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Cardinal calls for Church to house migrants

The Local · 2 Sep 2015, 11:45

Published: 02 Sep 2015 11:45 GMT+02:00

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Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, from the Archdiocese of Vienna, said that they will be considerably expanding the accommodation they can provide in the next few weeks.

“Speaking for the Archdiocese of Vienna, we can safely accommodate some 1,000 refugees in ecclesiastical quarters in the coming weeks,” he told the ORF's ZiB 2 programmes Tuesday night.

The Catholic Church is already the largest private provider of accommodation for migrants and refugees in Austria, working in collaboration with the charity Caritas, but Schönborn said there was room for more places.

Although warning he did not have power over parishes in Austria, the Cardinal said that he recommends they too offer quarters to migrants in need.

“We must not collective point the finger about the question of refugees and then do nothing ourselves,” he said.

He also urged the government to speed up the asylum application processes for Syrians as 99 percent of them would get a positive asylum application.

Asylum seekers moving out of schools

Some asylum seekers who were housed in schools over the summer break have recently had to move out ahead of the new school term beginning.

In Upper Austria 697 asylum seekers who had been housed in schools have since been moved to other quarters.

Refugees are still being accommodated in Mittelschule Markt sports hall in the town of Hard, in Vorarlberg, until the end of September when the hall will be used again by the school.

In Salzburg 300 asylum seekers are still being housed in schools, but are due to find a new home in accommodation operated by charities Caritas, Red Cross, and Diakonie.

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