Pacem In Terris 105-108: Refugees

Two sections today that address the situation of refugees. First, Pope John notes that refugees, while lacking residence in their homeland, indeed have rights.

105. For this reason, it is not irrelevant to draw the attention of the world to the fact that these refugees are persons and all their rights as persons must be recognized. Refugees cannot lose these rights simply because they are deprived of citizenship of their own States.

A timely Church teaching for present-day USA:

106. And among … personal rights we must include (the) right to enter a country in which (one) hopes to be able to provide more fittingly for (one)self and (any)dependents. It is therefore the duty of State officials to accept such immigrants and—so far as the good of their own community, rightly understood, permits—to further the aims of those who may wish to become members of a new society.

What is “commendable” about human efforts to address the situation and needs of refugees?

107. We therefore take this opportunity of giving Our public approval and commendation to every undertaking, founded on the principles of human solidarity or of Christian charity, which aims at relieving the distress of those who are compelled to emigrate from their own country to another.

108. And We must indeed single out for the praise of all right-minded (people) those international agencies which devote all their energies to this most important work.

Assisting and serving refugees is a right-minded Christian activity. Obstructing people from living freely in their homeland or denying them a place to settle outside of it strikes me as the work of evil. Can we get any more direct than that?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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