Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'We are fa-mi-ly'

World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012
England's Bishop Patrick Lynch

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the theme One Human Family for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Bishop Patrick Lynch, who heads the Office for Migration Policy for England's Catholic bishops, said that globalization and migration have taught us that we are "one human family" because we are so inter-connected with each other.

"Once again, Pope Benedict emphasizes the central principles of Catholic Social Teaching with regard to migration - the right to migrate, the right of the State to regulate migration and the responsibility of the State to respect the dignity of every human person and therefore of every migrant," said Bishop Lynch.

Migrants must, he added, "integrate into their host country, respect its laws and national identity."

Integration, he added, is often a two-generations' process and parishes and schools have a role to play, particularly as "they often serve as the first points of entry into society and civic engagement."

Find those points which all Catholic immigrants have in common, said Bishop Lynch, including a shared faith in the Risen Lord, a shared sense of belonging to the Church, a diocese, and a local community, a shared experience of prayer and the Eucharist, and a shared commitment to building God's Kingdom.

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