Mexican Cardinal Says Factors Behind Migration Must Be Confronted

Calls It a Matter of Priority for Governments, Society and the Church

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MEXICO CITY, SEPT. 3, 2003 ( Governments, society and the Church itself must give priority to overcoming the problems that drive families and entire communities to emigrate, says the archbishop primate of Mexico.

During a homily Sunday, Cardinal Norberto Rivera emphasized the importance of overcoming the poverty, violence and injustice that forces people to leave their homeland.

He referred to last week’s appeal launched by the Mexican bishops «to sensitize the public» and to seek ways to solve «the phenomenon and tragedy of migrants.»

«The Lord Jesus himself lived this situation when the family of Nazareth, confronted with the pride of man and the abuse of power, fled to Egypt,» the cardinal said.

«These attitudes still prevail in various places of our homeland and the world and, either because of wars or economic necessities, many brethren, men and women, are obliged to abandon their place of birth in search of better conditions of life,» he added.

Some reach their ideal, but «we cannot close our eyes before the difficult situations that they must face and which at times cost them their lives,» he said. Many migrants die before they reach their destinations.

Even those who arrive face «a new calvary: by the contempt of the inhabitants of the city or country, ignorance of the language and customs, family uprooting, and loneliness in which they find themselves, coupled with the lack of basic resources,» said Cardinal Rivera, the archbishop of Mexico City.

«The bishops of the United States and the bishops of Mexico have requested the Catholic faithful to support their respective governments so that they will focus on human rights in connection with migration, and in their policies, avoid assimilating migration to criminalization and systematically linking migration to terrorism,» he added.

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