US and Mexican bishops acknowledge challenge of immigration for society and the Church

.- The president of the Committee on Migration of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon of Ciudad Juarez, said this week immigration is “a sign of the times that challenges civil society and the Church” and that “pastoral care for migrants in both countries should be increased.”

The bishop made his comments as he released a document produced at a meeting on migration between US and Mexican bishops on June 23-25 in El Paso, Texas.  The statement notes “a growing negative reaction against migrants, in large measure created by misunderstandings and false ideas about them.”

The statement also indicated that the inadequate public policy for dealing with the phenomenon of migration and the urgent situation of migrants has not helped to lessen the dangers, the separation of families and the degrading and inhumane conditions which they suffer.

The statement also reaffirms the Church’s commitment to providing effective pastoral care for all immigrants before, during and after their journey.

Some of the objectives proposed during the bi-national conference include the increasing of pastoral care for immigrants, the coordination of support and cooperation in educating the Catholic faithful in both countries about migration and the teachings of the Church, as well as efforts to change societal attitudes regarding migrants.

The bishops also agreed to include bishops from Central American countries in the discussions, as immigration also poses great challenges in that region.

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