Vatican City, Dec 8, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Pope John Paul II’s Message for the 91st World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2005, made public today, insists on the duty of Christians to aid migrants in their struggle to integrate and to actively support the building of a society open to cultural dialogue, while at the same time firmly maintaining the heritage of universal and inalienable values.
"Integration,” begins the Pope, quoting the Instruction "Erga migrantes caritas Christi" (The love of Christ towards migrants) “is a lengthy process that aims to shape societies and cultures, making them more and more a reflection of the multi-faceted gifts of God to human beings.”
”In this process,” he explained, “the migrant is intent on taking the necessary steps towards social inclusion, such as learning the national language and complying with the laws and requirements at work, so as to avoid the occurrence of exasperated differentiation."
"By introducing themselves into a new environment, immigrants often become more aware of who they are, especially when they miss the persons and values that are important to them,” he said.
The Pope insisted that “in our society, characterized by the global phenomenon of migration, individuals must seek the proper balance between respect for their own identity and recognition of that of others.”