Dublin, Aug 22, 2018 – How refugees might help restore stronger familial bonds all across the globe?
In “Nowhere to Lay his Head: a Christian Response to Migrants and Refugees,” undersecretary for the Pope Francis’s office on Migrants and Refugees said that the pontiff’s 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which serves as the touchstone of the global meeting, is a call to think beyond immediate family units and to consider the collective human family.
“Amoris Laetitia stimulates us to reflect deeply on the meaning of family in our community and society, where we might take hearth and home for granted,” said Jesuit Father Michael Czerny. “Our Lord identifies totally with those who are forced to flee,” Fr Czerny said, adding that too often the focus is on how the world aids refugees, without reflecting on what refugees and migrants are able to offer the rest of the world.
“Vulnerable migrant families are not just needy and deserving of our mercy,” he continued. “Migrant families themselves also welcome, they can help protect the vulnerable, promote the integral human development of others, and might end up better integrating those who originally let them in.”
Czerny said that although refugees remain an underserved and marginalized population, the international community had recently advanced a Global Compact for Migration, which, if embraced, could make the journey of families “more human, more just, and less dangerous.”
In concluding the event, he said that caring for migrants and refugees isn’t just the responsibility of the international community, but one that the Church must fully embrace, as well.
“May our Church learn more and more to accompany people on the move – such as migrants, refugees, and victims of human trafficking,” he pleaded. “May it thus become a Church ever better able to accompany all families undergoing a process of rapid transformation.”