Forced migration: Pastoral Guidelines

2013-06-07 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A new document dealing with the issue of forced migration was presented Thursday at the Holy See Press office by the Presidents of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
The pastoral guide entitled “Welcoming Christ in refugees and forcibly displaced persons” has been written to give a better understanding of this phenomenon, and its impact on societies and communities.One of the participants and the press conference was Johan Ketelers, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission.
He says the decreasing levels of structural solidarity and the political environment are not always able or willing to respond adequately to the protection needs of people in critical situations. Giving Syria as an example Mr Ketelers told Lydia O’Kane, “Syria is in a deplorable situation, economically, but also socially, what can be done on behalf of those people, well mainly those that leave the country, they can be assisted, those that we try to assist inside the country but that remains at the humanitarian level, but these problems are not of humanitarian dimension only they are of a political dimension.”
Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio speaking to journalists at the press conference on Thursday stressed that every policy, initiative, or intervention to needs to be guided by the principle of the centrality and dignity of every human person.
The Cardinal also noted that the guide calls on governments to respect the rights of refugees as laid out in the 1951 Refugee Convention.”

Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of Pontifical Council Cor Unum then highlighted the plight of the four million displaced persons within Syria, saying that the 80,000 deaths, in less than two years, have been “collateral effects” of the conflict. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Johan Ketelers