AMERICA/ARGENTINA - May the experience of the pandemic give birth to a new way of caring for immigrants and refugees

Saturday, 19 June 2021 refugees   catholic church   human rights   coronavirus  

Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - "More than a year has passed since the beginning of the global crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected all of humanity. More than a year has passed since the people most affected were those who find themselves in vulnerable situations, such as refugees and migrants, in particular women, children and adolescents", recalls the Episcopal Commission for Migrants and Itinerant People of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina which, on the occasion of the World Refugee Day of June 20, "wants to make visible the situation of millions of refugees who are forced to abandon their homes and their loved ones, due to the armed conflicts, violence and persecutions to which they are subjected in their countries of origin".
In the message, sent to Agenzia Fides, it is recalled that at least 79.5 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 26 million people as refugees, more than half of whom are under the age of 18. "The pandemic, which has exposed our global vulnerability, is an opportunity to reinvent a new way of taking care of them", the text continues. "This means that our collaboration / service to refugees must increasingly connect with their dreams and projects as people. It is necessary that our hands, our ecclesial communities, our societies become the sensitive and concrete expression of welcome, hospitality, fraternity".
Finally, the message invites us to ask God, with the prayer of Pope Francis, that migrants and refugees have ample access to the rights of health, housing, education and work.
On June 4 and 5, the National Meeting of the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People was held in virtually, convened by the same Episcopal Commission, which was attended by more than 100 delegates. Fr. Fabio Baggio, Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery which deals with integral human development, reflected on the message of the Holy Father for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees "Towards an ever greater us". Then Prof. Marcelo Murua coordinated a workshop to learn about the Encyclical "Fratelli Tutti" in the light of the pastoral care of migrants and itinerant people. As usual, each pastoral delegation presented the work carried out during 2020 and the initiatives that are being implemented to provide support and accompaniment to migrants and itinerant people during the crisis caused by Covid-19. During the various presentations, it was possible to verify the constant generosity of the Church, which is made concrete thanks to the dedication of many pastoral agents. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 19/6/2021)