The terrorist attacks of September 11 changed dramatically the attitude toward immigrants, said Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, during the presentation of the Congress this Vatican dicastery will hold from November 17 to 22 in Rome.
Archbishop Marchetto revealed that the United States, with 35 million immigrants, followed by the Russian Federation -with 13 million, - is the country with the highest number of immigrants.
He emphasized that the terrorist attacks of September 11 “have had a dramatic impact on migration” and their effects “have highlighted the importance of the efficient management of immigrant waves and provoked increased awareness about the insufficiency of solely local measures.”
“It is necessary,” he continued, “to find a solution to the difficult problem of consolidating the unity of all of humanity with the diversity of peoples, ethnicities, cultures and religions that compose it. This implies welcoming our neighbor, with a culture of dialogue and reciprocity, solidarity and peace.”
Fr. Michael Blume, undersecretary of the same dicastery, added later that there are 16 million refugees under the administration of international organizations, and said that “if the pastoral care of refugees can assume different forms, according to the circumstances, its starting point should always be the comprehension of a situation in all its dimensions – personal, social, economic, political – in the light of the Word of God and the social doctrine of the Church.”