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Help migrants preserve the faith, Pope urges

Catholic World News - October 25, 2011

At a press conference in Rome on October 25, the Pontifical Council for Migrants introduced Pope Benedict’s message for the 2012 World Day of Migrants. The papal message is entitled “Migrations and the New Evangelization.”

In his message the Pope explains that his focus on the new evangelization reflects “the urgent need to give a fresh impetus and new approaches to the work of evangelization in a world in which the breaking down of frontiers and the new processes of globalization are bringing individuals and peoples even closer.”

At time of “unprecedented mingling of individuals and peoples,” the Pope writes, there are “new problems not only from the human standpoint but also from ethical, religious and spiritual ones.” In this message he concentrates on the problems that face Christian migrants when they find themselves in a new country, where their faith is not welcome.

“Our time is marked by endeavors to efface God and the Church’s teaching from the horizon of life,” the Pope writes; “while doubt, skepticism and indifference are creeping in, seeking to eliminate all the social and symbolic visibility of the Christian faith.” In such circumstances, he observes, “migrants who have known and welcomed Christ are not infrequently constrained to consider him no longer relevant to their lives, to lose the meaning of their faith.”

The papal message emphasizes the pastoral challenges facing the Church: to ensure the migrants are treated with respect and dignity, and to help them preserve and enrich their faith in their new homes.

The World Day of Migrants will be observed on January 15, 2012.

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