Pontifical Council examining plight of immigrants

.- Beginning today the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples is meeting at the Vatican to address how to spiritually provide for emigrant and itinerant families. 

The full council will be meeting at the Vatican from May 13-15 on the theme: "The emigrant and itinerant family."

Cardinal Renato Martino opened the session with an address that pulled together many of the council’s most recently published documents. In his speech, Cardinal Martino showed how the pastoral guidelines of the council should be integrated into the various areas of ministry that it undertakes.

The Pontifical Council is tasked with ensuring that the spiritual needs of those who have been forced to abandon their homeland, as well as to those who have none, are met. The council’s ministry extends to a wide range of people including: emigrants, refugees and displaced persons, foreign students, nomads, circus workers, tourists and pilgrims, seafarers, airport workers, drivers, women and children who live on the streets, and people of no fixed abode.

According to a statement released by the council, the full council consists of 26 prelates, including cardinals, archbishops and bishops from various countries, and 14 consultors. The consultors are also of various nationalities and provide their expertise on the various aspects of human mobility with which the council concerns itself.

Over these days the plenary assembly will hear testimonies from people who work directly with families in certain sectors of human mobility. The testimonies will come from experts who work in Australia, the United States, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

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