Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vatican: States Must Welcome Migrants


VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2008 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino and Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, presented the Holy Father's Message for the 95th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which has as its theme "St. Paul Migrant, Apostle of the Peoples".

Cardinal Martino affirmed that "the phenomenon of migration in a globalised world is becoming effectively unstoppable. The problem will not be solved by closing frontiers, but by States welcoming - with just, well-balanced and solidary regulation - the migratory flows".

For his part, Archbishop Marchetto pointed out that "hospitality is a fundamental characteristic of the pastoral care of refugees, asylum-seekers and displaced persons. Hospitality ensures that we welcome others as persons - and in some cases also as brothers or sisters in the faith - and that we do not consider them as a cases, numbers, or mere components of the workforce".

"Closeness to others expressed in the form of hospitality effectively contradicts a large part of the messages, lifestyles and mentalities of the modern world", he said.

The secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People indicated that "the impression one gets is that for many years refugees have been treated with no consideration for the reasons that forced them to flee. This has also been translated into attempts to prevent their entry into States and into the adoption of measures aimed at making such entry more difficult" such as "the obligation to possess entrance visas, and the publication of lists of so-called 'safe countries'".

"May the dedication (proof of his courage and enthusiasm) with which St. Paul the migrant carried out his mission, inspire the Church and society to find united responses to the challenges present in modern society, so as to promote peaceful coexistence among different ethnic groups, cultures and religions".
OP/MESSAGE MIGRANTS/... VIS 081008 (340)

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