World Day for Migrants: Cardinal in CAR Urges Demolition of “walls of selfish comfort”

Giovanni Cancemi / Shutterstock

On the occasion of the 109th World Day for Migration and Refugees (WDMR), marked Sunday, September 24, the Cardinal in the Central African Republic (CAR) has called on the people of God under his pastoral care to work towards ending attitudes of selfishness and indifference. 

In his September 24 homily during Holy Mass organized to officially launch the new Pastoral Year of Bangui Archdiocese, Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga said, “Let us pray that all baptized people and men and women of good will show themselves ever more attentive and concerned about the fate of migrants and refugees in the world.”

“On this day dedicated to migrants and refugees, let us take to our hearts their quest for safety and better conditions for a fully human and dignified life,” Cardinal Nzapalainga added.

The Archbishop of Bangui since his Episcopal Ordination in July 2012 said, “Let us break down the walls of selfish comfort and indifference, open our eyes and dare to take initiatives to fight back against the brutality of this reality that is unworthy of the human condition.”

“This is happening not only in other countries but also within our own borders,” the 56-year-old member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CSSp.), also known as the Spiritans or Holy Ghost Fathers, said during the Eucharistic celebration at Our Lady of Fatima Parish of Bangui Archdiocese.


He continued, “We are all brothers and sisters. In our country, the Central African Republic, the essential needs expressed by migrants and refugees – the need for security, peace, health, education and schooling for their children – can only be met if we succeed in disarming our hearts with a renewed and urgent appeal for brotherhood and love.”

“For the Church in particular, the question of migrants and refugees, one of the major challenges of our time, is an integral part of her mission. And her concern in this area is based on the need for fraternity and solidarity between people, in the name of the Gospel.” Cardinal Nzapalainga said.

He went on to caution against the attitude of indifferences, saying, “It is therefore impossible for our ecclesial conscience to remain indifferent to the inhuman conditions in which so many migrants and refugees live, whether outside or inside our borders.”

The Spiritan Cardinal emphasized the mission of the Church, which he said seeks to “to welcome and listen to” those in inhuman situations, “to accompany them, support them and help them in their legitimate quest for living conditions that respect their dignity.”

“The Church is continually reminded that it is responding to a call, that it does not and cannot in any way have a personal agenda, since the mission it receives comes from another, from Christ Himself,” Cardinal Nzapalainga said during Holy Mass on the occasion of WDMR 2023 on September 24.

More in Africa

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.