ATHENS, Greece, NOV. 4, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The secretary of the Vatican’s migration council is proposing the principle of subsidiarity as a suggestion for new approaches in the complex issue of migration.
Archbishop Agostino Marchetto spoke of this and other principles of social doctrine when he addressed today a forum on migration and development under way through Thursday in Athens.
Before all, he affirmed that “a correct approach to the management of this phenomenon should first of all consider the migrant as a human person who, as such, is endowed with inalienable rights, which everyone must respect under all circumstances.”
Then the prelate cited Benedict XVI in affirming that justice and the common good are two criteria “applicable to that manifestation of globalization which is the macro-phenomenon of migration.”
Archbishop Marchetto observed how the Pope refers constantly to solidarity in his encyclical “Caritas in Veritate.”
He further proposed that a “new approach in facing these problems can be suggested by the criterion of subsidiarity which, in our sphere, requires the involvement of all actors in the management of migration, at all levels, and at the same time the recognition, where possible, of the rightful autonomy of intermediate bodies — communities in diaspora, association of migrants, of their families, etc.”
Subsidiarity needs to always be accompanied by its sister principle of solidarity, however, “so that the former may not fall into social ‘particularism’ nor the latter deteriorate into ‘assistentialism,’ which humiliates the needy,” he said.
The Vatican official also highlighted the importance of cultural integration for immigrants.
“We know that the relationship between cultures always have an effect also on the economic field,” he said. “In the encyclical itself, Pope Benedict XVI calls to mind that ‘the reduction of cultures to the technological dimension, even if it favors short-term profits, in the long term impedes reciprocal enrichment and the dynamics of cooperation’ inasmuch as ‘workers tend to adapt passively to automatic mechanisms, rather than to release creativity’ and points out that technological development is precisely produced ‘through human creativity as a tool of personal freedom.'”
Migration is an issue that is bigger than any one nation, the archbishop acknowledged, and proposed in concluding that it be faced globally, with the “recognition that the human race is a single family working together in true communion, not simply a group of subjects who happen to live side by side.”