See Migrants and Refugees as Jesus Would, Urges Pope

In Message for World Day

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2005 ( Given the vast number of people who ask for asylum or seek a better future abroad, the Church must see them through the eyes of Jesus, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope expressed this point in his message for the 92nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be observed Jan. 15. The message was presented to the press Friday by Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.

In the letter, the Holy Father analyzes the situation of migrants that “ask for asylum and of refugees,” and calls for reflection on the reasons that have impelled them to flee from their countries of origin.

“Speaking of the other category of migrants — asylum seekers and refugees — I wish to underline how the tendency is to stop at the question of their arrival while disregarding the reasons for which they left their native land,” Benedict XVI writes.

“The Church sees this entire world of suffering and violence through the eyes of Jesus, who was moved with pity at the sight of the crowds wandering as sheep without a shepherd,” the Pope explains.

“Hope, courage, love and ‘creativity in charity’ […] must inspire the necessary human and Christian efforts made to help these brothers and sisters in their suffering,” he continues.

In particular, Benedict XVI encourages “[t]heir native Churches” to “demonstrate their concern by sending pastoral agents of the same language and culture, in a dialogue of charity with the particular Churches that welcome them.”

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