Washington (Agenzia Fides) – “Immigrants will only be able to integrate in American society if they feel ‘strong’, and the Catholic Church should never forget her role to accompany our immigrant communities " said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn. “If you feel insecure or unwelcome, you remain aloof.... The challenge to the Church is to see how we can act as a structure of mediation in the process of the integration of immigrants" said the Bishop, principal guest at a Conference on the Integration of Immigrants.
According to Bishop DiMarzio, says a report sent to Fides, there was a time in the history of the United States when the Catholic Church “appeared to have forgotten that we are a Church of immigrants, but after changes in immigration laws in 1960, we returned to the subject" he remarked. “Immigration gave the Church the opportunity to build a communion of diverse peoples and cultures, of people born here and the new arrivals. It was no easy task and the work is not complete ... but we learned a lot in past two centuries working as a Church of immigrants in the United States " said the Bishop, who is considered an expert on the subject of immigration .
The Conference, held yesterday in Washington, was organised by the Centre for Migration Studies (CMS) which aims to unite the efforts of various Catholic bodies working in different areas with immigrants (healthcare, employment, formation, services, etc.). The Catholic Church in the United States has about 68.2 million faithful and its recent growth is mainly thanks to Hispanic immigrants. And together with these immigrants the Church has worked in recent years for the reform of immigration laws. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 25/02/2014)