Amoris Laetitia 46: Human Migration

amoris laetitia memeThe synod bishops addressed the topic of migration:

46. “Migration is another sign of the times to be faced and understood in terms of its negative effects on family life”.(Relatio Synodi 2014, 8)

A long quote; be patient with it, as it recognizes both the good and the bad:

The recent Synod drew attention to this issue, noting that “in various ways, migration affects whole populations in different parts of the world. The Church has exercised a major role in this area. Maintaining and expanding this witness to the Gospel (cf. Mt 25:35) is urgently needed today more than ever… Human mobility, which corresponds to the natural historical movement of peoples, can prove to be a genuine enrichment for both families that migrate and countries that welcome them. Furthermore, forced migration of families, resulting from situations of war, persecution, poverty and injustice, and marked by the vicissitudes of a journey that often puts lives at risk, traumatizes people and destabilizes families. In accompanying migrants, the Church needs a specific pastoral program addressed not only to families that migrate but also to those family members who remain behind. This pastoral activity must be implemented with due respect for their cultures, for the human and religious formation from which they come and for the spiritual richness of their rites and traditions, even by means of a specific pastoral care… Migration is particularly dramatic and devastating to families and individuals when it takes place illegally and is supported by international networks of human trafficking. This is equally true when it involves women or unaccompanied children who are forced to endure long periods of time in temporary facilities and refugee camps, where it is impossible to start a process of integration. Extreme poverty and other situations of family breakdown sometimes even lead families to sell their children for prostitution or for organ trafficking”.(Relatio Finalis 2015, 23; cf. Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on 17 January 2016 (12 September 2015), L’Osservatore Romano, 2 October 2015, p. 8) “The persecution of Christians and ethnic and religious minorities in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, are a great trial not only for the Church but also the entire international community. Every effort should be encouraged, even in a practical way, to assist families and Christian communities to remain in their native lands”.(Relatio Finalis 2015, 24)

Nothing original here, and also an issue of awareness in the First World. Anti-immigrant policies and proposals, of course, have played right into the hands of the world’s terrorists by throwing doubt upon everyone on the move. Respect for immigrants’ culture is also difficult for some people. The Church may do better than some, but our record isn’t spotless.

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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