La Iglesia ha contemplado siempre en los emigrantes la imagen de Cristo que dijo: "era forastero, y me hospedasteis" Mt 25, Ef 1, La Sagrada Escritura nos propone el sentido de todas las cosas. Is 42, ; 49,5. Mt 2,13ss.

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It had received Papal approval two days before, that is, on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. About one third Thirty-five years later, in , the number of immigrants had more than doubled to reach Admittedly the world population too had almost doubled, but the percentage of immigrants with respect to the total world population had increased.

In more than a third of the immigrants were in Europe Taking these two continents together, last year, more than half the immigrants in the world On the Asian Continent, on the other hand, there were fewer than one third There was therefore a noteworthy change in comparison with the figures by continent in Asia, the birthplace of great non-Christian religions, is now "sending" its people to Europe, a Continent of ancient Christian tradition, and to North America, also fundamentally linked to European culture.

It follows that on these two continents there is an immigrant population, or there are citizens who are the sons and daughters of immigrants, who profess a religion other than Christianity, and these are tending to increase. In fact, a saying often heard in the Church today is: "The missions are coming to us".

This means that today, more than ever, is the time for dialogue with other religions, which is by no means in opposition to the new evangelisation to which John Paul II called us time and time again.

The whole question is dealt with amply in Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi nn. At the same time, the "Plenary Session" of our Pontifical Council this past May examined the theme "Migration and itinerancy from and towards Islamic majority countries". It is also the home of the Oriental Churches, both Orthodox and Catholic, now in a difficult situation with the consequent continuous exodus of Christians towards the West. In this connection we do well to remember that the Holy Father Benedict XVI has said that ecumenism is one of the priorities of his Pontificate.

The resulting dialogue is essential in the world of migrations too, as our Instruction affirms, especially in nn. Thus, we have received many words of thanks and appreciation for the Instruction, precisely from our brothers and sisters of the Oriental Catholic Churches. We also quote the "Journal of St. Thomas Christians" of the Catholic Syro-Malabar Church, which published the Instruction in its entirety with a commentary stating that it "is a groundbreaking Document in many ways.

In it one can almost feel the heartthrob of Mother Church for migrants. Though the question of migrants had been addressed in the past by several Church Documents, it is for the first time that it is dealt with so comprehensively and realistically Gone is the time of mere counsels. The new accent is on action. The horizon is vast, all around, universal. For the first time the particular question of Eastern-rite Catholics gets extensive coverage and due consideration In the present Instruction they are subjects too, on the same footing as the other Christian faithful This is a new accent in a Roman Document that is not issued by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches".

We have addressed at length the "oriental" angle of the Instruction, but this does not mean that it was not appreciated by the local Latin Churches; far from it, but it would be too long to discuss it all here.

What is certain is that the Document shows the care for migrants felt by the Church, Mater as well as Magistra, for whom no one is a stranger cf. EMCC, n. The Church cannot, in fact, remain indifferent towards them. EMCC, 1 , a "sign of the times".

This must be studied and interpreted "in light of the Gospel so as to offer the new generations the possibility of responding adequately to the eternal questions about this life and the life to come and about just social relations" Message Proof of this can be seen in the numerous editions issued by various Episcopal Conferences, which have undertaken translations in various languages other than the six we ourselves have published.

It was not without a certain emotion that we took the Chinese, Korean and Japanese editions into our hands, and we are now waiting for the Russian version. We have also learned that the text has been translated into Polish. This favourable reception has certainly encouraged us in our heavy and immense commitment of presenting and diffusing the Document in the world, especially at the invitation of the Migrations Commissions of various Episcopal Conferences.

For an illustration of this commitment I would refer you to the Activities of the Holy See We shall also be publishing this text in the next issue, the th, of our review People on the Move. We are therefore confident that Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi will continue to be a valid instrument for the mission that God has given to the Church, as is beautifully expressed in n.

Eph all the rich treasures of human diversity that sin has transformed into division and conflict. To the extent that the mysterious presence of this new creation is genuinely witnessed to in its life, the Church is a sign of hope for a world that ardently desires justice, freedom, truth and solidarity, that is peace and harmony".

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On the First Anniversary of Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi

Since then a year has passed in which the Council has done its utmost to explain the Document at various Church levels: continental, national, diocesan and local, to all the Christian communities. An important Document The immediate response gave rise above all to a comparison of Pastoral Instructions and Norms intended to regulate relations between Christians and migrants of other religions, with special reference to Islam cf. Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi, nn. Perhaps this was inevitable, given the sensitivity that exists in many places subsequent to the global impact of exponential migratory flows from Umma [Iraq]. On the other hand, the carefully thought out ideas expressed on this subject, even those based on practical living experiences, were not evaluated cf. Based as it is on daily events, the Instruction was credited with having produced a well-thought out reflection on the specific pastoral care to offer immigrants in general and for the approach to relations with Muslims in particular, in light of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. Indeed, the Document asks Catholic communities to practise discernment: "It is a question of distinguishing between what can be and cannot be shared in the religious doctrines and practices and in the moral laws of Islam" ibid.


Erga migrantes caritas christi

EEu Cette йcoute et cette connaissance conduisent а une йvaluation plus juste des valeurs et des travers prйsents dans les cultures, а la lumiиre du mystиre pascal de mort et de vie. Un effort de fraternitй, de solidaritй, de service et de justice est nйcessaire pour promouvoir chacun dans son intйgritй. LG RMI 32, 49 et LG 13 ; - nйcessitй de prйserver universalitй et unitй, qui, dans le mкme temps, ne peuvent кtre en opposition avec une pastorale spйcifique, oщ la charge des migrants est йventuellement confiйe а des Prкtres de leur langue, de la mкme Йglise sui iuris, ou а des Prкtres ayant des affinitйs avec eux du point de vue linguistique et culturel cf. DPMC


Second Anniversary of Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi

EEu Insieme a popoli con radici diverse, altri valori e modelli di vita bussano dunque alla nostra porta. Solo in questo modo nasce il dialogo, la comprensione e la fiducia. LG Nella Chiesa anche i migranti sono convocati, dunque, ad esserne protagonisti con tutto il Popolo di Dio pellegrino sulla terra cfr. RMi 32, 49 e

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