Chaplain to Gypsy, Roma, Travellers protests Channel 4 TV Documentary

Travellers' Mass Westminster Cathedral 2018 - image ICN/JS

Travellers’ Mass Westminster Cathedral 2018 – image ICN/JS

The Catholic Church has warned that last night’s Channel 4 Dispatches The Truth About Traveller Crime, risks stoking racism against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Fr Dan Mason, National Catholic Chaplain for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers said: “Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities make a valuable contribution to our society, yet face extraordinary levels of racism and discrimination. Almost every man, woman and child has suffered some form of hate speech or hate crime.”

Channel 4’s programme used sensationalist language, selective examples and dubious statistics which will only reinforce this prejudice. Such broadcasts would be dangerous and irresponsible at the best of times. Coming amid a national crisis, and a pandemic that’s hitting minority communities so hard, is particularly unacceptable.

Pope Paul VI reminded us that our GRT sisters and brothers are at the heart of the Church. We will continue to stand in solidarity with them.”

Earlier this month the Catholic Church in England and Wales called for solidarity with GRT communities during the COVID-19 pandemic: See: ICN 1 April 2020 COVID-19: Call for solidarity with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities