Tuesday, October 25

Migrations Seen as Opportunity for Evangelization

Vatican Agencies issues a joint letter on the issue of immigration and evangelization.
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Church must make of migrations a vehicle for dialogue and proclamation of the Christian message, say a pair of
Vatican dicasteries.

The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for
Migrants and Travelers made that point in a joint letter dated Oct. 7.

The letter, addressed to those in charge in dioceses of the pastoral care of
migrants, is signed by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the congregation, and
Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the pontifical council.

Both acknowledge that "the present migrations are the greatest human movement of all times."

The letter seeks to promote application of the 2004 Vatican instruction "Erga
Migrantes Caritas Christi" (The Love of Christ toward Migrants), written to respond
"to the new spiritual and pastoral needs of migrants."

The cardinals encourage readers to discover "in the new document pastoral and
missionary suggestions and guidelines, fruit of the universal Church's experience,
in the service of people involved in this phenomenon."

According to the document's data, migrations affect at least 175 million men, women,
children and elderly people, "who live outside their own country of origin as
economic immigrants, refugees or asylum seekers, which is equivalent to 2.9% of the
world's population."