ICMC’s Secretary General speaks about dignity of refugees at Conference in DRC

Kinshasa, 5 July 2016 - In his first solidarity visit as ICMC’s Secretary General, Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo participated in the Regional Conference on Human Mobility in the Great Lakes Countries, held in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In his speech addressed to the Catholic Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda, he underlined the urgent challenges posed to the global human family and to the Catholic Church, by the massive numbers of people on the move. He also highlighted the importance to respond to the pain and sufferings of our most vulnerable sisters and brothers.

Refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: ICMC Applying the method of pastoral analysis to his review of the rights and dignity of people on the move, Msgr. Vitillo praised the key role that Church leaders and Catholic organizations play in response to global migration challenges.

Local faith communities “provide immediate assistance, post-traumatic physical care and emotional support, offer the basic necessities of life, and then help to integrate the newcomers into the local social and economic structures,” Msgr. Vitillo commented, hinting at several Global Compact’s action points outlined by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Msgr. Vitillo concluded his speech mentioning Pope Francis’ appeal to embrace the “responsibilities and privilege to accompany people on the move as they arrive in our countries, our communities, and even in our homes and families”.

The English and French versions of the speech are available below.