“Let’s welcome migrants with humanity, fraternity and solidarity. Let’s give them a place at our table”, states H. Em. Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, President of COMECE, on the eve of the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be celebrated on Sunday 27 September 2020.
In the context of the dramatic events occurring in different areas of the world regarding forced movements of people, Pope Francis devotes his message for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees to internally displaced persons, “an often unseen tragedy exacerbated by the global Covid-19 crisis”.
In this regard, the Holy Father calls on all governments and on all of us “not to forget the many other crisis that bring suffering to so many people. Jesus is present in each refugee fleeing from hunger, war and other grave dangers in search of security and of a dignified life for themselves and for their families. We are called to see the face of Christ who pleads with us to help”.
Already two years ago, in a similar message, Pope Francis urged all of us to respond to this pastoral challenge by welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees, including the internally displaced persons.
In our commitment to the weakest, he proposes to include the following practical orientations:
• to know in order to understand;
• to be close in order to serve;
• to listen in order to be reconciled;
• to share in order to grow;
• to be involved in order to promote and;
• to cooperate in order to build.
In 5 May 2020, the Holy See’s Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has issued the document “Pastoral Orientations on Internally Displaced People” in order to inspire and encourage the pastoral work of the Church in this specific area.
In its regular dialogue with the EU institutions, COMECE highlights the need to consider migrants and refugees as persons and not as numbers, people with dignity, fundamental rights, “each of them [with] a name, a face, and a story, as well as an inalienable right to live in peace and to aspire to a better future for their sons and daughters”.