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World Day of Migrants and Refugees: ‘It is not just about migrants’

“It is not just about migrants”. This  is  the theme for  the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be celebrated on Sunday, 29 September 2019.

The theme was announced on Sunday by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

As Fr. Michael Czerny SJ, Under-Secretary of the Section, which is headed by Pope Francis himself, explained, with this theme, Pope Francis wants to highlight that his frequent appeals for migrants, refugees, displaced and trafficked people should be understood as integral to his deep concern for all the inhabitants of today’s existential peripheries.

Fr Czerny explained that observing the Day and the Pope’s message aim to help us realize how deeply we are all involved, “as Christian communities and societies, and that we are all called to respond and to reflect how our faith life and commitments are engaged in responding to vulnerable people on the move”.

Seeing the face of Jesus in migrants and vulnerable people. Fr Czerny said that when the Pope reminds us, repeatedly, of what Jesus himself was saying with the words ‘when I was a stranger you welcomed me’, this is a very direct application of Our Lord’s words”, and that indeed, “when people are knocking at our door because they are seeking protection, shelter and a better future, we are welcoming Him: It’s very simple and very radical”.

 

Source. Vatican News

Vatican published new Pastoral Orientations against human trafficking

The aim of “understanding. The Vatican has issued a new document regarding “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking”, with the aim of “understanding, recognizing, preventing, and eradicating the plague of the trafficking of persons, protecting the victims, and promoting the recovery of survivors.”

New Pastoral Orientations. The 36-page document, which was presented at a press conference at the Holy See Press Office, is an expression of the “enormous importance” Pope Francis attaches to the “plight of the millions of men, women, and children who are trafficked and enslaved.” According to the preface of the Pastoral Orientations, the purpose of the document is “to provide a reading of Human Trafficking and an understanding that motivate and sustain the much-needed long-term struggle.”

The Pastoral Orientations are the result of extensive consultations with “Church leaders, scholars, and experienced practitioners and partner organizations working in the field.”

 

Source. Vatican News

Global Compact: “the entire planet feels the need to treat the issue of migrants in a unified manner”

Rome “The Global Compact on immigration testifies that the entire planet feels the need to treat the issue of migrants in a unified manner. This is a theme to be considered without the political borders of the globe, but with real physical borders. The planisphere should be seen not on the side of national colors, but with the eyes of those who are forced to travel to seek better conditions of life”. as stated by Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano, general superior of the Scalabrinian Missionaries, a congregation that since its foundation deals with the care of migrants.

The “Global Compact for Migration” is the agreement the UN wanted in order to give a global response to the problem of migration. Signed by more than 190 countries in 2016, at the UN General Assembly in New York, and reaffirmed at the Assembly last September, it has the principle that the issue of migration should be tackled at a global level, through a network of international collaboration for the reception of migrants and refugees. There is talk of a disciplined, safe, regular and responsible migration, providing a series of commitments by all countries to protect the rights and needs of those forced to flee. The main points include the fight against xenophobia, exploitation and human trafficking; the strengthening of integration systems, humanitarian assistance, development programs and border procedures, respecting international law.

“It is the story of the human being to say that migration brings positive effects in the communities they welcome”, continues the general superior. Migration brings dialogue, exchange and is the basis of the true Christian soul. It is advisable that countries like Italy, with a deep migratory history, are aware of this and participate actively in supporting the Global Compact. This has an even greater value in light of the recent International Migrants Day, where the Pontiff recalled how Jesus knows the pain of not being welcomed very well”.

During the Angelus  Pope Francis praised the approval of the Global compact with these words: “Last week the Global Compact for Safe, Ordinary and Regular Migration was approved in Marrakech, Morocco, which intends to be a reference framework for the entire international community. I therefore hope that it will work with responsibility, solidarity and compassion towards those who, for various reasons, have left their country, and I entrust this intention to your prayers”.

CEI released documents on “Migrants, from fear to welcome” 

Last  Thursday, the statement, entitled “Migrants, from fear to welcome” notes that we are becoming accustomed to images of an ongoing tragedy in which so many die or witness death during their journeys of hope.

Become accustomed to tragedy:

“The barred eyes and the vitreous gaze of those who see themselves grabbed, in extremis, from the abyss that has swallowed up other human lives, the bishops say, are only the last image of a tragedy to which we must not become accustomed to.”

“We feel responsible for this army of poor people, victims of war and hunger, of deserts and torture” they say.

As Pastors of the Church, they continue, we do not pretend to offer cheap solutions. With regard to what is happening, however, we do not intend to look the other way or to make contemptuous words and aggressive attitudes our own. We cannot allow anxiety and fear to influence our choices, determine our responses, foster a climate of mistrust and contempt, anger and rejection”.

It is the tormented history of men, women and children, a history that cries out against the closing of borders and the erection of walls, and that demands we dare, the bishops say, offer solidarity, justice and peace.

The new Italian government’s anti-immigration stance has seen a number of rescue vessels carrying migrants adrift for days in the Mediterranean after being denied entry to Italy, purportedly to discourage traffickers.