London Catholics celebrate diversity and call for fair treatment of migrants

The service combined a tone of celebration and activism. Photograph: Peter Walker

While it might be unfair to call the scene on Monday morning outside St George’s cathedral in Southwark a Ukip activist’s worst nightmare, there was certainly plenty on show to stoke the ire of anyone with trenchant views about immigration.

The slow procession entering the building snaked hundreds of metres down the street and encompassed many dozens of nationalities, variously indicated by flags, banners, scarves or items of national dress.

While inner London is hugely varied throughout – fewer than 40% of Southwark’s residents are of white British origin, half the average for England Wales – this was, however, a special occasion. It was the tenth anniversary Mass for Migrants, a service run by three Catholic dioceses to both celebrate diversity and call for fair treatment of incomers…


I can see being welcoming — up to a point. And that point is when those immigrants are going to do more damage to the society than good.  That very much depends who the immigrants are.

Christianity is not a suicide pact.

People have said this is hypocritical because Europeans came to the Americas and Australia. And it is true that there was a huge die-off from new diseases so the natives would have done better to completely reject us. But they were overwhelmed by the combination of diseases and technical superiority.

They lost that one. It happens. Christianity lost a huge amount to Islam. It is the story of history: one group replacing another, over and over, as far back as records go and no doubt much further back.  We can see the same behaviour is our close relatives, chimpanzees.  

Sorry, but I am not going to lie down and accept this if there any way I can stop it.

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