Chilean archbishop expresses pain, shame over fire that killed 14 migrants

Referring to the lyrics of an old song, “Si vas para Chile” (“If you go to Chile”), Chomali said: “It’s hard to sing” the concluding verse that praises hospitality: “And you will see how they love a friend in Chile when he’s a stranger.”

“Unfortunately, that’s not always the case,” the prelate commented. “For years we have known about the precarious conditions in which these brothers of ours lived in Cerro Obligado in Coronel,” he lamented.

“Officials and businesses bogged down in eternal discussions and various lawsuits, the poor always pay the consequences,” he said.

Citing Scripture, Chomali pointed out the importance of giving priority “to children, widows, and migrants.” However, he noted that “in the midst of a globalized context and indifference, it’s the fires and these misfortunes that remind us of their existence.”

“Yesterday it was nursing homes, today it was children and migrants, and others will come. Yes, this is news that arouses astonishment, but then others will come and the most painful thing is that we are getting used to it,” he said.

Recalling the words of St. John Paul II during his visit to Chile, the archbishop reminded: “The poor can’t wait.” However, he lamented that “they’re still waiting.”