European Catholic Bishops meet in Stockholm to promote migration
European Catholic Bishops and delegates responsible for the Pastoral Care of Migrants met over the weekend in Stockholm to combat negative media coverage on mass immigration.
Published: July 15, 2018, 3:51 pm
The bishop of Stockholm, Cardinal Anders Arborelius, on Thursday praised Pope Francis’s “prophetic voice” on immigration, but delegates will nevertheless meet behind closed doors to “promote dialogue and the culture of the encounter” in a bid to fight “negative” perceptions about migrants. Arborelius suggested it was unfortunate that “not many political partners” adhere to what the pope believes.
“The Catholic Church in Sweden is a Church of Migrants,” according to Arborelius. “Most of us have come from other countries, and some of us from other denominations. As Christians, we are all pilgrims on the way to God’s heavenly kingdom.” Because “all people” are immigrants, he continued, they should get along.
“If we are really aware of this grace, we will also be able to be more open and welcoming to all those migrants that God has sent to us,” he said. “We have our real homeland above. God’s kingdom is our real home. Here below, we are all guests, pilgrims, migrants. We belong together. We have the same vocation: to be the witnesses of Jesus here and now.”
The title of the three-day summit is “A movement of humanity: the flow of migrants and news. Dialogue and communication for a culture of encounter,” and calls for a “change in mindset” on immigration, Crux, an American online Catholic website reported.
The summit will end on Sunday morning with the celebration of a migrant Mass with the presence of migrant communities in the Church of Santa Eugenia in Stockholm and a visit to the Abbey of Santa Brigida in Vadstena.
Two weeks ago, the bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States expressed outrage and condemned the Trump administration.
On July 1, led by the President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, a delegation of prelates from around the country physically gathered near the southern US border to meet those affected by the policy.
“This is a sign that the bishops of the United States are concerned about the situation and the circumstances affecting people, not just those who live in Brownsville but all along the border,” the local bishop, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Catholic News Service. “This is a moment to completely understand the reality of the situation, to meet, speak with people who are living this reality. It’s a message for the Church.”
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