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Friday, July 11, 2014


Vatican City, 11 July 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples today published its message for World Tourism Day 2014. Organised by the World Tourism Organisation, its theme this year is “Tourism and Community Development”. The message is signed by Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Bishop Kalathiparambil, respectively president and secretary of the dicastery.

The text, published below in full, emphasises the link between community development with the concept of full development characteristic of the social doctrine of the Church, and highlights that human beings are the custodians, not the owners, of creation. It refers to programmes for sustainable and ethical tourism in disadvantaged areas and underlines the role that local communities play in the defence and promotion of their natural and cultural heritage, as well as the human and economic enrichment that responsible tourism may offer to its protagonists, also favouring values such a mutual respect and tolerance.

“1. Like every year, World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27. An event promoted annually by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the theme for this year’s commemoration is 'Tourism and Community Development'. Keenly aware of the social and economic importance of tourism today, the Holy See wishes to accompany this phenomenon from its own realm, particularly in the context of evangelisation.

In its Global Code of Ethics, the UNWTO says that tourism must be a beneficial activity for destination communities: 'Local populations should be associated with tourism activities and share equitably in the economic, social and cultural benefits they generate, and particularly in the creation of direct and indirect jobs resulting from them'. That is, it calls on both realities to establish a reciprocal relationship, which leads to mutual enrichment.

The notion of 'community development' is closely linked to a broader concept that is part of the Church’s Social Teaching, which is 'integral human development'. It is through this latter term that we understand and interpret the former. In this regard, the words of Pope Paul VI are quite illuminating. In his Encyclical Populorum Progressio, he stated that 'the development we speak of here cannot be restricted to economic growth alone. To be authentic, it must be well rounded; it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man'.

How tourism can contribute to this development? To this end, integral human development and, thus, community development in the field of tourism should be directed towards achieving a balanced progress that is sustainable and respectful in three areas: economic, social and environmental. By 'environmental', we mean both the ecological and cultural context.

2. Tourism is a key driver of economic development, given its major contribution to GDP (between 3% and 5% worldwide), employment (between 7% and 8% of the jobs) and exports (30% of global exports of services).

At present, the world is experiencing a diversification in the number of destinations, as anywhere in the world has the potential to become a tourist destination. Therefore, tourism is one of the most viable and sustainable options to reduce poverty in the most deprived areas. If properly developed, it can be a valuable instrument for progress, job creation, infrastructure development and economic growth.

As highlighted by Pope Francis, we are conscious that 'human dignity is linked to work', and as such we are asked to address the problem of unemployment with 'the tools of creativity and solidarity'. In that vein, tourism appears to be one of the sectors with the most capacity to generate a wide range of 'creative' jobs with greater ease. These jobs could benefit the most disadvantaged groups, including women, youth or certain ethnic minorities.

It is imperative that the economic benefits of tourism reach all sectors of local society, and have a direct impact on families, while at the same time take full advantage of local human resources. It is also essential that these benefits follow ethical criteria that are, above all, respectful to people both at a community level and to each person, and avoid 'a purely economic conception of society that seeks selfish benefit, regardless of the parameters of social justice'. No one can build his prosperity at the expense of others.

The benefits of a tourism promoting 'community development' cannot be reduced to economics alone: there are other dimensions of equal or greater importance. Among these include: cultural enrichment, opportunities for human encounter, the creation of 'relational goods', the promotion of mutual respect and tolerance, the collaboration between public and private entities, the strengthening of the social fibre and civil society, the improvement of the community’s social conditions, the stimulus to sustainable economic and social development, and the promotion of career training for young people, to name but a few.

3. The local community must be the main actor in tourism development. They must make it their own, with the active presence of government, social partners and civic bodies. It is important that appropriate coordination and participation structures are created, which promote dialogue, make agreements, complement efforts and establish common goals and identify solutions based on consensus. Tourism development is not to do something 'for' the community, but rather, 'with' the community.

Furthermore, a tourist destination is not only a beautiful landscape or a comfortable infrastructure, but it is, above all, a local community with their own physical environment and culture. It is necessary to promote a tourism that develops in harmony with the community that welcomes people into its space, with its traditional and cultural forms, with its heritage and lifestyles. And in this respectful encounter, the local population and visitors can establish a productive dialogue which will promote tolerance, respect and mutual understanding.

The local community should feel called upon to safeguard its natural and cultural heritage, embracing it, taking pride in it, respecting and adding value to it, so that they can share this heritage with tourists and transmit it to future generations.

Also, the Christians of that community must be capable of displaying their art, traditions, history, and moral and spiritual values, but, above all, the faith that lies at the root of all these things and gives them meaning.

4. The Church, expert in humanity, wishes to collaborate on this path towards an integral human and community development, to offer its Christian vision of development, offering 'her distinctive contribution: a global perspective on man and human realities'.

From our faith, we can provide the sense of the person, community and fraternity, solidarity, seeking justice, of being called upon as stewards (not owners) of Creation and, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, continue to collaborate in Christ’s work.

Following what Pope Benedict XVI asked of those committed to the pastoral care of tourism, we must increase our efforts in order to 'shed light on this reality using the social teaching of the Church and promote a culture of ethical and responsible tourism, in such a way that it will respect the dignity of persons and of peoples, be open to all, be just, sustainable and ecological'.

With great pleasure, we note how the Church has recognised the potential of the tourism industry in many parts of the world and set up simple but effective projects.

There are a growing number of Christian associations that organise responsible tourism to less developed destinations as well as those that promote the so-called 'solidarity or volunteer tourism' which enable people to put their vacation time to good use on a project in developing countries.

Also worth mentioning are programs for sustainable and equitable tourism in disadvantaged areas promoted by Episcopal Conferences, dioceses or religious congregations, which accompany local communities, helping them to create opportunities for reflection, promoting education and training, giving advice and collaborating on project design and encouraging dialogue with the authorities and other groups. This type of experience has led to the creation of a tourism managed by local communities, through partnerships and specialised micro tourism (accommodation, restaurants, guides, craft production, etc.).

Beyond this, there are many parishes in tourist destinations that host visitors, offering liturgical, educational and cultural events, with the hope that the holidays 'are of benefit to their human and spiritual growth, in the firm conviction that even in this time we cannot forget God who never forgets us'. To do this, parishes seek to develop a 'friendly pastoral care' which allows them to welcome people with a spirit of openness and fraternity, and project the image of a lively and welcoming community. And for this hospitality to be more effective, we need to create a more effective collaboration with other relevant sectors.

These pastoral proposals are becoming more important, especially as a type of 'experiential' tourism grows. This type of tourism seeks to establish links with local people and enable visitors to feel like another member of the community, participating in their daily lives, placing value on contact and dialogue.

The Church’s involvement in the field of tourism has resulted in numerous projects, emerging from a multitude of experiences thanks to the effort, enthusiasm and creativity of so many priests, religious and lay people who work for the socio-economic, cultural and spiritual development of the local community, and help them to look with hope to the future.

In recognition that its primary mission is evangelisation, the Church offers its often humble collaboration to respond to the specific circumstances of people, especially the most needy. And this, from the conviction that 'we also evangelise when we attempt to confront the various challenges which can arise'.”


Vatican City, July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Archbishop Anselmo Guido Pecorari, apostolic nuncio in Bulgaria, as apostolic nuncio in Macedonia.

- appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as metropolitan archbishop of Koln (area 6,181, population 5,417,865, Catholics 2,069,152, priests 1,033, permanent deacons 309, religious 1,835), Germany. Cardinal Woelki is currently metropolitan archbishop of Berlin.

- appointed Bishop Jorge Anibal Quintero Chacon, bishop of Margarita, Venezuela, as bishop of Barcelona (area 43,300, population 2,132,000, Catholics 1,996,000, priests 69, religious 61), Venezuela.

- appointed Fr. Ignatius D'Souza as bishop of the diocese of Bareilly (area 32,860, population 10,352,001, Catholics 6,744, priests 83, religious 331), India. The bishop elect was born in Basrikatte, India in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He holds a licentiate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including vice rector of the St. Paul's Minor Seminary of Lucknow and director of the diocesan pastoral centre of Lucknow, and is currently vicar general and priest of the Cathedral of Lucknow. He succeeds Bishop Anthony Fernandes, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Fr. Cajetan Francis Osta as bishop of the diocese of Muzaffarpur (area 27,120, population 30,310,000, Catholics 5,250, priests 49, religious 120), India. The bishop-elect was born in Kathara-Bokaro, India in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He studied canon law at the St. Peter's Pontifical Institute in Bangalore and missiology at the Sacred Heart of Shillong, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Muzaffarpur, including co-priest of Bettiah and rector of the minor seminary; secretary of the bishop of Bettiah and priest in the parishes of Tinkomma and Barauni. He is currently judicial vicar of Muzaffarpur, president of the Bijhan Diocesan Priests, and priest of the Cathedral of Muzaffarpur. He succeeds Bishop John Baptist Thakur, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Fr. Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, Fr. Stephen Lee Bun Sang, and Fr. Joseph Ha Chi-shing, O.F.M., as auxiliaries of the diocese of Hong Kong (area 1,104, population 7,071,600, Catholics 547,000, priests 311, permanent deacons 18, religious 815), China.

Bishop-elect Yeung Ming-cheung was born in Shanghai, China in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He holds masters degrees in social communications from the Syracus University, U.S.A., and philosophy of education from Harvard University, U.S.A., and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including parish vicar of Ha Kwai Chung district, New Territories; director of the diocesan office of social communications; director of the diocesan office for education and schools; director of Caritas Hong Kong, and vicar general of Hong Kong. He is currently a member of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.

Bishop-elect Lee Bun Sang was born in Hong Kong, China in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a degree in architecture from the London School of Architecture and a doctorate in canon law from the University of Navarre, Spain. He has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including director of the Tak Sun school in Tsim Sha Tsui, and is currently defender of the bond at the diocesan tribunal of Hong Kong and vicar of Opus Dei for East Asia.

Bishop-elect Fr. Joseph Ha Chi-shing, O.F.M., was born in Hong Kong, China in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a licentiate in spiritual theology and Franciscan culture from the Pontifical University Antonianum, Rome, and has held a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including priest of the “St. Bonaventure” and “Our Lady of the Angels” parishes in Kowloon; lecturer in spiritual theology in the seminary of Hong Kong; consultor of the Commission for the Church in China; and regional superior of the Order of Friars Minor for Hong Kong. He is currently parish vicar of the Church of St. Bonaventure in Hong Kong.

- elevated the apostolic prefecture of Makokou (area 46,000, population 54,000, Catholics 26,000, priests 7, religious 3), Gabon, to the rank of apostolic vicariate, and appointed Fr. Joseph Koerber, C.S.Sp., as the first apostolic vicar of the new apostolic vicariate. Born in Sierentz, France in 1943, he gave his perpetual vows in 1970 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He specialised in pastoral theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris, France and has served in a number of pastoral roles in Gabon, including regional bursar of the Spiritan Fathers in Gabon and parish priest in Makokou. He is currently apostolic prefect of the same circumscription.
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