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  • » 10/01/2015, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: “indifference and silence lead to complicity whenever we stand by as people are dying”



    In his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Francis invites people to find in a response to the phenomenon of migration in the Gospel of mercy. "Important to view migrants not only on the basis of their status as regular or irregular ", but as people who "are capable of contributing to progress and the general welfare." "The need to help the countries from which migrants and refuge leave". "Public opinion also needs to be correctly formed, not least to prevent unwarranted fears and speculations detrimental to migrants".

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Each of us is responsible for his neighbor," “indifference and silence lead to complicity whenever we stand by as people are dying" of " our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger, exploitation and the unjust distribution of the planet’s resources which are meant to be equitably shared by all".  Finding answers to the phenomenon of migration in the Gospel of mercy, because migration has become a "structural reality" of our time.  This is the invitation that Pope Francis issues in his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which – at a Church level - will be celebrated Sunday, January 17, 2016.

    In the document "Migrants and refugees challenge us. The answer of the Gospel of Mercy ", the Pope writes that the prospect of universal brotherhood" it is important to view migrants not only on the basis of their status as regular or irregular, but above all as people whose dignity is to be protected and who are capable of contributing to progress and the general welfare. This is especially the case when they responsibly assume their obligations towards those who receive them, gratefully respecting the material and spiritual heritage of the host country, obeying its laws and helping with its needs".

    On the other hand, “there continue to be debates about the conditions and limits to be set for the reception of migrants, not only on the level of national policies, but also in some parish communities whose traditional tranquillity seems to be threatened".

    " In our time, - observes Francis - migration is growing worldwide.  Refugees and people fleeing from their homes challenge individuals and communities, and their traditional ways of life; at times they upset the cultural and social horizons which they encounter.  Increasingly, the victims of violence and poverty, leaving their homelands, are exploited by human traffickers during their journey towards the dream of a better future.  If they survive the abuses and hardships of the journey, they then have to face latent suspicions and fear.  In the end, they frequently encounter a lack of clear and practical policies regulating the acceptance of migrants and providing for short or long term programmes of integration respectful of the rights and duties of all.  Today, more than in the past, the Gospel of mercy troubles our consciences, prevents us from taking the suffering of others for granted, and points out way of responding which, grounded in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, find practical expression in works of spiritual and corporal mercy".

    Faced with the reality of migration flows, "our primary issue must be to deal with the present emergency phase by providing programmes which address the causes of migration and the changes it entails, including its effect on the makeup of societies and peoples.  The tragic stories of millions of men and women daily confront the international community as a result of the outbreak of unacceptable humanitarian crises in different parts of the world.  Indifference and silence lead to complicity whenever we stand by as people are dying of suffocation, starvation, violence and shipwreck.  Whether large or small in scale, these are always tragedies, even when a single human life is lost” or our brothers and sisters who “seek a better life”."

    For them, it also raises the question of change, because  "identity is not a secondary issue.  Those who migrate are forced to change some of their most distinctive characteristics and, whether they like or not, even those who welcome them are also forced to change.  How can we experience these changes not as obstacles to genuine development, rather as opportunities for genuine human, social and spiritual growth, a growth which respects and promotes those values which make us ever more humane and help us to live a balanced relationship with God, others and creation? ". " The presence of migrants and refugees seriously challenges the various societies which accept them.  Those societies are faced with new situations which could create serious hardship unless they are suitably motivated, managed and regulated.  How can we ensure that integration will become mutual enrichment, open up positive perspectives to communities, and prevent the danger of discrimination, racism, extreme nationalism or xenophobia?".

    " Faced with these issues, how can the Church fail to be inspired by the example and words of Jesus Christ?  The answer of the Gospel is mercy.. "

    "Migrations cannot be reduced merely to their political and legislative aspects, their economic implications and the concrete coexistence of various cultures in one territory.  All these complement the defence and promotion of the human person, the culture of encounter, and the unity of peoples, where the Gospel of mercy inspires and encourages ways of renewing and transforming the whole of humanity.. "

    " The Church stands at the side of all who work to defend each person’s right to live with dignity, first and foremost by exercising the right not to emigrate and to contribute to the development of one’s country of origin.  This process should include, from the outset, the need to assist the countries which migrants and refugees leave.  This will demonstrate that solidarity, cooperation, international interdependence and the equitable distribution of the earth’s goods are essential for more decisive efforts, especially in areas where migration movements begin, to eliminate those imbalances which lead people, individually or collectively, to abandon their own natural and cultural environment.  In any case, it is necessary to avert, if possible at the earliest stages, the flight of refugees and departures as a result of poverty, violence and persecution. Public opinion also needs to be correctly formed, not least to prevent unwarranted fears and speculations detrimental to migrants”.

    “No one can claim to be indifferent in the face of new forms of slavery imposed by criminal organizations which buy and sell men, women and children as forced labourers in construction, agriculture, fishing or in other markets.  How many minors are still forced to fight in militias as child soldiers!  How many people are victims of organ trafficking, forced begging and sexual exploitation!  Today’s refugees are fleeing from these aberrant crimes, and they appeal to the Church and the human community to ensure that, in the outstretched hand of those who receive them, they can see the face of the Lord, “the Father of mercies and God of all consolation” (2 Cor 1:3)”.

    “ Dear brothers and sisters, migrants and refugees!  At the heart of the Gospel of mercy the encounter and acceptance by others are intertwined with the encounter and acceptance of God himself.  Welcoming others means welcoming God in person!  Do not let yourselves be robbed of the hope and joy of life born of your experience of God’s mercy, as manifested in the people you meet on your journey!  I entrust you to the Virgin Mary, Mother of migrants and refugees, and to Saint Joseph, who experienced the bitterness of emigration to Egypt”.

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    See also

    23/09/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: tolerance towards migrants is not enough, they need welcome and solidarity
    Titled "Church without frontiers, mother to all" the message for the next World Day of Migrants and Refugees is released. " Often, however, such migration gives rise to suspicion and hostility, even in ecclesial communities". "Solidarity with migrants and refugees must be accompanied by the courage and creativity necessary to develop, on a world-wide level, a more just and equitable financial and economic order".

    24/09/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: "Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity"
    " Migrants and Refugees: Towards a Better World” is the theme chosen by Francis for the Day that will be celebrated on January 19. In his message, the Pope writes that when faced with a phenomenon of unprecedented proportions calls for international cooperation and a spirit of profound solidarity and compassion”, "close collaboration between the migrants’ countries of origin and their countries of destination" and " , the elimination of prejudices and presuppositions in the approach to migration", "to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved. They are an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world and a more open and evangelical Christian community. "

    22/08/2017 17:50:00 VATICAN – ASIA
    The pope and World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018

    The early release of the 2018 message has been seen as a “move” to influence Italian politics at a time when the country is debating jus soli. However, the issue of migrants and migrations is a "sign of the times", something that now affects the whole planet. Filipino migrants can be found everywhere. Nepali, Indonesian and Sri Lankan migrants are treated as slaves. Religious Freedom for Filipinos and Indians living in Islamic countries is an issue. From China to Europe, "national security" has become a kind of myth that allows political authorities to forget their own citizens, not just migrants.



    16/01/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: vocations, witness to the truth
    Francis releases message for World Day on 11 May. For him, "every vocation, even within the variety of paths, always requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one's life on Christ and on his Gospel." Similarly, "the true joy of those who are called consists in believing and experiencing that he, the Lord, is faithful, and that with him we can walk, be disciples and witnesses of God's love, open our hearts to great ideals, to great things."

    16/11/2006 INDIA - VATICAN
    Laws, customs of foreign country should be respected, even about headscarves

    In India, during a televised debate about the statements of Cardinal Martino about immigrants' integration, Fr Babu Joseph said this was not a case of interfering with other religions but of recognizing the rights of the host country.





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