"ROAD MAP" for Pastoral Care of Migrants in Europe
The meeting of the “Caritas in Veritate” Commission of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), held in Rome on the theme of “A Pastoral of Communion for a Renewed Evangelisation” concluded today with the presentation of a “road map” by the Section for pastoral care of migrants.
The conference was held over three days, from 27 to 29 November, during which more than forty bishops and national directors for the pastoral care of migrants from the CCEE discussed the role of the Church in Europe in this field. “The economic crisis affects the weak and migrants above all. Those who are forced to migrate due to poverty are the first to suffer the consequences of the crisis and become even more vulnerable”, explained Fr. Duarte da Cunha, secretary general of the CCEE. “The pastoral care of the Church, which aims to evangelise but also to create communities, is called upon to assist in integration, to reinforce links, and to accompany and support both those who are left behind, such as children left by parents who emigrate in search of work, and those who leave”.
The meeting of the Commission was opened by Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia, president of the “Migration” section of “Caritas in Veritate”, Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi of Trieste, Italy, president of the same Commission, and Bishop Paolo Schiavon, auxiliary of Rome and president of the “Migrantes” Foundation.
The themes considered during the conference included “Witnessing ecclesiastical communion for a new evangelisation”, presented by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation; “Communion and pastoral care: an outlook from the Eastern Catholic Churches”, presented by Archbishop Cyril Vasil S.J., secretary for the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; “Guidelines for a pastoral theology of communion regarding migrations” by Fr. Fabio Baggio, Director of the Scalibrini International Migration Institute, and “New evangelisation and human mobility”, by Msgr. Giancarlo Perego, director-general of the “Migrantes” Foundation.
“In this time of economic crisis, social assistance, pastoral care and evangelisation cannot be separated”, Fr. Duarte da Cunha continued. “Charity, political lobbying, proclamation and celebration of the faith are a unified commitment and the only path of action, especially for those who assist and support the reception and integration of migrants in Europe”.
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