Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (EFE).- The Spanish Church has launched its “hospitality corridor” with two of the Nigerian citizens who arrived as stowaways in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the Alithini II different dioceses to offer reception places to migrants in special circumstances of vulnerability.
As reported by the Episcopal Conference, the first two users of this network are Henry A. and one of the men who survived an eleven-day journey with him from the port of Lagos (Nigeria) to the capital of Gran Canaria hiding in the hull Alithini II, in a hole above the ship’s helm, who are going to be welcomed in a Cáritas center in Madrid.
One of the spokesmen for the Secretariat for Migration of the Diocese of the Canary Islands, the Claretian missionary José Antonio Benítez, explained to EFE that these “hospitality corridors” are the Church’s response to the delay of public institutions in activating the humanitarian corridors that announced in their day to address situations such as those experienced on the Canary Islands Route.
In these corridors, the different bishoprics of the Church in Spain will offer the places they have available on the peninsula to care for immigrants in special need and help them continue with their life project.
They are being launched with the Canary Islands because the most pressing cases are currently on the islands, but the Church does not rule out activating them to also help immigrants who have arrived in Spain through the different routes of the Mediterranean.
The “hospitality corridors” of the Church also seek to decongest its “front line” reception resources in the landing places of migrants, so that these places are available again and attend to other types of cases.
In this way, explains Benítez, the resources that Henry A. and one of his two companions on the journey free up in Gran Canaria (the other preferred a different reception option) will be occupied by other immigrants who are currently living on the street for different circumstances, including being left out of the reception network for potential refugees because their request for international protection had been rejected.
For the moment, details the Episcopal Conference on its website, the Dioceses of Mondoñedo-Ferrol and Getafe (Madrid) have already offered reception resources for future users of this “hospitality corridor” of the Church.
The fact that this project is launched with the Alithini II stowaways is not by chance, but rather has to do with the deep impact that their story and the photo in which they were seen, exhausted, sitting on the shovel caused in the Church of the ship’s helm.
His case was not only on the front page of the Vatican newspaper “L’Osservatore Romano”, which dedicated an editorial article full of allusions to Pope Francis’ warnings about the drama of migrants, but also mobilized the Secretariat of Migrations of the Church of the Canary Islands to locate the three Nigerian citizens in the hospital and inform them of their right to request international protection from Spain, before they were expelled without further consideration due to the application of the regulations on stowaways. EFE