The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has recently released a new document titled “Love the Stranger : A Catholic Response to Migrants and Refugees”. This new publication is a response to the ongoing global refugee crisis, and seeks to outline the Catholic church’s position on the issue, as well as encourage Catholics to take action in support of migrants and refugees.
The document begins by highlighting the Catholic church’s long history of involvement in supporting refugees and other vulnerable populations, dating back to the earliest days of the church. It goes on to argue that the Catholic church has a unique role to play in responding to the current refugee crisis, given its global reach and its commitment to social justice and human dignity.
The document then outlines a number of key principles that should guide Catholic responses to refugees and migrants, including compassion, solidarity, and respect for human dignity. It goes on to provide a detailed analysis of the current refugee crisis, including the root causes of displacement and the challenges faced by refugees and migrants.
One of the key themes of the document is the importance of providing practical support to refugees and migrants, including access to safety, shelter, and basic necessities. The Catholic church is urged to provide these services, while also advocating for policies and laws that offer greater protections for refugees and migrants.
The document also emphasises the need for Catholics to build bridges with refugees and migrants, rather than simply accepting them as “strangers” or “other”. Catholics are encouraged to engage in dialogue with refugees and to learn about their cultures and traditions, in order to build greater understanding and empathy.
Finally, the document calls on Catholics to take concrete action in support of refugees and migrants, whether through volunteering with local charities and organisations, advocating for policy changes, or simply offering prayers and support to those in need.
Overall, “Love the Stranger: A Catholic Response to Migrants and Refugees” is a powerful and timely document that seeks to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis and encourage Catholics to take action in support of those in need . It offers a vision of a compassionate and just society, where all people are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or background. In a world increasingly marked by division and hatred, this message is more important than ever.
See our post on Love Thy Stranger here.