Overcoming racism is overcoming our fear | Auxiliary bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi

Auxiliary bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi said that progress that engenders exclusion made the rich richer and the poor even poorer

Auxiliary bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi
Auxiliary bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi

On Migrant and Refugee Day, Joseph Galea-Curmi's Sunday homily centred on the inherent fears of the stranger as he urged for Malta to face its fears and embrace asylum-seekers.

"We tend to fear those whom we do not know, to fear what they could become and be afraid of their proximity to us. This is the reason behind our fear when refugees knock on our door in search of shelter and security for a better future," the auxiliary bishop said, adding that the problem was not the fear but the way it conditions our way of thinking.

He lamented the general attitude and intolerant comments making the rounds when asylum-seekers seek shelter and added that all is made in the image of God, irrespective of colour and race.

"No person should end up on the scrap heap of history... compassion and love towards the vulnerable reveals who we truly are, our true humanity," he said.

Galea-Curmi said that the most vulnerable are those who often pay the highest price in a world that is "sometimes elitist and cruel with the emarginalised." Referencing Luke's Gospel on Lazarus, the reading proclaimed on Sunday, Galea-Curmi insisted that the most vulnerable are often left with the crumbs of the banquet.

"Progress that creates exclusion makes the rich even richer and the poor even poorer. Progress that respects the dignity of the person seeks inclusion that looks forward to future generations," he said. 

He insisted that the Roman Catholic Church appraised Jesus's words and that these same words are often censored, so that the fueled racism is left unchecked.

"Jesus himself said, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' My appeal today is that we do not censor the words of Jesus by speaking and living as if he never uttered these words.

Jesus Christ asks us not to yield to the prevalent logic of the world, which justifies injustice to others for my own gain or that of my group."

He added that development should not be restricted to economic growth alone and to be authentic and well-rounded, it must foster the development of each man.

"Migrants, especially those who are most vulnerable, help us to read the signs of the times. Through them, the Lord is calling us to conversion, to be set free from exclusivity, indifference and the throw-away culture."