During the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Jan. 15, the archbishop of Madrid called on Christians to welcome immigrants in Spain and to help them remain steadfast in their faith.
Catholics should be “builders of integrating unity, capable of embracing everyone beyond the differences in our origins,” Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela said in a Jan. 10 letter to parishioners.
He emphasized the need to create “appropriate conditions for immigrant families” to be able to live fulfilling lives. Rather than be considered foreigners, they should be able to live side-by-side with Spaniards in a society based on unity and fraternity, he said.
Cardinal Rouco observed that migrants often undergo culture shock in their new countries and that this suffering “has serious implications for their faith lives.”
For this reason, he said, it is important they be welcomed and that special ministries be created to reach out to them.
He invited Catholic immigrants in Spain “to occupy the place in the Church and in society that corresponds to them, and to be open to the values” of their new home.