Spanish bishops urge citizens to welcome immigrants

.- The Catholic bishops of Spain are urging all people of good will to “adopt an attitude of cordial welcome and fraternal relations with immigrant families.”

In a message issued on the occasion of the World Day of Migrants, Jan. 14th, bishops are calling on parishes to "welcome immigrant families, help their progressive integration in parish life and grow in mutual knowledge and participation with local families."

They also underlined the Church’s efforts with regard to immigrants of all faiths to make them feel at home with the same rights and duties as Spanish-born individuals.

Catholic schools and other ecclesial institutions must help these immigrants feel they are members of the family of God, the bishops said.

Society must see "immigrants and their families not as a danger or a burden but as an enriching presence to be warmly welcomed and cared for as brothers and helped towards peaceful and enriching integration," they added.

The bishops noted that many new immigrants are exploited. They called on public officials to "adopt just and adequate measures to defend and guarantee the dignity and rights of immigrants and their families".

The bishops concluded their message by thanking immigrants for their valuable contribution to society and to the Church.

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