Bishop Paul McAleenan: Address Overcrowding and Poor Conditions at Manston

Photo: Bishop Paul McAleenan speaking with refugees on a visit to Dover earlier this year (Mazur/

Source: RCDOW

As reports of overcrowding and poor conditions at Manston migrant centre in Kent emerged, Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has called for this ‘worrying’ situation to be addressed ‘as a matter of urgency’. In his statement, he writes:

‘Above all we need to remember that migrants and refugees in Manston, like all others who have found their way here are human beings, made in the image of God. Regardless of how or why people have made the journey here, they must be treated with respect and dignity.

‘Reports of people being held in overcrowded and unsafe conditions are worrying and must be addressed as a matter of urgency. It is also imperative that everyone refrains from inflammatory language that undermines people’s humanity and creates tensions between communities.

‘As well as the right to migrate, Catholic social teaching also speaks of the right not to migrate. Often this is overlooked. Our politicians recognising the global phenomenon of migration must work with others in the international community to help create conditions that will eliminate the conflict, poverty and suffering that forces people to leave their own homelands in the first place and undertake dangerous journeys in search of a better life.’