Italy has welcomed 2,659 evacuated Afghans, about a third of them children, according to the Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini.
Fr. Sanavio said: “We really must thank the Italian forces for their work and dedication, for everything … They managed to bring the nuns to safety, these little seeds of Christian charity present in Afghanistan, and above all, we must thank them for having brought our children, those of the Missionaries of Charity, who have severe disabilities.”
The priest said that his charitable association planned to shift its focus to assisting the Afghan families who have relocated to Italy.
“Our original mission dedicated to children continues,” he said. “Even if they are now in Italy, they are still ‘children of Kabul.’”
Fr. Scalese said that he hoped to return to Afghanistan to resume his mission if conditions allow.
“It has been a difficult few years and I realize it could only end this way. But I am not too pessimistic. Afghanistan could find its own stability. Let’s wait to see what kind of government will be formed,” he said.
In the meantime, Sanavio said that the Holy See would need to evaluate the situation of the Catholic Church in Afghanistan after the evacuation of the Catholic priests and religious sisters from the country.
“All of these seeds of charity might seem lost today to the human eye, but -- as I like to think and say -- if the seed that falls to the ground does not die, it does not bear fruit,” he said.
“Now, what has been sown by the religious over so many years has remained there and we hope and pray that it will bear fruit.”
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.