It has become something of a cliché to say that faith is not just intellectual but embodied, not just words and ideas but experience and practice. At no time of the year is this clearer than Holy Week. We wave palm branches. We wash one another’s feet. We stay up to keep vigil. We act out the passion and kiss the cross.
Ägidius Zsifkokvics, a Roman Catholic bishop in Austria, is refusing to allow an anti-immigrant fence to be built on church property. The Austrian government is building a fence along its southern border to prevent immigrants from entering from Hungary, maintaining it is already overwhelmed with an influx of 90,000 immigrants last year. Part of the fence is projected to cross land owned by the Catholic Church. Bishop Zsifkokvics said he grew up with the iron curtain and remembers his relief when it came down. “A fence would be contrary to the spirit of the gospel and Pope Francis’s clear message to Europe,” he said. The church’s refusal means there will be a gap in the fence (Telegraph, April 22).