AMERICA/CHILE - Meeting of Bishops and pastoral workers of human mobility on the border of Bolivia, Peru and Chile

Wednesday, 25 May 2022 emigration   local churches  

San Marcos de Arica (Agenzia Fides) - In the premises of the Emmaus Retreat House in the diocese of San Marcos de Arica, the VIII International Meeting of Pastoral Care of Human Mobility will be held from 23 to 26 May with the participation of Bishops and pastoral workers from neighboring countries of Bolivia, Peru and Chile to reflect together and share the experiences on their humanitarian service that, as a Church, they offer to migrants in different realities.
In recent times, and especially with the current health emergency situation, no one has been indifferent to the reality that we have had to experience and witness in our countries, underlined Father Lauro Bocchi, Scalabrinian, Executive Vice President of INCAMI (Chilean Catholic Institute of Migrations). Many men and women have left their lands crossing borders in search of new opportunities, and with the closure of the borders they have found themselves in a situation of irregularity. Every kind of help and support has been offered by the Catholic Church to face a reality that is not only of Chilean land, but has become transversal.
The information sent to Fides from the communications department of the diocese of San Marcos highlights the words of Mgr. Moisés Atisha Contreras, Bishop of San Marcos de Arica: "the meeting of border bishops has been taking place for 15 years and this is the eighth. The problem to be faced has always been the situation of the borders, human mobility, human trafficking".
This year’s meeting has a novelty, consisting of the study of the new Chilean law on migration. Mgr. Ciro Quispe López, Bishop of the Prelature of Juli, Peru, underlined: "We are not only sharing our work, our experiences, the pains of migrants, the sufferings of families, the wishes and dreams of better living conditions, but we are also trying to do a common work as a Church in these places by 'building bridges' among us, to work in an articulated way. In this way we will be able to welcome, encourage and give a hand to the migrants who cross our borders, who suffer today and seek better living conditions. Our love of neighbor obliges us to always be attentive towards them, and to see how to build bridges with government authorities, with governments and to give better alternatives to migrants". Even Mgr. Ricardo Morales Galindo, Bishop of Copiapó, Chile, said he was happy to share experiences with those who are carrying out the pastoral care of immigrants in our lands, "especially to learn from what other brothers and sisters of Peru and of Bolivia are doing today in favor of our migrant brothers. It is an ever enriching experience because the challenges are ever greater, the reality of immigration challenges us and as brotherly peoples we must know how to welcome those who arrive at our borders, to show that merciful face that the Church today must give, as a witness to her following and fidelity to Jesus Christ".
Each of us carries out a very different service, said Monsignor Basilio Mamani Quispe, Auxiliary Bishop of La Paz, Bolivia, so "we are at this meeting to inform ourselves and above all to share this service rendered by the Church on the borders". This exchange also serves "to provide a better service to our migrant brothers, so that they too feel brothers, supported by us". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 25/5/2022)