Document on Migrants and Refugees Is on the Way

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 20, 2003 ( The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers is preparing a document to address the new spiritual and pastoral needs of migrants and refugees, John Paul II announced.

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The new instruction will “present the phenomenon of migration as a way of fostering dialogue, peace and the proclamation of the Gospel,” the Pope said Wednesday when receiving the participants in the 5th World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees.

“Special attention needs to be given today to the ecumenical aspect of migration, with reference to Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church,” the Holy Father said. Of special importance is the “interreligious dimension, with particular regard to the followers of Islam,” he noted.

“I am confident that the instruction will meet these requirements as well as articulate the need to promote a pastoral program open to new developments yet always attentive to the duty of pastoral workers to collaborate fully with the local hierarchy,” John Paul II emphasized.

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