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Vatican conference urges evangelization of migrants, criticizes xenophobia

Catholic World News - February 19, 2010

The Church should respond to the worldwide phenomenon of migration by evangelizing migrants and by upholding the dignity of the human person, according to the final document of a recent Vatican conference on migration. While the Sixth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees took place in November and the document is dated January 18, it was not published in English until February 18.

“While the media today report some improvement in our economies, migrants are still measuring with the full extent of the damage caused by the present crisis,” the document notes. Lamenting xenophobia and racism as well as violations of the dignity of the person such as human trafficking and slavery, the document calls upon Church to “open its arms to all migrants, whatever may be their age, creed or conviction. In transforming the Church into a meeting point especially for young migrants, the negative effect of secularization can be defeated thus contributing to transforming migration into an opportunity for evangelization, in full respect of everyone’s choice.”

The conference commemorated the fifth anniversary of Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi, a Vatican instruction on migration.

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