Conflicts, Persecutions, Refugees, & Immigration: Toward a Catholic Response
It seems that no matter how one gets the NEWS, one cannot escape the fact that there is a great deal of national and international strife, with the fall-out being much human suffering. Pope Francis has been speaking about this since his election. Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras addressed our National Bishops’ Conference on Migration July 7th. Below are some recent reflections from both Pope Francis and Cardinal Maradiaga:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Addressing Mary as "mother of refugees," Pope Francis offered prayers for the millions of people in the world forced to flee their homelands, and he asked Catholics to reach out to them with assistance and a real welcome. "Remember, Jesus was a refugee; he and Mary and Joseph had to go to Egypt to save his life," the pope said June 18 at the end of his weekly general audience. "Pray to Mary who knows the pain of being a refugee." Anticipating the U.N.'s World Refugee Day June 20, Pope Francis led an estimated 30,000 people in praying the Hail Mary for all those "forced to leave their homelands to flee conflicts and persecution."..."Let us be close to them, sharing their fears and their uncertainty about the future and concretely alleviating their suffering."
WASHINGTON, DC—Cardinal Maradiaga: "Many of these children [coming to the USA] are from my own country, Honduras. They flee gangs who want to induct them into a life where they will surely die a violent death at a young age... Fear, grinding poverty and no future mean we are losing our lifeblood – our young people. .. And what are WE doing to help these migrants? While the Italian navy is dredging up bodies from the Mediterranean and thousands are dying in the sands of the desert between Mexico and the US and in the Sahara, many people are burying their heads in the sand. This is the very thing Pope Francis warned us about: "the globalisation of indifference". Migration is here to stay. There will always be people who seek to enter wealthier and more stable countries to find safety, hope and opportunities. While there is inequality, poverty and suffering in many nations people will have no option but to leave if they want themselves and their families to prosper. It is a question of human rights but also, quite simply of humanity."
Gratefully, Father Philip Waibel, OSB, Pastor