Summer Studies is in the shops! Freedom of Speech – where do we draw the line? https://t.co/f80fE2lFVB
This issue of Studies is devoted to the theme of ‘Europe in Crisis’. Originally intended to focus largely on the problems and challenges created by the huge influx of refugees and migrants from the chaos of the Middle East and the all too inadequate response of the European Union to date, the scope of coverage was necessarily broadened by the unexpected and deeply damaging decision of the British electorate, through the ‘Brexit’ vote in their 23 June referendum, to leave the Union. A continent already struggling to maintain cohesion and commitment to its founding principles was thrown into further uncertainty and a degree of disarray by this unhappy development.
In his comprehensive overview of the refugee problem as this is affecting Europe as a whole, Eugene Quinn, Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Ireland, describes the continent’s stumbling response as ‘inequitable and unsustainable’. Ireland’s contribution, moreover, with just 38 Syrian refugees resettled here by early July 2016, has been deeply disappointing. Media spotlight often moves away, but the crisis continues unabated. The suffering of so many thousands, particularly children, who are being deprived of a real childhood and proper education while they search desperately for a new life in a country willing to receive them, pricks the conscience of us all. Few have done more to bring the world’s, and especially Europe’s, attention to the urgency of the situation than Pope Francis. In January, the Pope, who has spoken of the danger of the Mediterranean becoming a graveyard, insisted that ‘Indifference and silence lead to complicity whenever we stand by as people are dying’. ‘Each of us’, Eugene Quinn concludes his own powerful plea, which Studies is glad to amplify here, ‘is called to act’.