Migrants, a great opportunity for the Church in Switzerland

There are about one third of the members of the Catholic Church in Switzerland come from migration, a presence that marks ecclesial life in many ways. To take into account multilingualism and cultural diversity, around 110 missions or chaplaincies provide pastoral assistance to these faithful. Every year about 21,000 religious services are celebrated in over 20 languages and rituals.

Future models and possible evolution of missions. Awareness raising of people active in traditional pastoral care and in the ministry of migrants. Focusing the mandate of the Migration Office on pastoral tasks. Strengthening of the principle of subsidiarity at the level of financial and administrative tasks, and more equitable distribution of funds. These are based on the data and information provided by the report “Pastoral Care for Migrants in Switzerland” were published on March 25, by the Roman Catholic Central Conference of Switzerland (RKZ).  This document is in fact part of a project on the future of the pastoral care of migrants, undertaken jointly by the CES and the RKZ, and examines the current situation and takes stock of five aspects: Diversity of pastoral reality: a problem or an opportunity?

As a result, “a lucid approach to the pastoral care of migrants offers the possibility of becoming more aware of coexistence among the faithful and of strengthening it, as well as promoting coexistence based on mutual respect and openness”,  according to the report.




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.