“Opening the channels of the charity of Christ to a multitude of brothers: the migrants”. Thus spoke Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid and President of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference (CES) on May 1st, in the homily that concluded the 8th European Congress on Migration in Malaga. Some fifty participants attended the meeting promoted by CCEE, which addressed with realistic and accurate reflections the question of migrations in Europe, in the perspective and to the light of Christian anthropology. The archbishop of Madrid exhorted the Churches in Europe to assure that the life of the migrants and that of their families “progress in wellbeing, as pertains to human dignity, in conditions that are better than those characterizing their living conditions in their home countries”. Follow ample excerpts of the homily.The approach. The “vision” of the Churches on the migration phenomenon – said the archbishop of Madrid – is of crucial importance if we wish to identify the political and legal measures which, in the perspective of the dignity of the human person and his fundamental rights, and acknowledging the common good, may serve to shed light on the problem and to solve it in justice and solidarity, creating the appropriate social, cultural, spiritual and religious environments so that “truth in charity” may be established. “This is the incontrovertible perspective that illuminates the path to be undertaken today and tomorrow by the pastoral care of migrants in Europe”. The phenomenon. “The question of migration in Europe – continues cardinal Rouco – is not a new question. But its current expression, strongly conditioned by the context of our globalized world, is indeed. It bears unquestionable features, some of which are unprecedented, linked to the social and cultural complexities of migration and to the qualitative impact on contemporary social models, which in turn are impacted by the so-called ‘number’ factor or quantitative proportion. Benedict XVI clearly states that we are facing an epochal social phenomenon that ought to be appropriately addressed by means of a clear and strong political vision based on international cooperation”. The question that was raised in Malaga is: “How to confront the problem of multiculturalism while respecting the cultures of the different migrant groups and integrate them within the framework of a social ethical code based on universal values of the human dimension that it draws inspiration from?”. The mission. For the archbishop of Madrid, “the mission of the Church and of Christians in Europe is all the more demanding, given the indissoluble commitment in the new evangelization of European populations, largely dedicated to different forms of laicism, that is growing increasingly radical and secular”. The archbishop mentioned the “cultural, ethical and juridical deviation” of contemporary society, along with “the negation of the principle of the right to life of the human person from the moment of conception to its natural termination”, and of “an inexorable demographic crisis that darkens the Europe’s future horizon”. So what is the approach to be held vis à vis the migration phenomenon? “The Pope – the archbishop replies – reminds us of the criterion that ought to guide us in this delicate moment, a criterion that relates to basic human morals: migrants must not be treated like just another commodity. Every migrant is a human person with fundamental and inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone in all circumstances”.Three commitments. “A home and a place for Communion”: for His Eminence, “More than ever, the Church in Europe is called to underline with words and with works this constitutional trait” of hers. In the homily the cardinal drew up a series of conclusive commitments so that this approach of the Church may be fulfilled; first of all, to fully proclaim “the invigorating new commandment in its Pascal authenticity”. This “unsurpassable form of brotherly love – the archbishop said – ensures the fulfillment of what is just” and “extends further beyond with self-donation founded on sacrifice and gratuitousness for the good of the other”. The second commitment is “to receive without reservations and with true Catholic spirit the brothers that have come from distant countries, bringing different ecclesial traditions, by treating them as brothers in full canonical respect of their ecclesial rights, offering all-embracing material and spiritual cooperation to the brothers from different Christian Churches and confessions”. The third commitment, His Eminence said, is to open “the doors of operative charity, from legal to social assistance, accompanied by human vicinity and by civic and cultural formation provided to all the migrants from all religions, nations, or regions of departure”.
Malaga: the homily of CES President Card. Rouco Varela