“No border can legitimize the disregard for human dignity and the denial of protection in the face of serious danger,” stressed the lead German Bishop on migration to government and civil society representatives gathered on 29 November in Brussels to discuss the ecumenical Statement on Migration.
The Episcopal migration lead in England and Wales led prayers on the year anniversary of at least 27 people on the move drowning in the English Channel. “This avoidable tragedy challenges us to reflect on our collective responsibility for protecting migrants and refugees,” said Bishop Paul McAleenan.
On their 18th birthdays on 1 January, 1000 migrants will be left on the street, say Bishops of Spain's Canary Islands. Their birthdates unknown, they were assigned 1 January 2005. The national Bishops' Conference is urging other dioceses to take them in through the 'Hospitality Corridors' program, but urge the State to find solutions.
“Entire families prefer to emigrate for fear that they cannot guarantee a safe future for their children," Archbishop Angelo Massafra said in a statement. He called on the country’s leaders to stop “a total emptying of school structures in rural areas,” and the depletion of “the most valuable professions … such as in healthcare and education...."
At their recent synod, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops focused on how best to continue supporting people forcibly displaced by the war. Bishop Stepan Sus, Episcopal migration lead, praised the welcome by parishes in Ukraine and around the world while highlighting challenges the refugees are facing.
The Church must not tire in advocating for policy reform that supports migrants “in the shadows,” without legal status, the outgoing chair of the U.S. Episcopal migration committee said at the Bishops’ general assembly, while praising Catholic welcome for Afghan and Ukrainian refugees.
The Vatican secretary of state urged COP27 delegates to respond to increasing climate displacement and ensure international protection for those uprooted by the impacts of climate change. Cardinal Pietro Parolin called for recognition of “migration as a form of adaptation” and more regular pathways.
The language of “selective acceptance" of migrants is “troubling,” Bishop Francesco Savino said at the presentation of a global report by the Italian Episcopal migrant commission. A narrative of welcome should be used both for Italians migrating elsewhere and migrants coming to Italy, he said.
All EU States must share responsibility to welcome migrants and not leave a few Mediterranean countries to help new arrivals, Pope Francis said amid tensions over Italy’s refusal to allow migrants recently rescued at sea to disembark. “Migration policy has to be agreed upon by all countries.”
The lead migration Bishop in England and Wales called for action to address overcrowding at Manston migrant center in southeast England. Uprooted people should be treated respectfully, Bishop Paul McAleenan said. He stressed the need for greater attention to the drivers of migration.
The head of the Italian Bishops’ Conference called for a change in perspective around immigration policy, saying all countries in Europe needed to respond to the plight of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean. “We must free ourselves from the temptation to react with fear.”
The Catholic Church is committed to continuing decades-long work with authorities and civil society to find a “collective and humane response to the unavoidable reality of migration” in a time of political division, U.S. migration Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville said in an 18 October reflection.
Episcopal Conferences in the European Union (COMECE) highlighted the plight of those uprooted by war in Ukraine in a statement after a recent plenary assembly. They expressed solidarity with refugees and “all who suffer in Ukraine and in the neighboring countries because of this ‘madness of war.’”
The Church is called to support people on the move, said the Vietnamese Bishops’ Conference’s migrant commission at a national Episcopal event on the issue. The meeting reviewed, for approval by the Bishops, pilot guidelines for pastoral care of migrants in use at the diocesan level since 2017.
Speaking after a joint Episcopal Conference meeting, Colombian and Venezuelan Bishops welcomed “with satisfaction” the reopening of their countries’ common border after seven years. The bishops reaffirmed their support for migrants in a sign that “the Church is the mother of all, without borders.”