VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2003 (VIS) - The fourth day of the fifth Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which is taking place from November 17 to 22 in the Vatican, opened today with a speech by Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, former president of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.
'Generally, migration and ' the phenomenon of refugees are caused by armed conflicts and by wars ' which continue to spread and to become more and more local,' affirmed the prelate. 'But one of the most subtle forms of this structural violence is the globalization of the public and socio-economic world order which provokes the impoverishment of developing countries and the exodus of their children towards more habitable regions. Disparity in the economic development of peoples ' continues to be a time bomb in the international order and, therefore, a potential cause of conflict. ' It is necessary ' 'to globalize charity' with the goal of taking on the duty of embracing refugees in a dignified manner. At the same time, is it is essential to neutralize ' those who 'create situations which produce refugees' and 'war lords,' mobilizing ourselves peacefully in order 'to institute political and socio-economic systems that respect human dignity and the imperatives of social justice'.'
'Jesus suffered so many obstacles, like the poor of today who do not know where 'to rest their head',' said Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo during his speech. 'He suffered fatigue, hunger, thirst and was a victim of violence just like many migrants today: He escaped being killed during the first days of His life and found refuge and hospitality outside of his national, religious and cultural circle. This interpretation of Jesus' life requires attention and discernment ' in order to discover the loving and liberating presence of the Lord ' in the history of humanity.'
'The Eucharist which makes one body of many,' explained Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon, president of the Episcopal Commission for Human Mobility in Mexico, 'is a powerful evangelical reason to confront, with our faith, the challenge posed by human mobility. ' The need for parishes to become places of acceptance as a faithful reflection of living in the Eucharistic is emphasized in different documents which talk about the need to seek out the 'migrants of Christ,' who go about the world bearing their sorrows and hopes.'
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