Brentwood, England, Oct 26, 2019 / 05:01 am America/Denver (CNA).
In the wake of the discovery of the bodies of eight women and 31 men inside a semi trailer in eastern England on Wednesday, Catholics are calling for prayers for the victims and their families, as well as safer means for immigrants and asylum seekers in Europe.
'We are praying for the thirty-nine women and men who died, for their families, and for all those across the world who have lost their lives while trying to reach a better future,” Bishop Paul McAleenan, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster and lead bishops for migration and asylum in the English and Welsh bishops' conference, said Oct. 25.
“This tragedy underscores the urgent need to redouble our efforts in establishing safe passages and combatting criminals who exploit desperate people,” McAleenan said.
Police have not yet released details about whether the people who died were migrants, or seeking asylum, and the nationalities of the victims has not been officially confirmed, though Essex police initially reported that all 39 of them were Chinese nationals.
Jesuit Refugee Service UK called for policies for safe and legal migration, including a widening the definition of family members eligible to reunite under refugee family reunion rules, in response to the discovery of the bodies.