Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Migratory movements have taken on such a scale in today's world that they now demand a " are on such a scale that only a systematic and active cooperation between States and international organizations" capable of "regulating and managing such movements effectively." At the same time call us to deepen and strengthen the values needed to guarantee peaceful coexistence between persons and cultures. Achieving mere tolerance that respects diversity and ways of sharing between different backgrounds and cultures is not sufficient". For the Church, this means "new commitments of solidarity, communion and evangelization" to favor the "moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization ... towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world".
This is what Pope Francis writes in the message for the next World Day of
Migrants and Refugees, which
- at the Church level - will be celebrated on Sunday, January 18, 2015
on the theme "Church without frontiers, mother to all".
The document states that since the apostles "left the Upper Room with courage and enthusiasm" "The Church without frontiers, Mother to all, spreads throughout the world a culture of acceptance and solidarity, in which no one is seen as useless, out of place or disposable. When living out this motherhood effectively, the Christian community nourishes, guides and indicates the way, accompanying all with patience, and drawing close to them through prayer and works of mercy".
"Today this takes on a particular significance. Infact, in an age of such vast movements of migration, large numbers of people are leaving their homelands, with a suitcase full of fears and desires, to undertake a hopeful and dangerous trip in search of more humane living conditions. Often, however, such migration gives rise to suspicion and hostility, even in ecclesial communities, prior to any knowledge of the migrants' lives or their stories of persecution and destitution. In such cases, suspicion and prejudice conflict with the biblical commandment of welcoming with respect and solidarity the stranger in need. On the other hand, we sense in our conscience the call to touch human misery, and to put into practice the commandment of love that Jesus left us when he identified himself with the stranger, with the one who suffers, with all the innocent victims of violence and exploitation. Because of the weakness of our nature, however, "we are tempted to be that kind of Christian who keeps the Lord's wounds at arm's length" (Evangelii Gaudium, 270).
On the other hand, "migration movements, however, are on such a scale that only a systematic and active cooperation between States and international organizations can be capable of regulating and managing such movements effectively. For migration affects everyone, not only because of the extent of the phenomenon, but also because of "the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems it raises, and the dramatic challenges it poses to nations and the international community" (Caritas in Veritate, 62).
"At the international level, frequent debates take place regarding the appropriateness, methods and required norms to deal with the phenomenon of migration. There are agencies and organizations on the international, national and local level which work strenuously to serve those seeking a better life through migration. Notwithstanding their generous and laudable efforts, a more decisive and constructive action is required, one which relies on a universal network of cooperation, based on safeguarding the dignity and centrality of every human person. This will lead to greater effectiveness in the fight against the shameful and criminal trafficking of human beings, the violation of fundamental rights, and all forms of violence, oppression and enslavement. Working together, however, requires reciprocity, joint-action, openness and trust, in the knowledge that "no country can singlehandedly face the difficulties associated with this phenomenon, which is now so widespread that it affects every continent in the twofold movement of immigration and emigration" (Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014).
"It is necessary to respond to the globalization of
migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation, in such a way as
to make the conditions of migrants more humane. At the same time, greater
efforts are needed to guarantee the easing of conditions, often brought about
by war or famine, which compel whole peoples to leave their native countries. 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, as well as an increasing commitment to peace, the indispensable
condition for all authentic progress".
The Pope concludes with words addressed directly to those most affected "dear migrants and refugees! You - he writes - have a special place in the heart of the Church, and you help her to enlarge her heart and to manifest her motherhood towards the entire human family. Do not lose your faith and hope! Let us think of the Holy Family during the flight in Egypt: Just as the maternal heart of the Blessed Virgin and the kind heart of Saint Joseph kept alive the confidence that God would never abandon them, so in you may the same hope in the Lord never be wanting".