Germany – Constructive dialogue on refugee policy

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) spoke on Friday, 4 December, with five Catholic Superiors on refugee policy. German Jesuit Provincial Fr. Stefan Kiechle SJ appreciated afterwards the “differentiated and constructive conversation”. The Superiors of different religious orders in Bavaria had put forward two core concerns: to deal humanely with all refugees coming to Germany and to take care of a respectful language in the public debate. Words such as “massive abuse of asylum” were inappropriate. Prime Minister Seehofer and his staff would have listened to them interested. An open letter of 45 Superiors of Bavaria, to Seehofer, preceded the conversation. In the letter published on November 11, the signatories criticized a political rhetoric, which brings refugees into the twilight, instead of regarding them as fellow human beings, who need “solidarity”. In addition, the Superiors protest against transit zones, detention centres and the restriction of individual examination in the asylum procedure.