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Migration: a meeting in Madrid, Church in Europe “in the forefront of the emergency of social exclusion”

“If people are increasingly aware of the tragedy of thousands of migrants who every day try their luck by coming to Europe across the desert and the Mediterranean Sea, less known are the stories of generosity, sharing and genuine acceptance that have gone hand in hand with migration lately”. After the rehoming emergency, the Catholic Church “is in the forefront of the emergency of the social exclusion of thousands of migrants”. These are some of the comments made in Madrid, where bishops and leaders of the pastoral services for migrants met on 26th and 27th September to discuss examples of social inclusions, good practices and the challenges that European society is facing. After dealing with the 2015 rehoming problem, the national directors of the pastoral services for migrants lingered on the challenge of social inclusion in the Year of Mercy. The meeting was convened by the bishop of Albacete, monsignor Ciriaco Benavente Mateos, president of the Bishops Committee for Migration of the Spanish Bishops Conference. “The social inclusion of migrants and refugees is a complicated, multifaceted phenomenon – as summed up today by a notice of Ccee, which organised the meeting –, for which there is no one-size-fits-all model but several experiences that depend on local requirements and resources. It is not the responsibility of a specific area of society or ecclesial organisation, it is the responsibility of the whole of society, since it is the whole person, in its entirety, that must be accepted”.

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