Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has echoed Pope Francis in calling for a “change of attitude” towards migrants and refugees. Source: Zenit.
In an address to Plenary Assembly of the International Catholic Commission for Migration (ICMC), which began in Rome yesterday, Cardinal Parolin stressed that it is a “crucial moment” for the commission to provide “effective answers to new questions and to consider the most appropriate contemporary way for it to carry out its commitment in situations of migration.”
He quoted from Pope Francis's 2014 World Day of Migrants and Refugees message, saying “a change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalisation – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world.”
Cardinal Parolin recalled that the ICMC was created by Pope Pius XII in the wake of World War II to help deal with the massive displacement of refugees. He spoke favourably of the group’s efforts, noting that it now works closely with the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Again citing the words of Francis, Cardinal Parolin reminded the group that migrants “are not numbers: they are people, women, men, children, who have a face, who often suffer and are discarded”.
He went on to stress the importance of helping migrant families, both those who have moved and those who remain in the country of origin. And he pointed out that in today’s world, migration has become more than emergency, it “has become a characteristic element of our societies.”
“One of the purposes for which the ICMC was created is to support migrant families, who often emigrate in search of safety and a dignified life, especially for their children.,” Cardinal Parolin continued. “Many of these, however, reach their point of arrival having experienced violence and abuse on the journey, only to then face new experiences of misery and previously unthinkable difficulties.