them.
In a statement, the bishop called for respect "in the name of God" for "the human rights of these men, women and children who being deported to other countries and that they be guaranteed the most elemental and dignified human treatment."
Bishop Ceballos said he recognizes that immigration is not the solution to the problems of injustice and poverty that immigrants experience in their own countries, but the deaths of five immigrants last September on the border between Ceuta and Morocco and the subsequent events the followed "force me to not remain silent and to denounce, in the name of God" and of the citizens of this diocese "the manner in which solutions are being given to these persons in whom I see the face of Jesus Christ suffering such ignominy and humiliation."
"The dignity of the human person demands that all men and women be treated, not as animals, nor as machines, but as persons and children of God," he said. Bishop Ceballos asked that during this weekend’s Masses, prayers be offered for a just and dignified solution and that people protest outside the churches "in silence and in prayer, as a communal repulsion of these events."
He thanked parishioners, humanitarian associations and the media for their generosity and for their commitment and service, "which make us all more humane."