MESSAGE ON THE GRAVE CONSEQUENCES OF THE MASS MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD

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MESSAGE OF THE XV ORDINARY COUNCIL

OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS

ON THE GRAVE CONSEQUENCES

OF THE MASS MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD

15/02/2020

The XV Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishop, headed by Pope Francis, gathered in Rome 6 and 7 February. Amongst various topics, it reflected upon the grave consequences of the phenomenon of mass migration in different places across the world.

The causes for this mass movement are varied: war, economic inequality, the search for employment, religious persecution, terrorism, the ecological crisis, etc. These factors force many to seek a new life far from home. The effects are often devastating. Persons are disoriented, families are destroyed, the young are traumatized, whilst those who are left behind are driven to despair. Many suffer in refugee camps and others even find themselves in foreign prisons. Tragically, many women and children are the victims of sex-trafficking, suffering physical, social, and sexual abuse. Children are separated from their parents and are deprived of the right to be raised in the security of the family unit.

Confronted by this urgent situation, the Council of the Synod wishes to remember that the Church, whilst deploring the causes of such a mass movement of people, is called also to offer comfort, consolation, and welcome to all who suffer. The Church stands by the poor, the marginalised, and the stranger, as it is her prophetic mission to speak against injustice, exploitation, and suffering.

At the same time, the Church appreciates those governments and NGOs that show interest and take action to help those involved in this crisis. The Church supports those who seek to initiate favourable policies for the welcome of migrants in their communities. The Church hopes that local governments may address the situations that force people to leave their home. The Church calls for vigilance against the trafficking of people and a renewed commitment to seek the end of conflicts that are at the root of so much suffering.

We entrust our suffering brothers and sisters to Mary the Mother of All Humanity, who in her own life knew the pain of leaving home and country with her family, in the search of safety and peace.