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Wednesday, September 22, 2004


VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 2004 (VIS) - The Commission for Migration and the European Directors for the Pastoral Care of Migrants of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) held their annual meeting at the diocesan pastoral center in Mechelen (Malines), Belgium, from September 17-19. Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, represented the Holy See.

  Also present were representatives from 24 bishops' conferences, the Commission of Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), Caritas, the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME). The theme of the meeting was the consequences of the enlargement of the European Union for the Church's pastoral care for migrants in Europe.

  On the first day, Archbishop Marchetto presented the Council's recent document on the Catholic Church's pastoral care for migrants, 'Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi', which was then discussed by participants in two language-groups.

  On September 18 there was an analysis of the policy of the European Union on asylum and refugees, where it emerged just how closely the Church can and does co-operate with civil society in this area. That same day, Father Beniamino Rossi, regional superior of the Scalabrini Fathers, offered a theological reflection on the issue of European Union migration policy and its consequences, and provided questions to guide the discussion that followed in language-groups.

  Sunday, September 19, participants approved a concluding statement which included recommendations that would be offered to the bishops of Europe.
…/EUROPE:CHURCH:MIGRANTS/CCEE            VIS 20040922 (260)

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