Welcoming the Stranger

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					Welcoming the Stranger
• We are called to awaken
  to the mysterious
  presence of the crucified
  and risen Lord in the
  person of the migrant.
• Migrants and immigrants are in our parishes and in our
  communities. In both our countries, we see much injustice and
  violence against them and much suffering and despair among
  them because civil and church structures are still inadequate to
  accommodate their basic needs.
• We judge ourselves as a community of faith by the way we
  treat the most vulnerable among us.
• The treatment of migrants challenges the consciences
  of elected officials, policymakers, enforcement
  officers, residents of border communities, and
  providers of legal aid and social services, many of
  whom share our Catholic faith.

     At this rally in Boston, U.S. citizens are calling upon elected officials to act with compassion.
     The crosses represent the lives lost by thousands of immigrants trying to enter the U.S. in search
     of work to feed their families.
• Catholic teaching has a long
  and rich tradition in promoting
  hospitality and defending
• The Scriptures, and the life and
  model of Jesus, are the basis of
  the Church's present teaching
  on immigration.
• The model of Abraham
  receiving strangers in
  welcoming hospitality is in
• “You shall not oppress an
  alien; you well know how it
  feels to be an alien.” Exodus
• “You shall treat the alien who
  resides with you no differently
  than the natives born among
  you; have the same love for
  him as for yourself. Leviticus
 New Testament

• The Visitation:
  a model of
• Luke 1:39-45
New Testament

• The Holy Family:
  immigrants in a
  strange land.
• Mt 2: 13-23
• Our common faith in Jesus Christ moves us to search for ways
  that favor a spirit of solidarity. It is a faith that transcends
  borders and bids us to overcome all forms of discrimination
  and violence so that we may build relationships that are just
  and loving.
“For I was hungry and
  you gave me food, I
  was thirsty and you
  gave me drink, a
  stranger and you
  welcomed me…
  whatever you did for
  one of these least
  brothers of mine, you
  did for me.”
  -Matthew 25: 36,40
New Testament

• “Love one another with mutual
  affection…exercise hospitality.”
  -Romans 9-10, 13

• “Let mutual love continue. Do not
  neglect hospitality, for through it some
  have unknowingly entertained angels.”
  -Hebrews 13: 1-2
• The word of God and Catholic social teaching also
  bring to light the causes that give rise to migrations, as
  well as the consequences that they have on the
  communities of origin and destination.
The Modern Era

• Pope Pius XII affirmed
  that all peoples have “the
  right to conditions worthy
  of human life and, if these
  conditions are not
  present, the right to
The Modern Era

• Pope John XXIII: "Every human
  being has the right to freedom of
  movement; and the right to
  emigrate to other countries and
  take up residence there."
Pope John Paul II,
at the Basilica of
Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Mexico, 1993, declared:

“We are called to
  awaken to the
  mysterious presence
  of the crucified and
  risen Lord in the
  person of the
• Pope John Paul II in his 1995
  message for World Migration Day,
  notes that undocumented migrants
  are used by developed nations as a
  source of labor and “their
  contributions, rights and dignity
  must be recognized.”
• “Poverty is the cause of most
  migration. Ultimately elimination of
  global underdevelopment is the
  antidote to illegal immigration.”
Message Of Pope Benedict XVI
For The World Day of Migrants and
Refugees (2007)

• “In the Family of Nazareth, obliged to
  take refuge in Egypt, we can catch a
  glimpse of the painful condition in which
  all migrants live, the hardships and
  humiliations, the fragility of their well-

•   “The immigrant family must be ensured
    of a real possibility of inclusion and
    participation in their new homeland.”
Five principles emerge from such teachings, which
guide the Church's view on migration issues.

1. Persons have the right to
   find opportunities in their
2. Persons have the right to
   migrate to support
   themselves and their
3. Sovereign
   nations have the
   right to control
   their borders.
4. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded
5. The human dignity and human rights of
   undocumented migrants should be respected.
• In 2000, the U.S.
  Catholic Bishops
  issued a statement
  on immigration that
  has guided the
  American Church’s
  response to current
  and proposed
  immigration policies
• “We witness the pain of
  our people involved in all
  sides of the migration
  phenomenon, including
  families devastated by the
  loss of loved ones.”
“The human dignity and human
   rights of all documented and
   undocumented migrants
   should be respected.
Regardless of their legal status,
   migrants possess human
   dignity. Government
   policies that respect human
   rights are necessary.”
“We urge communities to offer migrant families and workers hospitality,
not hostility, along their journey.

We encourage social services, citizenship classes, community organizing
efforts for improved housing, decent wages, better medical attention, and
appropriate educational opportunities for immigrants and refugees. ”
The Bishops tell us:

“Making legal the large
  number of
  undocumented workers
  would help to stabilize
  the labor market in the
  U. S., to preserve family
  unity, and to improve the
  standard of living in
  immigrant communities.”
U.S. Bishops’
on Immigrant Workers
•    We advocate reform of the 1996
    immigration laws that have undermined
    some basic human rights for immigrants.
• We join with others of good will in a call
  for legalization opportunities for the
  maximum number of undocumented
• U.S. employment-based immigration
  system should be reformed to feature
  both permanent and temporary visa programs
  for laborers.
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“Our common faith in
Jesus Christ moves us to
search for ways to treat
all immigrants in a spirit
of solidarity.
It is a faith that
transcends borders and
bids us to overcome all
forms of discrimination
and violence”
• Catholic teaching also states that the root causes of migration–
  poverty, injustice, religious intolerance, armed conflicts–must
  be addressed so that migrants can remain in their homeland
  and support their families.
• Pope John Paul II also addressed the
  more controversial topic of
  undocumented migration and the
  undocumented migrant. In his 1995
  message for World Migration Day, he
  notes that such migrants are used by
  developed nations as a source of labor.
  Ultimately, the pope says, elimination
  of global underdevelopment is the
  antidote to illegal immigration.
• The Church recognizes the right of a sovereign state to control
  its borders in furtherance of the common good. It also
  recognizes the right of human persons to migrate so that they
  can realize their God-given rights. These teachings
  complement each other.
• We stand in solidarity with you, our migrant brothers and
  sisters, and we will continue to advocate on your behalf for just
  and fair migration policies.
• We commit ourselves to animate communities of Christ's
  disciples on both sides of the border to accompany you on
  your journey so that yours will truly be a journey of hope, not
  of despair, and so that, at the point of arrival, you will
  experience that you are strangers no longer and instead
  members of God's household.

• We pray that, wherever you go, you will always be conscious of
  your dignity as human beings and of your call to bring the
  Good News of Jesus Christ, who came that we "might have
  life and have it more abundantly" (Jn 10:10).
The End

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