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    » 05/24/2013, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: governments should seek incisive initiatives and new approaches to protect the dignity of refugees



    In his meeting with members the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Francis spoke about human trafficking, including that of children. "It is despicable, a disgrace to societies that claim to be civilised! Pimps and clients at every level ought to seriously examine their conscience before themselves and before God." As well as welcoming them, the Church should "give a voice to those who cannot cry out their pain and oppression."

    Vatican City AsiaNews) - Pope Francis calls "on government leaders, lawmakers and the entire international community to look at the reality of people forcibly uprooted and undertake incisive initiatives and new approaches to protect their dignity, improve their quality of life and cope with the challenges that arise from modern forms of persecution, oppression and slavery. It is about, I emphasise, human beings, who appeal for outreach and support, who need urgent action, as well as understanding and kindness. Their condition cannot leave anyone indifferent."

    The Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People gave the pope an opportunity to speak to its participants and make his appeal. The council itself is meeting to discuss a paper, 'Welcoming Christ in Refugees and forcibly displaced Persons', which reflects the Church's pastoral concern over forced migration.

    "The document," the pope said, "draws attention to the millions of refugees, displaced and stateless persons, as well as the [victims of] the scourge of human trafficking, which is increasingly drawing children into the worst forms of exploitation, armed conflict included. I reiterate here that 'human trafficking' is despicable, a disgrace to societies that claim to be civilised! Pimps and clients at every level must seriously examine their conscience before themselves and before God!

    "Today the Church reiterates its strong plea for the protection of the dignity and centrality of each person, for respect of fundamental rights, as evinced by its social doctrine, rights that it wants extended to where they are denied to millions of men and women on every continent. In a world where there is a lot of talk about rights, how many times is human dignity trampled on?"

    In the belief that "we are in fact a single human family, with many differences, walking towards unity, valorising solidarity and dialogue between peoples," the Church views itself "as a mother whose maternal concern takes the form of special tenderness and closeness to those who are forced to flee their country and live between uprootedness and integration. Christian compassion, which means 'suffering with', is expressed above all in a commitment to know the events that force people out of their homeland and, where necessary, give a voice to those who cannot cry out their pain and oppression."

    "In this, you have an important task to fulfil, which is to raise awareness among Christian communities about the fate of fellow Christians whose existence has been scared by violence, abuse, distance from the family, traumatic events, escape from home, and uncertainty about the future in the refugee camp. Since all of these factors dehumanise, they must also push every Christian and every community to pay real attention. "

    In his address, the Pope also focused on another aspect of hospitality, urging people "to see also the light of hope in the eyes and hearts of refugees and people forcibly uprooted. Such hope is expressed in expectations for the future, in a desire to build relations of friendship, in a wish to participate in the life of the host society through learning its language, finding work and educating one's children. I admire the courage of those who hope to resume gradually a normal life, waiting for joy and love to come back and cheer up their existence. All of us can and must nurture this hope!"

    "As a Church, we must remember that by healing the wounds of refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking, by identifying with outsiders, with those who suffer, with the innocent victims of violence and exploitation, we put into practice the commandment of love that Jesus left us. We should read Chapter 25 in the Gospel of Matthew more often, for it speaks of the final judgment (31-46). On this, I would also like to draw the attention of each pastor and each Christian community to the journey of faith of Christian refugees forcibly uprooted from their countries as well as that of Christian migrants. They require special pastoral care that respects their traditions and accompanies them through to a harmonious integration into the Church organisations of the places in which they live. May our Christian communities truly be places of hospitality, of listening, and communion!"

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    See also

    25/09/2015 VATICAN – UNITED STATES
    At the UN, pope speaks for environmental protection, against human exclusion
    Francis calls on the United Nations assembly to take "concrete steps" to get “effective, practical and immediate access, on the part of all, to essential material and spiritual goods”. He urges an end to abusive and usurious relations with poor countries, and a stop to the persecution of religious minorities.

    07/11/2014 VATICAN
    For pope, men religious must face today's culture, and in brotherhood be an alternative to the culture of individualism
    First, men religious must be the centre of attraction because in the face of those "truly religious life, people ask: 'What is this? What drives this person to go beyond the worldly horizon?' [. . .] True prophecy is never ideological; it is not 'fashionable'. It is always a sign of contradiction according to the Gospel".

    20/03/2014 VATICAN
    For Pope, creative entrepreneurship and societal solidarity needed to overcome crisis
    Unemployment "is the consequence of an economic system that can no longer create jobs because it has placed an idol called money at its centre." In reality, "employment is not only about economics and profits but also about man and his dignity. Without a job, dignity is harmed! Anyone who is unemployed or underemployed is likely, in fact, of finding himself at the margins of society, a victim of social exclusion."

    12/05/2014 ISRAEL - VATICAN
    Patriarch of Jerusalem: The Pope's visit "poisoned" by hate speech
    Fouad Twal complains about a certain laxity on the part of the government , unable to curb anti-Christian hate speech and graffiti . The bishops fear mounting hatred of the imminent visit of the pope. Jews, Christians and Muslims demonstrate: "Racism screams, while the government is silent".

    19/01/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: Be followers of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away (and upon himself) the sins of the world
    At the Angelus, Pope Francis insists on Christ’s example that only love conquers evil and sin. The Church is not "a besieged citadel", but "a city set on a mountain, open, welcoming and supportive". Thanks to the Scalabrini for their efforts on behalf of migrants and against the "merchants of human flesh".



    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.


    CHINA - VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin’s volte-face, a cross to bear for the sake of Shanghai

    p. Pietro dalla Cina

    The auxiliary bishop of Shanghai holds dear the welfare of his diocese and intends to carry alone the burden of his statements of four years ago. Fr Lombardi’s clarification on the role of the Holy See dispels any doubt: the Letter of Benedict XVI to the Chinese Church is still valid; thus the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's position is not accepted by the Vatican. A Chinese priest comments. Translation by AsiaNews.


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