Emigration´s Downside Worries Bishops of America

CLEARWATER, Florida, FEB. 18, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The debilitating impact of emigration on Latin American countries was among the topics discussed at last week´s meeting of bishops from all of the Americas.

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The Feb. 12-14 meeting of bishops, from Latin America, Canada and the United States, was the third of its kind since the publication of John Paul II´s apostolic exhortation “Ecclesia in America,” in which he appeals for closer ties among the inhabitants of the continent.

Among the central themes discussed at the latest meeting were economic globalization and its effect on immigration. In a final press statement, the bishops called for a greater effort to ensure that human rights and responsibilities remain at the center of attention in all economic, political and social development.

The bishops committed themselves to find new ways of pastoral cooperation to assist those who have the fundamental right to emigrate. They also addressed the topic of illegal immigration, and called for greater cooperation in economic development in South America.

With reference to the recent meeting of Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, U.S. President George W. Bush, and Mexican President Vicente Fox, the bishops expressed the hope that these leaders will focus on the need to humanize economic globalization, keeping especially in mind the challenges of immigration.

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