VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging those providing pastoral care to migrants to coordinate the various initiatives and programs in this area.
The Pope sent this message through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in a telegram to Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, on the occasion of the 8th European Migration Congress, which began today in Malaga, Spain.
The congress, which ends Saturday, is sponsored by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.
The telegram stated, “His Holiness Benedict XVI cordially greets the organizers and participants in the 8th European Migration Congress, which is taking place in Malaga with the theme ‘Overcoming Fears. Outlining Prospects.'”
The Pontiff encouraged the participants “to continue with their efforts to offer adequate pastoral care to all those who suffer the consequences of having abandoned their homeland or who feel they are without a land of reference.”
He also exhorted them “to coordinate initiatives and programs so that all will receive the light of the Gospel and, with it, a firm hope of seeing their rights recognized and their possibilities favored for a dignified life in all aspects.”
Some 100 delegates of the various European episcopal conferences, representatives of civil society and others who work in this field are taking part in the meeting.
The participants are studying the challenges that the migratory phenomenon presents to families, parishes and society in general, reported SIC, news agency of the Spanish bishops’ conference.
They are also reflecting on what the Church and states are doing regarding immigration, as well as identifying the fears that must be overcome and the prospects that must be outlined for the evangelization of the continent.
The Pope invoked “the maternal protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary” on the participants and imparted to them “the implored apostolic blessing.”