Vatican Prepares Jubilee for
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- As he briefed reporters in
Rome on plans for the Jubilee of migrants and itinerant workers, Bishop
Stephen Fumio Hamao observed that the Catholic Church has always been
mindful of the welfare of migrants.
"To the Church, no one is a stranger,"
noted the Japanese-born president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants.
That council coordinates Church efforts to help refugees, migrant workers,
diplomats working overseas from their homes, and tourists and other
Today, the Pontifical Council pointed out,
"migratory movements touch every continent, and nearly every
country." Msgr. Francesco Gioia, the secretary of the council,
reported that "nearly 1 person in every 120 around the world is a
refugee or a homeless person." That number should roughly be doubled
in order to provide an estimate of the number of homeless people living
within the borders of their own countries, he added. Bishop Hamao said
that hostility toward foreigners remains an important problem. "We
are concerned by the movements opposed to immigrants," he said.
"We hope that the Jubilee will be an occasion for going beyond racism
and exaggerated nationalism." The Jubilee for migrants will culminate
with a special Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square
on June 2. The Pontifical Council anticipates that 40,000 people will
attend-- including 8,000 native Filipinos who now live in Europe.