Migration policies must respect families, European bishops say
Pope Francis gives a blessing at Lampedusa, the first destination of many African emigrants to Europe, July 8, 2013. Credit: ANSA/CIRO FUSCO.
Pope Francis gives a blessing at Lampedusa, the first destination of many African emigrants to Europe, July 8, 2013. Credit: ANSA/CIRO FUSCO.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Care for persons and families should be at the forefront of policies regarding migrants and refugees, the European bishops said in a recent meeting.

“The European policy and the policy of the individual Member States can only be based on respect for the individuals, and the recognition of the value and importance of the family,” they said in a concluding statement of a Dec. 2-4 meeting held in Malta.

Representatives of the European bishops met to discuss the pastoral care of migrants and refugees, creating a “proposal for a communion” that focused on the migrant as a person rather than as a “commodity” that one can “import and export at will.”

Rather, the issue of migration must be dealt with in a way that places the dignity of the family and the individual at the forefront of consideration, the bishops said.

“An adequate pastoral care of migrants cannot disregard their need for affection, for having a family and being part of a community.”

At the same time, the bishops stated, migration should take place legally so as to protect the “public order of the countries of destination.”

“A sound migration policy should encourage an active participation of migrants in society and facilitate their integration in the labor market.”

However, this responsibility does not lie only with the government, this bishops concluded.

“The Church has a vocation to be close, to reach out and accompany the journey of every human being, following her Lord.”

For years, the Church has been working to create strong ties between the country of origin and “communities of destination” for migrants through initiatives such as language courses and guest houses for families.

Migration proves to be a “real challenge” for Christian communities because it deals with one’s “ability to accept and deal with difference,” the meeting noted.

Instead of treating migration merely as a charity case, it should be welcomed as “an opportunity for enriching our ecclesial communion.”

The bishops met in Malta at the invitation of the Maltese bishops, Archbishop Paul Cremona of Malta and Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo. The meeting was organized by Director of the Malta Emigrants Commission, Monsignor Alfred Vella.

Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb presided over the meetings, and speakers included Laura Zanfrini of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan; Emanuel Mallia, Minister of Interior and National Security of the Republic of Malta; and Bishop Ciriaco Benavente Mateos of Albacete, president of the Spanish bishops' migration commission.

Tags: Malta

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30