Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees [1/17/2010] ... gives me the opportunity to express the Church's constant concern for those who, in different ways, experience emigration.
This is a phenomenon which ... upsets us due to the number of people involved and the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems it raises on account of the dramatic challenges it poses to both national and international communities. The migrant is a human person who possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance (cf. Caritas in Veritate, n.62).
Although there is increasing public awareness of the need for immediate and incisive action to protect minors, nevertheless, many are left to themselves and ... face the risk of exploitation.
I warmly hope that proper attention will be given to minor migrants who need a social environment that permits and fosters their physical, cultural, spiritual and moral development. Living in a foreign land without effective points of reference generates countless and sometimes serious hardships and difficulties for them, especially those deprived of the support of their family.
While I express gratitude for all that is being done with great generosity, I would like to invite all Christians to become aware of the social and pastoral challenges posed by migrant and refugee minors.
Jesus' words resound in our hearts "I was a stranger and you welcomed Me"( Mt 25:35), as likewise the central commandment He left us: to love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind, but together with love of neighbor (cf Mt 22:37-39).
Any of our concrete interventions must first be nourished by faith in the action of grace and divine Providence.
(Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, issued 10/16/2009)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com