Erga migrantes caritas Christi
|Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of
Migrants and Itinerant People
FOR THE PASTORAL CARE OF MIGRANTS AND
ERGA MIGRANTES CARITAS CHRISTI
(The love of Christ towards
The challenge of human
OF THE TIMES AND CONCERN FOR THE CHURCH
seen with the eyes of faith
Migration and the History of
the “foreigner” and Mary, a living symbol of the emigrant
The Church of Pentecost
The Church’s care for
migrants and refugees
The Second Vatican
Pastoral lines of the Magisterium
Entities of the Holy See
AND THE PASTORAL CARE OF WELCOME
and religious pluralism
The Church of the
Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
Welcome and solidarity
Liturgy and popular piety
Eastern Rite Catholic migrants
Migrants of other
Churches and Ecclesial Communities
Migrants of other religions in
matters calling for particular attention
WORKERS IN A
PASTORAL CARE OF COMMUNION
In the home and the
Co-ordinator for chaplains/missionaries
The migrants’ chaplain/missionary
presbyters as chaplains/missionaries
presbyters, brothers and sisters working among migrants
laity, lay associations and ecclesial movements: for an engagement among
STRUCTURES OF MISSIONARY PASTORAL CARE
Unity in plurality:
pastoral care and its various sectors
(Seeds of the Word)
A dialoguing and
missionary spirit in pastoral care
The Church and Christians, sign
Chap. I: The lay faithful
Chap. II: Chaplains/missionaries
Chap. III: Men and women religious
Chap. IV: Church Authorities
Chap. V: Episcopal Conferences and corresponding Hierarchical
Structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches
VI: The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant
Today’s migration makes up the vastest movement of people of all
times. In these last decades, the phenomenon, now involving about two hundred
million individuals, has turned into a structural reality of contemporary
society. It is becoming an increasingly complex problem from the social,
cultural, political, religious, economic and pastoral points of view.
Taking into consideration the new migration flows and their
characteristics, the Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi aims to
update the pastoral care of migration, thirty-five years after the publication
of Pope Paul VI’s Motu Proprio Pastoralis migratorum cura and the
Congregation for Bishops’ related Instruction De pastorali migratorum
cura (Nemo est).
Thus it intends to be an ecclesial response to the new pastoral
needs of migrants and lead them towards the transformation of their migration
experience not only into an opportunity to grow in Christian life, but also an
occasion of new evangelization and mission. Furthermore, the document aims to
apply accurately the norms contained both in the Code of Canon Law for the Latin
Church and in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches in order to respond
more adequately to the pastoral needs of the emigrant faithful of the Eastern
Churches. They are now more and more numerous.
The composition of today’s migration also requires an ecumenical
vision of the phenomenon because of the presence of many migrants not in full
communion with the Catholic Church. It also imposes the need of inter-religious
dialogue because of the increasing number of migrants belonging to other
religions, particularly Muslims, in traditionally Catholic countries, and
vice-versa. Finally, another purely pastoral need, which is indispensable, is
the promotion of pastoral action that is both faithful to tradition and open to
new developments. These include pastoral structures which must also be apt to
guarantee communion between pastoral agents in the field of migration and the
local hierarchy in the receiving country. The latter continues to be the
decisive organ of the solicitude of the Church for migrants.
The document then rapidly reviews some causes of today’s migration
phenomenon (globalization, demographic changes especially in the countries that
were industrialized first, increase in inequality between North and South, the
proliferation of conflicts and civil wars). After that, it highlights the grave
difficulties that emigration generally entails for individuals, particularly
women and children, as well as for families. Such a phenomenon raises the
ethical problem of establishing a new international economic order with a more
equitable distribution of the goods of the earth, in which the international
community is considered a family of peoples whose relations are governed by
International Law. Next, the Document presents a specific biblico-theological
frame of reference, incorporating the migration phenomenon into the history of
salvation, as a sign of the times and of the presence of God in history and in
the community of peoples, directed to universal communion.
A brief historical excursus attests to the solicitude of
the Church for migrants and refugees in its documents, from Exsul Familia
to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the Instruction De pastorali
migratorum cura and the subsequent canonical norms. All this reveals
important theological and pastoral insights. These include the centrality of the
person of the migrant and the defense of his rights, the ecclesial and
missionary dimension of migration itself, the consideration of the pastoral
contribution of the lay faithful, the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the
Societies of Apostolic Life, the value of culture in the work of evangelization,
the protection and the valorization of minorities also in the local Church, the
importance of ecclesial dialogue, both intra and extra, and
finally, the specific contribution that migration can offer for universal peace.
There then follows a presentation of other topics: the need for
“inculturation”, the vision of Church as communion, mission and People of God,
the ever new importance of a specific pastoral care for migrants, the
dialogical-missionary commitment of all the members of the Mystical Body of
Christ, and the consequent duty of forming a culture of welcome and solidarity.
These introduce the analysis of pastoral questions that require responses,
specifically the pastoral approaches among Catholic migrants, both of the Latin
and the Eastern rites, of migrants who belong to other Churches or Ecclesial
Communities, and those who are followers of other religions, Islam in
After this comes a more detailed description, or pastoral and
juridical definition, of pastoral agents (namely, Chaplains/Missionaries and
their National Coordinators, diocesan/eparchial priests, religious priests and
brothers, women religious, lay people, lay associations and ecclesial
movements), whose apostolic commitment is seen and considered in view of a
“pastoral care of communion”, an integrated one.
Another important pastoral characteristic, that the Document
points out and proposes to the particular Churches, is the integration of
pastoral structures (those already established and those proposed) and the
ecclesial inclusion of migrants in ordinary pastoral care, with full respect for
their legitimate diversity and of their spiritual and cultural patrimony, also
in view of the formation of a concretely Catholic Church. Such an integration is
an essential condition for pastoral care, for and with migrants,
to become a significant expression of the universal Church and missio ad
Gentes, fraternal and peaceful meeting, house of everyone, school of
communion that is received and shared, of reconciliation that is implored and
granted, of mutual and fraternal welcome and solidarity, as well as authentic
human and Christian promotion.
The Instruction concludes with updated and accurate
“juridico-pastoral regulations”, which uses appropriate language in recalling
duties, tasks and roles of pastoral agents and of the various Church entities in
charge of the pastoral care of migration.
Stephen Fumio Cardinal Hamao
Titular Archbishop of
The challenge of
1. The love of Christ towards migrants urges us (cf. 2 Co
5,14)to look afresh at their problems, which are to be met with today all over
the world. In fact nearly all countries are now faced with the eruption of the
migration phenomenon in one aspect or another; it affects their social,
economic, political and religious life and is becoming more and more a permanent
structural phenomenon. Migration is often determined by a free decision of the
migrants themselves, taken fairly frequently not only for economic reasons but
also for cultural, technical or scientific motives. As such it is for the most
part a clear indication of social, economic and demographic imbalance on a
regional or world-wide level, which drives people to emigrate.
The roots of the phenomenon can also be traced back to exaggerated
nationalism and, in many countries, even to hatred and systematic or violent
exclusion of ethnic or religious minorities from society. This can be seen in
civil, political, ethnic and even religious conflicts raging in all continents.
Such tensions swell the growing flood of refugees, who often mingle with other
migrants. The impact can be felt in host societies, in which ethnic groups and
people with different languages and cultures are brought together with the risk
of reciprocal opposition and conflict.
2. Migration, however, also helps people get to know one another
and provides opportunity for dialogue and communion or indeed integration at
various levels. Pope John Paul II drew attention to this in his Message
for the World Day for Peace 2001: “In the case of many civilisations,
immigration has brought new growth and enrichment. In other cases, the local
people and immigrants have remained culturally separate but have shown that they
are able to live together, respecting each other and accepting or tolerating the
diversity of customs.”1
3. The challenge confronting us in today’s migrations is not an
easy one because many different spheres are involved: economics, sociology,
politics, health, culture and security. All Christians must respond to this
challenge; it is not just a matter of good will or the personal charisma of a
We must not, however, forget the generous response of many men and
women, associations and organisations which, seeing the sufferings of countless
persons caused by emigration, are struggling for the rights of migrants, forced
or voluntary, and for their defence. The commitment of these people can be
attributed above all to that compassion of Jesus, the Good Samaritan,
that the Spirit stirs up everywhere in the hearts of men and women of good will
and in the Church too, which “relives once more the mystery of her Divine
Founder, the mystery of life and death”2. Moreover the task entrusted by our Lord to His Church to
proclaim the Word of God has been interwoven from the very beginning with the
history of the emigration of Christians.
We therefore thought of writing this Instruction. Its prime
purpose is to respond to the new spiritual and pastoral needs of migrants and to
make migration more and more an instrument of dialogue and proclamation of the
Christian message. In addition this Document sets out to provide an answer to
certain important present-day needs. This includes the necessity to take into
due account the new norms of the two Codes of Canon Law now in force for the
Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches, thus answering the particular
needs of the growing numbers of emigrants of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Then
there is also the need to bear in mind the ecumenical aspect of the phenomenon,
owing to the presence among migrants of Christians not in full communion with
the Catholic Church, and also the inter-religious aspect, owing to the
increasing number of migrants of other religions, in particular Muslims. Finally
our pastoral care must be open to new developments in pastoral structures
themselves, while at the same time guaranteeing communion between pastoral
workers in this specific field and the local hierarchy.
4. The ever-increasing migration phenomenon today is an important
component of that growing interdependence among nation states that goes to make
which has flung
markets wide open but not frontiers, has demolished boundaries for the free
circulation of information and capital, but not to the same extent those for the
free circulation of people. No state is any longer exempt from the consequences
of some form of migration, which is often strongly linked to negative factors.
These include the demographic changes that are taking place in countries that
were industrialised first, the increase in inequality between north and south,
the existence of protectionist barriers in international trade, which do not
allow emerging countries to sell their products on competitive terms in the
markets of western countries and, finally, the proliferation of civil wars and
conflicts. All these factors will increase migration flows in the years to come
(cf. EEu 87, 115 and PaG 67), even though the appearance of
terrorism on the international scene will provoke reactions for security
reasons. These reactions will inevitably obstruct the movement of migrants who
dream of finding a job and security in the so-called wealthy countries which,
for their part, require more manpower.
5. It is not surprising, therefore, that migration meant and still
means enormous hardships and suffering for the migrants. Yet, especially in more
recent times and in certain circumstances, it has often been encouraged and
promoted to foster the economic development of both the migrants’ host country
and their country of origin (especially through their financial remittances).
Many nations, in fact, would not be what they are today without the contribution
made by millions of immigrants.
The emigration of family nuclei and women is particularly marked
by suffering. Women migrants are becoming more and more numerous. They are often
contracted as unskilled labourers (or domestics) and employed illegally. Often
migrants are deprived of their most elementary human rights, including that of
forming labour unions, when they do not become outright victims of the sad
phenomenon of human trafficking, which no longer spares even children. This is a
new chapter in the history of slavery.
However, even without such extremes, it is necessary to reiterate
that foreign workers are not to be considered merchandise or merely manpower.
Therefore they should not be treated just like any other factor of production.
Every migrant enjoys inalienable fundamental rights which must be respected in
all cases. Furthermore the migrants’ contribution to the economy of the host
country comes together with the possibility for them to use their intelligence
and abilities in their work.
6. In this regard, the International Convention on the Protection
of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and the Members of their Families – which
entered into force on 1 July 2003 and whose ratification was strongly
recommended by Pope John Paul II
offers a compendium of rights
give migrants the possibility to make such a contribution. What the Convention
foresees therefore deserves the adherence particularly of those states that
benefit most from migration. To this end, the Church encourages the ratification
of the international legal instruments that ensure the rights of migrants,
refugees and their families. The Church also offers its advocacy, which is more
and more necessary today, through its various competent institutions and
associations (as centres for migrant needs, houses open to them, offices for
necessary services, documentation and counselling, etc.). Migrants are often
victims of illegal recruitment and of short-term contracts providing poor
working and living conditions. This is because they often have to suffer
physical, verbal and even sexual abuse, work long hours, often without the
benefits of medical care and the usual forms of social security.
The precarious situation of so many foreigners, which should
arouse everyone’s solidarity, instead brings about fear in many, who feel that
immigrants are a burden, regard them with suspicion and even consider them a
danger and a threat. This often provokes manifestations of intolerance,
xenophobia and racism.6
7. The growing presence of Muslims, as well as followers of other
religions, in traditionally Christian countries falls under the broader and more
complex heading of the meeting between cultures and interreligious dialogue. In
any case, Christians are also present in significant numbers in some nations
whose populations are in the vast majority Muslim.
In the face of the widespread migratory phenomenon, with aspects
profoundly different today from what they were in the past, policies on a purely
national level would be of little value. No country today may think that it can
solve migration problems on its own. Even more ineffective would be purely
restrictive policies, which, in turn, would generate still more negative
effects, with the risk of increasing illegal entries and even favouring the
activities of criminal organisations.
8. International migration must therefore be considered an
important structural component of the social, economic and political reality of
the world today. The large numbers involved call for closer and closer
collaboration between countries of origin and destination, in addition to
adequate norms capable of harmonising the various legislative provisions. The
aim of this would be to safeguard the needs and rights of the emigrants and
their families and, likewise, those of the societies receiving them.
At the same time, however, migration raises a truly ethical
question: the search for a new international economic order for a more equitable
distribution of the goods of the earth. This would make a real contribution to
reducing and checking the flow of a large number of migrants from populations in
difficulty. From this there follows the need for a more effective commitment to
educational and pastoral systems that form people in a “global dimension”, that
is, a new vision of the world community, considered as a family of peoples, for
whom the goods of the earth are ultimately destined when things are seen from
the perspective of the universal common good.
9. Migration today furthermore imposes new commitments of
evangelisation and solidarity on Christians and calls them to examine more
profoundly those values shared by other religious or lay groups and
indispensable to ensure a harmonious life together. The passage from
monocultural to multicultural societies can be a sign of the living presence of
God in history and in the community of mankind, for it offers a providential
opportunity for the fulfilment of God’s plan for a universal communion. This new
historical context is characterised by the thousand different faces of humanity
and, unlike the past, diversity is becoming commonplace in very many countries.
Therefore Christians are called to give witness to and practise not only the
spirit of tolerance – itself a great achievement, politically and culturally
speaking, not to mention religiously – but also respect for the other’s
identity. Thus, where it is possible and opportune, they can open a way towards
sharing with people of different origins and cultures, also in view of a
“respectful proclamation” of their own faith. We are all therefore called to a
culture of solidarity
solicited by the Magisterium, so as to achieve together a real communion of
persons. This is the laborious path that the Church invites everyone to follow.
10. Recent times have also seen a considerable increase of
domestic migration in various countries, sometimes voluntary, as that from
country districts to cities, sometimes forced, as in the case of evacuees and of
persons fleeing from terrorism, violence and drug-trafficking, especially in
Africa and Latin America. It is estimated that world-wide the majority of
migrants today remain within their own nations, in some cases moving about on a
This type of mobility, left for the most part to evolve
unattended, has encouraged the rapid and disordered expansion of urban centres
unprepared to take in such masses of people and has fomented the growth of slums
where conditions of life are socially and morally precarious. It compels
migrants to settle in an environment that is very different from their place of
origin, thus creating considerable hardship and grave danger of social uprooting
with serious consequences for the religious and cultural traditions of these
Nevertheless domestic migration keeps arousing great hopes,
unfortunately often unfounded and illusory, in millions of persons, although it
separates them from their family bonds and puts them in places with different
climate and customs, even if the language may still be the same. If these
migrants later return where they came from, they take with them a changed
mentality, a different way of life, and not rarely another outlook on the world
or religion, and divergent behaviour. This also challenges the pastoral action
of the Church as Mother and Teacher.
11. In this field too, today’s situation thus requires of pastoral
workers and host communities, in other words, of the Church, loving attention to
“people on the move” and to their need for solidarity and fellowship. Through
domestic migration too, the Spirit launches a clear and urgent appeal to renew
and intensify our commitment to evangelisation and charity. This calls for well
designed forms of welcome and pastoral activity, that is, continuous, thorough
and adapted as closely as possible to the actual situation and specific needs of
of the Times and Concern for the Church
seen with the eyes of faith
12. In migrants the Church has always contemplated the image of
Christ who said, “I was a stranger and you made me welcome” (Mt 25:35).
Their condition is, therefore, a challenge to the faith and love of believers,
who are called on to heal the evils caused by migration and discover the plan
God pursues through it even when caused by obvious injustices. Migration brings
together the manifold components of the human family and thus leads to the
construction of an ever vaster and more varied society, almost a prolongation of
that meeting of peoples and ethnic groups that, through the gift of the Holy
Spirit at Pentecost, became ecclesial fraternity.
If, on the one hand, the suffering that goes with migration is
neither more nor less than the birth-pangs of a new humanity, on the other the
inequalities and disparities behind this suffering reveal the deep wounds that
sin causes in the human family. They are thus an urgent appeal for true
13. This vision leads us to approach migration in the light of
those biblical events that mark the phases of humanity’s arduous journey towards
the birth of a people without discrimination or frontiers, depository of God’s
gift for all nations and open to man’s eternal vocation. Faith perceives in it
the journey of the Patriarchs, sustained by the promise as they moved towards
the future homeland, and that of the Hebrews, freed from slavery, as they
crossed the Red Sea in the Exodus, that formed the People of the Covenant.
Again, in a certain sense, faith finds in migration an exile, in which every
goal reached in fact is relative. In migration faith discovers once more the
universal message of the prophets, who denounce discrimination, oppression,
deportation, dispersion and persecution as contrary to God’s plan. At the same
time they proclaim salvation for all, witnessing even in the chaotic events and
contradictions of human history, that God continues to work out his plan of
salvation until all things are brought together in Christ (cf. Eph
the History of Salvation
14. We can therefore consider the present-day phenomenon of
migration a significant “sign of the times”, a challenge to be discovered and
utilised in our work to renew humanity and proclaim the gospel of peace.
The Holy Scriptures show us clearly what all this means. Israel
traced its origins back to Abraham, who in obedience to God’s call left his home
and went to a foreign land, taking with him the divine Promise that he would
become the father “of a great nation” (Gn 12:1-2). Jacob, a wandering
Aramaen, “went down into Egypt with a small household and lived there as an
alien. But there he became a nation, great, strong and numerous” (Dt
26:5). After its long servitude in Egypt Israel received its solemn investiture
as the “People of God” during its forty-year “Exodus” through the desert. The
hard test of migration and deportation is therefore fundamental to the story of
the chosen people in view of the salvation of all peoples: Israel knew the
return from exile (cf. Is 42:6-7; 49:5). With these memories it could
take new heart in its trust in God, even in the darkest moments of its history
(Ps 105 : 12-15; Ps 106 : 45-47).With regard to the foreigner
living in the country, the Law enjoins the same commandment on Israel as applies
to “the children of your people” (Lv 19:18), that is, “you must … love
him as yourself” (Lv 19:34).
the “foreigner” and Mary, a living symbol of the emigrant
15. In the foreigner a Christian sees not simply a neighbour, but
the face of Christ Himself, who was born in a manger and fled into Egypt, where
he was a foreigner, summing up and repeating in His own life the basic
experience of His people (cf. Mt 2:13ff). Born away from home and coming
from another land (cf. Lk 2:4-7), “he came to dwell among us” (cf.
Jn 1:11,14) and spent His public life on the move, going through towns
and villages (cf. Lk 13:22; Mt 9:35). After His resurrection,
still a foreigner and unknown, He appeared on the way to Emmaus to two of His
disciples, who only recognised Him at the breaking of the bread (cf. Lk
24:35). So Christians are followers of a man on the move “who has nowhere to lay
his head (Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58)”8.
In the same way Mary, the Mother of Jesus, can be equally well
contemplated as a living symbol of the woman emigrant9. She gave birth to her Son away from home (cf. Lk
2:1-7) and was compelled to flee to Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-14). Popular
devotion is right to consider Mary as the Madonna of the Way.
The Church of
16. Contemplating now the Church, we see that it was born from
Pentecost, fulfilment of the Paschal Mystery. It was a real and symbolic meeting
of peoples, which later led Paul to declare, “There is no room for distinction
between Greek and Jew, between the circumcised and the uncircumcised, or between
barbarian and Scythian, slave and free man” (Col 3:11). For Christ in
fact “has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep
them apart” (Eph 2:14).
To follow Christ means to walk behind Him and be in transit in the
world because “there is no eternal city for us in this life” (Heb 13:14).
The believer is always a pároikos, a temporary resident, a guest wherever
he may be (cf. 1Pt 1:1; 2:11; Jn 17:14-16). This means that for
Christians it is not all that important where they live geographically10, while a sense for hospitality is
natural to them. The apostles insist on this point (cf. Rm 12:13;
Heb 13:2; 1Pt 4:9; 3 Jn 5), and the Pastoral Letters enjoin
this particularly on the episkopos (cf. 1Tim 3:2; Tt 1:8).
In the early Church, hospitality was the Christians’ response to the needs of
itinerant missionaries, of religious leaders in exile or on a journey, and of
poor members of various communities11.
17. Foreigners are also a visible sign and an effective reminder
of that universality which is a constituent element of the Catholic Church. A
vision of Isaiah announced this: “In the days to come the mountain of the temple
of Yahweh shall tower above the mountains… All the nations will stream to it”
(Is 2:2). In the gospel our Lord Himself prophesied that “people from
east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast
in the kingdom of God” (Lk 13:29), and the Apocalypse sees “a huge
number… from every nation, race, tribe and language” (Ap 7:9). The Church
is now toiling on its way to this final goal12; today’s migrations can remind us of this “huge number”
and be seen as a call and prefiguration of the final meeting of all humanity
with God and in God.
18. Migrants’ journeying can thus become a living sign of an
eternal vocation, a constant stimulus to that hope which points to a future
beyond this present world, inspiring the transformation of the world in love and
eschatological victory. The peculiarities of migrants is an appeal for us to
live again the fraternity of Pentecost, when differences are harmonised by the
Spirit and charity becomes authentic in accepting one another. So the experience
of migration can be the announcement of the paschal mystery, in which death and
resurrection make for the creation of a new humanity in which there is no longer
slave or foreigner (cf. Gal 3:28).
Church’s care for migrants and refugees
19. The migrations of the last century represented a challenge to
the pastoral care of the Church, which was organised on the basis of stable
territorial parishes. Previously members of the clergy had accompanied groups
setting off abroad to colonise new lands, but from the middle of the
19th century on, the pastoral care of migrants was entrusted more and
more frequently to missionary Congregations13.
Then in 1914 the Decree Ethnografica studia14 dealt for the first time with the question
of clergy involved in the care of migrants. It stressed the responsibility of
the local Church to assist immigrants and suggested that the local clergy be
given specific preparation for this, linguistically, culturally and pastorally.
A little later, following the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law, the Decree
Magni semper of 191815 gave
the Consistorial Congregation competence for matters concerning the
authorisation of clergy for assistance to migrants.
Following the Second World War the migration phenomenon became
even more dramatic not only as a result of the devastation caused by the
conflict but also by the worsening of the phenomenon of refugees (especially
from what was termed the Eastern Countries), many of whom belonged to various
Eastern Catholic Churches.
20. By then the need was thus being felt for a document to bring
together the heritage of previous regulations and provisions and offer an
orientation for an organic pastoral care. This was wisely answered on
1st August 1952 in Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic Constitution Exsul
Familia16, which is considered
the magna charta of the Church’s thought on migration. It is the first
official document of the Holy See to delineate the pastoral care of migrants
globally and systematically, from both the historical and canonical points of
view. In the Constitution, a wide-ranging historical analysis is followed by a
detailed exposition of norms. It affirmed that the primary responsibility for
the pastoral care of migrants lay with the local diocesan bishop, even though
the actual organisation of the matter was still laid down by the Consistorial
Vatican Ecumenical Council
21. Later on the Second Vatican Council worked out important
directives for this particular pastoral work. It called on Christians in
particular to be aware of the phenomenon of migration (cf. GS 65 and 66)
and to realise the influence that emigration has on life. The Council reaffirmed
the right to emigrate (cf. GS 65)17, the dignity of migrants (cf. GS 66), the need to
overcome inequalities in economic and social development (cf. GS 63) and
to provide an answer to the authentic needs of the human person (cf. GS
84). On the other hand the Council recognised the right of the public
authorities, in a particular context, to regulate the flow of migration (cf.
The Council stated that the People of God must assure its generous
contribution to the reality of emigration. It called upon the laity in
particular to extend their collaboration to all sectors of society (cf.
AA 10) and thus be a “neighbour” for the migrant (cf. GS 27). The
Council Fathers showed special interest in those faithful who “on account of
their way of life, cannot sufficiently make use of the common and ordinary
pastoral care of parish priests or are quite cut off from it. Among this group
are the majority of migrants, exiles and refugees, seafarers, air-travellers,
gypsies, and others of this kind. Suitable pastoral methods – they went on –
should also be promoted to sustain the spiritual life of those who go to other
lands for a time for the sake of recreation. Episcopal conferences, especially
national ones, – they finally urged – should pay special attention to the very
pressing problems concerning the above-mentioned groups. Through voluntary
agreement and united efforts, they should look to and promote their spiritual
care by means of suitable methods and institutions. They should also bear in
mind the special rules either already laid down or to be laid down by the
Apostolic See which can be wisely adapted to the circumstances of time, place,
22. The Second Vatican Council therefore marked a decisive moment
for the pastoral care of migrants and itinerant persons, attributing particular
importance to the meaning of mobility and catholicity and that of particular
Churches, to the sense of parish, and to the vision of the Church as mystery of
communion. Thus the Church stands out as “a people that derives its union from
the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (LG 4) and presents
itself as such.
Welcoming the stranger, a characteristic of the early Church, thus
remains a permanent feature of the Church of God. It is practically marked by
the vocation to be in exile, in diaspora, dispersed among cultures and ethnic
groups without ever identifying itself completely with any of these. Otherwise
it would cease to be the first-fruit and sign, the leaven and prophecy of the
universal Kingdom and community that welcomes every human being without
preference for persons or peoples. Welcoming the stranger is thus intrinsic to
the nature of the Church itself and bears witness to its fidelity to the
23. Continuing the Council’s teaching and implementing it, Pope
Paul VI issued his Motu proprio Pastoralis Migratorum Cura
20 (1969), promulgating the Instruction De
Pastorali Migratorum Cura 21.
Then, in 1978, the Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migration and
Tourism, the organism then responsible for the care of migrants, addressed a
circular letter to the Episcopal Conferences entitled The Church and Human
Mobility 22, which gave an
up-to-date account of migration at that time, offering a clear interpretation
and indicating pastoral applications. The document went into the topic of the
welcome of migrants by the local Church and stressed the need for
intra-ecclesial collaboration so as to ensure pastoral care without frontiers.
Finally the document recognised and drew attention to the specific role of the
lay faithful and of men and women religious.
24. The new Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church, in
confirmation and application of the Council’s wishes, requests parish priests to
be especially attentive towards persons who are far from their own country (Can.
529, §1) and stresses the desirability and obligation whenever possible of
arranging specific pastoral care for them (Can. 568). Like the Code of Canons
for the Eastern Churches, it envisages the establishment of personal parishes
(CIC Can. 518 and CCEO Can. 280, §1) as well as missions for the
spiritual care of the faithful (Can. 516) and even the creation of specific
pastoral figures such as episcopal vicars (Can. 476) and chaplains for migrants
Again to implement the Council’s recommendations (cf. PO
10; AG 20, note 4; AG 27, note 28), the new Code also foresees the
institution of other specific pastoral structures as provided for in the
legislation and practice of the Church23.
25. The faithful of the Eastern Catholic Churches from Asia and
the Middle East and from Central and Eastern Europe are now moving into western
countries in large numbers. This obviously raises the question of their pastoral
care, which always falls under the decisive responsibility of the Ordinary of
the place where they are received. It is therefore an urgent matter to examine
the pastoral and juridical consequences of the growing number of these faithful
living outside their traditional territories and of the contacts being
established officially or privately at various levels, both between communities
as such and between single members of communities. The norms and regulations for
this, which enable the Catholic Church to breathe already with two lungs24 so to speak, is found in the
26. The aforementioned Code provides for the constitution of
Churches sui iuris (CCEO Can. 27, 28 and 148), calls for the
promotion and observance of the “rites of the Eastern Churches as patrimony of
the universal Church of Christ” (Can. 39; cf. also Can. 40 and 41) and
establishes precise norms concerning liturgical and disciplinary laws (Can.
150). The Code also lays the obligation on the eparch to attend to the Christian
faithful “of whatever age, condition, nation or Church sui iuris they may
be, whether they are permanently or only temporarily resident in the eparchy”
(Can. 192, §1) and to ensure that the Christian faithful of another Church
sui iuris entrusted to his care “preserve the rite of their own Church”
(Can. 193, §1) if possible “by the ministry of presbyters and parish priests of
the same Church sui iuris (Can. 193, §2). Finally the Code recommends
that the parish should be territorial but without excluding personal parishes if
required by circumstances (cf. Can. 280, §1).
The Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches also provides for the
possible establishment of an exarchate, defined as “a portion of the people of
God which, for special circumstances, is not erected as an eparchy and which,
limited to a certain territory or determined by other criteria, is entrusted to
the pastoral care of the Exarch” (CCEO Can. 311, §1).
Pastoral lines of
27. Not only the canonical norms, but also a careful study of the
documents and directives on migration so far issued by the Church clearly brings
to light certain important theological and pastoral findings that have been
acquired. These are: the central position of the human person and the defence of
the rights of migrants, both men and women, and their children; the ecclesial
and missionary dimension of migration; the reappraisal of the apostolate of the
laity; the value of cultures in the work of evangelisation; the protection and
appreciation of minority groups in the Church; the importance of dialogue both
inside and outside the Church; and the specific contribution of emigration to
world peace. These documents also illustrate the pastoral dimension of work for
migrants. In fact all should find “their homeland”26 in the Church, for the Church is the mystery of God among
men, the mystery of love shown by the Only-Begotten Son, especially in His death
and resurrection, so that all “may have life, and have it to the full”
(Jn 10,10), so that all may find strength to overcome every division and
act in such a way that differences do not lead to rifts but communion by
welcoming others in their legitimate diversity.
28. In the Church the role played by the Institutes of Consecrated
Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has been positively appraised in their
specific contribution to the pastoral care of migrants27. The responsibility of diocesan bishops in this regard is
unequivocally reaffirmed, both for the Church of origin and the Church of
arrival. In such responsibility the Episcopal Conferences of the various
countries and the corresponding structures in the Eastern Churches are also
involved. Pastoral care of migrants means welcome, respect, protection,
promotion and genuine love of every person in his or her religious and cultural
29. Recent Pontifical declarations too, have emphasised and
widened horizons and pastoral perspectives with regard to migration, in the line
of man as the way of the Church
28. Since the pontificate of Pope Paul VI and later in that
of Pope John Paul II, especially in the Messages
for the World Days of Migrants and Refugees
29, repeated affirmation is made of the fundamental rights of
the person, in particular the right to emigrate so that the individual can turn
his abilities, aspirations and projects to better account
30. (This is stated, however, in the same
context with the right of every country to pursue an immigration policy that
promotes the common good.) Also the right of the individual not to emigrate is
affirmed, that is, the right to be able to achieve his rights and satisfy his
legitimate demands in his own country31.
The Magisterium has likewise always denounced social and economic
imbalances that are, for the most part, the cause of migration, the dangers of
an uncontrolled globalisation in which migrants are more the victims than the
protagonists of their migration, and the serious problem of irregular
immigration, especially when the migrant is an object of trafficking and
exploitation by criminal organisations32.
30. The Magisterium has also insisted on the need of policies that
effectively guarantee the rights of all migrants, “carefully avoiding every
possible discrimination”33. It
emphasizes a vast range of values and behaviour (hospitality, solidarity,
sharing) and the need to reject all sentiments and manifestations of xenophobia
and racism on the part of host communities34. In the context of both the legislation and administrative
practices of various countries, it dedicates much attention to the unity of the
family and the protection of minors, which is often put in danger by migration35, as well as to the formation of
multicultural societies through migration.
Cultural plurality thus invites contemporary man to practise
dialogue and also face basic questions such as the meaning of life and history,
suffering and poverty, hunger, sickness and death. Openness to different
cultural identities does not, however, mean accepting them all indiscriminately,
but rather respecting them – because they are inherent in people – and, if
possible, appreciating them in their diversity. The “relativity” of cultures was
also stressed by the Second Vatican Council (cf. GS 54, 55, 56, 58).
Plurality is a treasure, and dialogue is the as yet imperfect and ever evolving
realization of that final unity to which humanity aspires and is
Entities of the Holy
31. The Church’s constant concern for the religious, social and
cultural care of migrants manifested by the Magisterium is likewise shown by the
special entities established by the Holy See for this purpose.
The original inspiration behind them is to be found in the
memorandum Pro emigratis catholicis of Blessed Giovanni Battista
Scalabrini who, aware of the difficulties that various European nationalist
tendencies stirred up abroad, proposed to the Holy See a Pontifical Congregation
(or Commission) for all Catholic emigrants. This Congregation should be composed
of representatives of different nations for the purpose of “spiritual assistance
of emigrants in varied circumstances and in various stages of the phenomemon,
especially in the Americas, to thus keep the Catholic faith alive in their
Little by little his intuition took shape. In 1912, following the
reform of the Roman Curia by Pope St Pius X, the first Office for Migration
Problems was set up within the Consistorial Congregation, while in 1970 Pope
Paul VI instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migration
and Tourism, which, in 1988, with the Apostolic Constitution
Bonus, became the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants
and Itinerant People. It was entrusted with the care of all who “have been
forced to abandon their homeland, as well as those who have none”: refugees and
exiles, migrants, nomads and circus people, seafarers both aboard ship and in
port, all who are away from home and those working in airports or on airplanes37.
32. It is therefore the task of the Pontifical Council to
stimulate, promote and animate opportune pastoral initiatives in favour of those
who by choice or through necessity leave their normal place of residence, as
well as to carefully follow the social, economic and cultural questions that are
usually at the origin of such movements.
The Pontifical Council directly addresses Episcopal Conferences
and their respective Councils, the corresponding episcopal structures in the
Eastern Catholic Churches concerned, and also individual bishops and hierarchs.
While respecting the responsibility of each one, it urges them to implement a
specific pastoral care for persons involved in the ever growing phenomenon of
human mobility and to adopt suitable provisions as called for by the changing
In recent times the aspect of migration has become part of
ecumenical relations too. As a result contacts with other Churches and Ecclesial
Communities increase. From this perspective, attention is also given to
inter-religious dialogue. Finally the Pontifical Council, through its superiors
and officials, is at times present in the international arena, representing the
Holy See at meetings of multilateral organisations.
33. Among the principal Catholic organisations for assistance of
migrants and refugees, we cannot fail to mention the International Catholic
Migration Commission established in 1951. It has great merit for the help it
provided in its first fifty years to governments and international
organisations, in a Christian spirit, and for its own original contribution in
the search for lasting solutions for migrants and refugees all over the world.
The service rendered by the Commission in the past and still done today “is
bound by a two-fold fidelity: to Christ … and to the Church”, as stated by Pope
John Paul II38, and its work “has
been a fruitful point of ecumenical and interreligious cooperation”39.
Nor, finally, must we forget the important commitment of the
various Caritas organisations and other similar organisms of charity and
solidarity in the service of migrants and refugees.
and the Pastoral Care of Welcome
and religious pluralism
34. The Church, sacrament of unity, overcomes ideological or
racial barriers and divisions and proclaims to all people and all cultures the
need to strive for the truth in the perspective of correctly facing differences
by dialogue and mutual acceptance. Different cultural identities are thus to
open up to a universal way of understanding, not abandoning their own positive
elements but putting them at the service of the whole of humanity. While this
logic engages every particular Church, it highlights and reveals that unity in
diversity that is contemplated in the Trinity, which, for its part, refers the
communion of all to the fullness of the personal life of each one.
The cultural situation today, global and dynamic as it is, calls
for the incarnation of the one faith in many cultures and thus represents an
unprecedented challenge, a true kairòs for the whole People of God (cf.
35. We are therefore face to face with a cultural and religious
pluralism never perhaps experienced so consciously before. On the one hand,
rapid progress is being made towards a world-wide openness, facilitated by
technological means and the media, with the result that cultural and religious
backgrounds, traditionally different and foreign to one another, are being
brought into contact and even mingled with one another. On the other, fresh
demands for a local identity emerge, which consider the cultural traits of each
individual the means for self-realisation.
36. This fluidity of cultures makes “inculturation” even more
indispensable, as it is not possible to evangelise without entering into serious
dialogue with cultures. Together with peoples of different roots, other values
and models of life are knocking at our doors. While each culture tends to
interpret the gospel in terms of its own way of life, it is the task of the
Magisterium of the Church to guide these attempts and judge their validity.
“Inculturation” begins by listening, which means getting to know
those to whom we proclaim the gospel. Listening and knowing lead to a more
adequate discernment of the values and “countervalues” of their cultures in the
light of the Paschal Mystery of death and life. Tolerance is not enough; needed
is a certain feeling for the other, respect as far as possible for the cultural
identity of one’s dialogue partners. To recognise and appreciate their positive
aspects, which prepare them to accept the gospel, is a necessary prelude to its
successful proclamation. This is the only way to create dialogue, understanding
and trust. Keeping our eyes on the gospel thus means attention to people too, to
their dignity and freedom. Helping them advance integrally requires a commitment
to fraternity, solidarity, service and justice. The love of God, while it gives
humankind the truth and shows everyone his highest vocation, also promotes his
dignity and gives birth to community, based on the gospel proclamation being
welcomed, interiorised, celebrated and lived40.
The Church of the
Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
37. In the vision of the Second Vatican Council there are three
fundamental ways in which the Church carries out its pastoral ministry:
§ Being communion, the Church values the legitimate
specific characteristics of Catholic communities, joining them together with a
universal vision. In fact the unity of Pentecost does not abolish the various
languages and cultures but recognises them in their identities, at the same time
opening them to other realities through the universal love at work in them. The
one Catholic Church is thus constituted by and in the particular
Churches, just as the particular Churches are constituted in and
by the universal Church (cf. LG 13)41.
§ Being missionary, the Church’s ministry is outward
looking, passing on its own treasures to others and being enriched with new
gifts and values. This missionary quality is at work inside each particular
Church because mission is, in the first place, radiating the glory of God, and
the Church needs “to hear the proclamation of the ‘mighty works of God’ … to be
called together afresh by Him and reunited” (EN 15).
§ Being the People and family of God, mystery, sacrament,
Mystical Body and Temple of the Spirit, the Church becomes the history of a
people on the move. Its starting point is the mystery of Christ and the
vicissitudes of the individual and groups of which it is composed, and from this
it is called to fashion a new history, gift of God and fruit of human freedom.
In the Church, therefore, migrants too are called to be protagonists of this
together with all the People of God as pilgrim on earth (cf. RMi 32, 49
38. From a concrete point of view the specific pastoral choices to
be taken for the welcome of migrants can be delineated as follows:
§ pastoral care of a particular ethnic or ritual group, aimed at
promoting a genuinely Catholic spirit (cf. LG 13);
§ need to safeguard universality and unity, which cannot, however,
clash at the same time with the specific pastoral care that, if possible,
entrusts migrants to presbyters of the same language, of their own Church sui
iuris, or to presbyters who are close to them from a linguistic and cultural
point of view (cf. DPMC 11);
§ great importance of the migrants’ mother tongue, in which they
express their mentality, thought and culture, and the characteristics of their
spiritual life and the traditions of their Church of origin (cf. DPMC
This specific pastoral work operates in the context of a
phenomenon which, by bringing together persons of different nationalities,
ethnic origins and religions into contact, contributes to making the true face
of the Church visible (cf. GS 92) and brings out the value of migrations
from the point of view of ecumenism and missionary work and dialogue42. In fact it is through migration that God’s
saving plan will be effected (cf. Acts 11, 19-21)43. To this end it is necessary to deepen the
Christian life of migrants, which should be brought to maturity by means of an
evangelizing and catechising type of apostolate (cf. CD 13-14 and
This missionary-dialogical task pertains to all members of the
mystical Body, which migrants themselves must carry out in the threefold
function of Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. It will thus be necessary to
build up the Church and make it grow in and with the migrants, to
rediscover together and reveal Christian values and form an authentic
sacramental community of faith, worship, love44
The particular situation of chaplains, missionaries and lay
pastoral workers with regard to the hierarchy and the local clergy means that
they must be well aware of the necessity to carry out their ministry in close
union with the diocesan bishop, or with the hierarch, and his clergy (cf.
CD 28-29; AA 10 and PO 7). Moreover the difficulty and
importance of achieving certain aims both on the individual and the community
level will act as a stimulus for migrants’ chaplains and missionaries to seek
the broadest possible and correct collaboration of both men and women religious
(cf. DPMC 52-55) and of the lay faithful (cf. DPMC 56-61)45.
39. Migration therefore touches the religious dimension of man too
and offers Catholic migrants a privileged though often painful opportunity to
reach a sense of belonging to the universal Church which goes beyond any local
particularity. To this end it is important that communities do not think that
they have completed their duty to migrants simply by performing acts of
fraternal assistance or even by supporting legislation aimed at giving them
their due place in society while respecting their identity as foreigners.
Christians must in fact promote an authentic culture of welcome (cf.
EEu 101 and 103) capable of accepting the truly human values of the
immigrants over and above any difficulties caused by living together with
persons who are different (cf. EEu 85, 112 and PaG 65).
40. Christians will accomplish all this by means of a truly
fraternal welcome in the sense of St Paul’s admonition, “Welcome one another
then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Rm 15:7)46.
Certainly the appeal alone, however nobly inspired and heartfelt,
does not provide an automatic and practical reply to the pressing issues of
every day. It does not, for example, eliminate a widespread fear or feeling of
insecurity in people, neither does it guarantee due respect for legality nor
safeguard the integrity of the host community. But a genuinely Christian spirit
will give the right approach and courage to face these problems and suggest the
practical means by which we are called to resolve them in the day-to-day life of
our Christian communities (cf. EEu 85 and 111).
41. For this reason the entire Church in the host country must
feel concerned and engaged regarding immigrants. This means that local Churches
must rethink pastoral care, programming it to help the faithful live their faith
authentically in today’s new multicultural and pluri-religious context47. With the help of social and
pastoral workers, the local population should be made aware of the complex
problems of migration and the need to oppose baseless suspicions and offensive
prejudices against foreigners.
In religious instruction and catechesis suitable means must be
found to create in the Christian conscience a sense of welcome, especially for
the poorest and outcasts as migrants often are. This welcome is fully based on
love for Christ, in the certainty that good done out of love of God to one’s
neighbour, especially the most needy, is done to Him. This catechesis cannot
avoid referring to the serious problems that precede and accompany migration,
such as the demographic question, work and working conditions (illegal work),
the care of the numerous elderly persons, criminality, the exploitation of
migrants and trafficking and smuggling of human beings.
42. In welcoming migrants it is of course useful and correct to
distinguish between assistance in a general sense (a first, short-term
welcome), true welcome in the full sense (longer-term projects) and
integration (an aim to be pursued constantly over a long period and in
the true sense of the word).
Pastoral workers with competence in cultural mediation – and our
Catholic communities too should ensure that they have such people – are called
upon to help bridge the legitimate requirements of order, legality and social
security with the Christian vocation to welcome others with practical
expressions of love. It will also be important to ensure that all realise the
benefits – not only economic – that industrialised countries derive from a
regulated inflow of immigrants and at the same time become more and more aware
that their need for manpower is being answered by human beings: men, women and
whole families with children and elderly persons.
43. Nevertheless assistance or “first welcome” are of the greatest
importance (let us think, for example, of migrants’ hospitality centres,
especially in transit countries) in response to the emergencies that come with
migrations: canteens, dormitories, clinics, economic aid, reception centres. But
also important are acts of welcome in its full sense, which aim at the
progressive integration and self-sufficiency of the immigrant. Let us remember
in particular the commitment undertaken for family unification, education of
children, housing, work, associations, promotion of civil rights and migrants’
various ways of participation in their host society. Religious, social,
charitable and cultural associations of Christian inspiration should also make
efforts to involve immigrants themselves in their structures.
Liturgy and popular
44. The ecclesiological foundation of the pastoral care of
migrants will also help give shape to a liturgy that is more sensitive to the
historical and anthropological aspects of migration, so that liturgical
celebrations become a living expression of communities of believers who walk
hic et nunc on the ways of salvation.
This raises the question of the relation of liturgy with the
character, tradition and genius of different cultural groups and how to respond
to the particular social and cultural situation of such groups by pastoral care
that should consider their specific liturgical formation and ways of making
liturgy more lively (cf. SC 23) and also promote the wider participation
of the faithful in the particular Church (cf. EEu 69-72 and
45. Owing also to the shortage of their numbers, presbyters should
make the most of the lay faithful in non-ordained ministries. Where no
presbyters are available, the possibility should be considered of organising
so-called Sunday assemblies without a presbyter in immigrant communities too
(cf. CIC Can. 1248, §2), where prayers are said, the Word proclaimed and
the Eucharist distributed (cf. PaG 37) under the direction of a deacon or
of a layperson duly authorised for this48. The shortage of priests for migrants can be partly
remedied by entrusting certain activities in the parish to suitably prepared
laymen in conformity with the CIC (cf. Can. 228, §1; 230, §3 and 517,
In all this the general norms will be observed as laid down by the
Holy See and recalled in the Apostolic Letter
Domini, which states: “When it is impossible to celebrate the Eucharist,
the Church recommends the holding of Sunday assemblies in the absence of a
priest in accordance with the indications and directives of the Holy See whose
application is entrusted to the Episcopal Conferences”49.
In this connection, presbyters will do all they can to make the
People of God aware of the need in every particular Church of authentic
vocations to the priesthood and to promote intense vocation ministry in this
regard among immigrants too (EEu 31-32 and PaG 53-54).
46. Popular piety, too, deserves particular attention50
as it is characteristic of many migrant
communities. Besides recognising that “when it is well oriented, above all by a
pedagogy of evangelisation, it is rich in values” (EN 48), we must also
bear in mind that for many migrants it is a fundamental link with their Church
of origin and with their ways of understanding and living the faith. Here it is
a question of putting into action an in-depth work of evangelisation and of
enabling the local Catholic community to know and appreciate certain forms of
devotion of migrants and thus to understand them. From this union of spirit a
more participated liturgy can also develop, one that is better integrated and
The same may be said concerning links with the various Eastern
Catholic Churches. The sacred liturgy celebrated in the rite of their own Church
sui iuris is important as a safeguard of the spiritual identity of
Catholic migrants of the East as is also the use of their languages in religious
47. Pastoral care has furthermore to give ample space, always in a
liturgical perspective, for the particular condition of life of migrants, to the
family, the “household Church”, to common prayer, to family Bible groups, and to
the family’s response to the liturgical year (cf. EEu 78). The family
blessings proposed in the Book of Blessings also deserve due attention52.
Today we are also witnessing a renewed commitment to involve
families in preparing for the reception of the sacraments, which can bring fresh
vitality to Christian communities. Through this, in fact, many young persons
(cf. PaG 53) and adults are rediscovering the meaning and the value of
ways that help give new strength to their faith and Christian life.
48. A particular danger to the faith comes from today’s religious
pluralism, in the sense of relativism and syncretism in religious matters. To
combat this danger it is necessary to prepare new pastoral initiatives that are
capable of confronting this phenomenon which, together with the proliferation of
sects53, is one of the most
serious pastoral problems of today.
49. With regard to Catholic migrants the Church makes provision
for a specific kind of pastoral care because of diversity of language, origin,
culture, ethnicity and tradition, or of belonging to a particular Church sui
iuris with its own rite. In fact, these factors often hinder a full and
speedy insertion of immigrants into local territorial parishes, or it may be
necessary to bear them in mind with the prospect of erecting parishes or a
hierarchy for the faithful belonging to particular Churches sui iuris.
The uprooting that moving abroad inevitably involves (from country of origin,
family, language etc.) should not be made worse by uprooting the migrant from
his religious rite or identity too.
50. When groups of immigrants are particularly numerous and
homogeneous therefore, they are encouraged to keep up their specific Catholic
traditions. In particular, efforts must be made to provide organised religious
assistance by priests of the language, culture and rite of the migrants
selecting the most suitable juridical option from among those foreseen by the
CIC and the CCEO.
In any case it is not possible to over-emphasise the need for the
closest communion between language-based missions and territorial parishes. It
is also important to work for mutual knowledge, making use of all opportunities
offered by ordinary pastoral work also to involve immigrants in the life of the
parishes (cf. EEu 28).
In case immigrants are too few in number for a specific organised
religious assistance, the particular Church where they have arrived should help
them overcome the problems caused by uprooting from their community of origin
and the serious difficulties of finding their place in their new one. Where
immigrants are not significant in number, catechism and liturgical formation by
religious and lay pastoral workers in close collaboration with
chaplains/missionaries will prove to be particularly valuable (cf. EEu
51, 73 and also PaG 51).
51. Mention should also be made of the need to provide specific
pastoral assistance for technicians, professional workers and foreign students
temporarily resident in countries where the majority of the population is Muslim
or of another faith. If left to themselves without any spiritual guide, these
temporary migrants, instead of bearing Christian witness, may be the cause of
erroneous judgments about Christianity. In saying this, we fully acknowledge the
beneficial influence of thousands and thousands of Christians who do bear
faithful witness in these countries, or of the return to their original homes,
where Christians are in the minority, by former migrants of other religions who
have been living in dominantly Catholic regions.
Eastern Rite Catholic
52. Eastern Rite Catholic migrants, whose numbers are steadily
increasing, deserve particular pastoral attention. In their regard we should
first of all remember the juridical obligation of the faithful to observe their
own rite everywhere insofar as possible, rite being understood as their
liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary heritage (cf. CCEO
Can. 28, §1 and PaG 72).
This means that “even though entrusted to the care of a hierarch
or pastor of another Church sui iuris, they still remain inscribed as
members of their own Church sui iuris” (CCEO Can. 38). Indeed even
a prolonged practice of receiving the sacraments according to the rite of
another Church sui iuris does not mean that they become members of that
Church (cf. CIC Can. 112, §2). It is in fact forbidden “to change rites
without the consent of the Apostolic See” (cf. CCEO Can. 32 and
CIC Can. 112, §1).
Notwithstanding their right and duty to observe their own rite
Eastern Catholic migrants also have the right to participate actively in the
liturgical celebrations of any other Church sui iuris, including the
Latin Church, in accordance with the prescriptions of its liturgical books (cf.
CCEO Can. 403, §1).
Moreover the hierarchy must take care that those who have frequent
contacts with the faithful of another rite should know that rite and respect it
(cf. CCEO Can. 41). It will also be vigilant that no one should feel
restricted in his freedom because of language or rite (cf. CCEO Can.
53. In this line the Second Vatican Council (CD 23)
decreed: “Where there are faithful of a different rite, the diocesan bishop
should provide for their spiritual needs either through priests or parishes of
that rite or through an episcopal vicar endowed with the necessary faculties.
Wherever it is fitting, the last named should also have episcopal rank.
Otherwise the Ordinary himself may perform the office of an Ordinary of
different rites”. Moreover “one or more episcopal vicars can be named by the
bishop. These automatically enjoy the same authority which the common law grants
the vicar general … for the faithful of a determined rite” (CD
54. In conformity with the Council’s decree, the CIC (Can.
383, §2) lays down that if the diocesan bishop “has faithful of a different rite
in his diocese, he is to provide for their spiritual needs either through
priests or parishes of the same rite or through an episcopal vicar”. The latter,
in accordance with Can. 476 of the CIC, “posses[es] the same ordinary
power which a vicar general has by universal law” regarding his relation with
the faithful of a particular rite. After enunciating the principle of the
territorial nature of a parish, the CIC (Can. 518) lays down in fact that
“when it is expedient personal parishes are to be established, determined by
reason of the rite”.
55. Whenever this is done, these parishes will juridically form an
integral part of the Latin diocese, and the parish priests of the aforementioned
rite will be members of the diocesan presbyterate of the Latin bishop. It
should, however, be noted that although in the hypothesis foreseen in the above
mentioned canons these faithful are living within the jurisdiction of the Latin
bishop, it is opportune that before instituting personal parishes for them or
designating a presbyter as assistant or parish priest or indeed episcopal vicar,
the Latin bishop should take up contact both with the Congregation for the
Oriental Churches and with the respective hierarchy, in particular with the
It should be recalled here that the CCEO (Can. 193, §3)
lays down that when eparchs “constitute this kind of presbyter or parish priest
or syncelli for the pastoral care of the Christians faithful of the patriarchal
Churches”, they should “take up contact with the relevant Patriarchs and, if
they agree, should then act on their own authority, informing the Apostolic See
about this as soon as possible; if, however, for any reason the Patriarchs do
not agree, then the matter must be referred to the Apostolic See”54. Although there is no explicit regulation
corresponding to this in the CIC, it should nevertheless by analogy apply
to Latin diocesan bishops too.
Migrants of other
Churches and Ecclesial Communities
56. The growing number of Christian immigrants not in full
communion with the Catholic Church offers particular Churches new possibilities
of living ecumenical fraternity in practical day-to-day life and of achieving
greater reciprocal understanding between Churches and ecclesial communities,
something far from facile irenicism or proselytism. What is called for is a
spirit of apostolic charity that, on the one hand respects other people’s
consciences and recognises the good it discovers in them, but which can wait for
the moment to become an instrument for a deeper encounter between Christ and a
brother. The Catholic faithful must not in fact forget that it is also a service
and a sign of great love to welcome our brothers into full communion with the
Church. In any case, however, “If priests, ministers or communities not in full
communion with the Catholic Church do not have a place or the liturgical objects
needed for celebrating worthily their religious ceremonies, the diocesan Bishop
may allow them to use a church or a Catholic building and also lend them
whatever may be necessary for their services. In similar circumstances
permission may be given them for interment or for celebration of services at
57. Another matter to be remembered is that in certain
circumstances it is legitimate for non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist
together with Catholics, as confirmed also by the recent encyclical
Eucharistia. Thus “While it is never legitimate to concelebrate in the
absence of full communion, the same is not true with respect to the
administration of the Eucharist under special circumstances, to individual
persons belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion
with the Catholic Church. In this case, in fact, the intention is to meet a
grave spiritual need for the eternal salvation of an individual believer, not to
bring about an intercommunion which remains impossible until the
visible bonds of ecclesial communion are fully re-established. This was the
approach taken by the Second Vatican Council when it gave guidelines for
responding to Eastern Christians separated in good faith from the Catholic
Church, who spontaneously ask to receive the Eucharist from a Catholic minister
and are properly disposed [see OE 27]. This approach was then ratified by
both Codes, which also consider – with necessary modifications – the case of
other non-Eastern Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic
Church (cf. CIC Can. 844, §§3-4 and CCEO Can. 671, §§3-4)”56.
58. At all events, there is to be particular reciprocal respect
for the regulations of both sides as is made clear by the
for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism: “Catholics
ought to show a sincere respect for the liturgical and sacramental discipline of
other Churches and ecclesial Communities, and these … are asked to show the same
respect for Catholic discipline”57.
In the case of migrants, these provisions and the “ecumenism of
daily life” (PaG 64) cannot fail to have beneficial effects. Particular
moments for ecumenical commitment could be the major liturgical feasts of the
different denominations, the traditional World Days of Prayer for Peace, of
Migrants and Refugees and the annual Week of Prayer for Christian
other religions, in general
59. Recent times have witnessed a growing increase in the presence
of immigrants of other religions in traditionally Christian countries. Various
pronouncements by the Magisterium, and in particular the encyclical
as also the
Instruction Dialogue and Proclamation59, provide clear guidance on this question.
In the case of non-Christian immigrants, the Church is also
concerned with their human development and with the witness of Christian
charity, which itself has an evangelising value that may open hearts for the
explicit proclamation of the gospel when this is done with due Christian
prudence and full respect for the freedom of the other. In any case the migrant
of another religion should be helped insofar as possible to preserve a
transcendent view of life.
The Church is thus called upon to open a dialogue with these
immigrants, and this “dialogue should be conducted and implemented in the
conviction that the Church is the ordinary means of salvation and that she alone
possesses the fullness of the means of salvation” (RMi 55; cf. also
60. This requires Catholic communities receiving immigrants to
appreciate their own identity even more, prove their loyalty to Christ, know the
contents of the faith well, rediscover their missionary calling and thus commit
themselves to bear witness for Jesus the Lord and His gospel. This is the
necessary prerequisite for the correct attitude of sincere dialogue, open and
respectful of all but at the same time neither naivenor ill-equipped (cf.
PaG 64 and 68).
It is the Christians’ task in particular to help immigrants find
their place in the social and cultural context of their host country by
accepting its civil laws (PaG 72). Above all, however, Christians are
called upon with the witness of their lives to denounce certain negative aspects
present in the rich industrialised countries (materialism and consumerism, moral
relativism and religious indifferentism), which might shake the religious
convictions of immigrants.
We hope that this commitment with regard to immigrants will not
just be practised by individual Christians alone or by traditional aid
organisations but may also be included in the overall programmes of ecclesial
movements and lay associations of the faithful (cf. CfL 29).
matters calling for particular attention
61. To avoid misunderstandings and confusion, and considering the
religious diversity that we mutually recognise, and out of respect for sacred
places and the religion of the other too, we do not consider it opportune for
Christian churches, chapels, places of worship or other places reserved for
evangelisation and pastoral work to be made available for members of
non-Christian religions. Still less should they be used to obtain recognition of
demands made on the public authorities. On the other hand spaces for social use,
for free-time activities, games and relaxation and the like, could and should be
opened to persons of other religions, respecting the rules followed in these
places. The social contacts made there would be an opportunity to favour the
integration of the new arrivals and prepare cultural mediators capable of
helping overcome cultural and religious barriers by promoting adequate
62. Catholic schools (cf. EEu 59 and PaG 52) must
not renounce their own characteristics and Christian-oriented educational
programmes when immigrants’ children of another religion are accepted60. Parents wishing to enrol their children
should be clearly informed of this. At the same time no pupil must be compelled
to take part in a Catholic liturgy or to perform actions contrary to his or her
Moreover religious instruction provided for in the school
curriculum, if given with a scholastic character, may be useful to help pupils
learn about a faith different from their own. In religious instruction, however,
all must be educated to respect persons of different religious convictions but
relativism must be avoided.
63. With regard to marriage between Catholics and non-Christian
migrants, this should be discouraged, though to a varying degree, depending on
the religion of each partner, with exceptions in special cases in accordance
with the norms of the CIC and CCEO. It should in fact be
remembered that, in the words of Pope John Paul II, “In families where both
parents are Catholic, it is easier for them to share their common faith with
their children. While acknowledging with gratitude interfaith marriages which
succeeded in nourishing the faith of both spouses and children, the Synod
encourages pastoral efforts to promote marriages between people of the same
64. Finally, in relations between Christians and persons of other
religions, the principle of reciprocity is important. It is to be understood not
merely as an attitude for making claims but as a relationship based on mutual
respect and on justice in juridical and religious matters. Reciprocity is also
an attitude of heart and spirit that enables us to live together everywhere with
equal rights and duties. Healthy reciprocity will urge each one to become an
“advocate” for the rights of minorities when his or her own religious community
is in the majority. In this respect we should also recall the numerous Christian
migrants in lands where the majority of the population is not Christian and
where the right to religious freedom is severely restricted or
65. Today, especially in certain countries, there is a high or
growing percentage of Muslim immigrants, for whom this Pontifical Council also
expresses its solicitude.
In this regard the Second Vatican Council indicates the attitude
to be adopted in the spirit of the gospel, calling for a purification of memory
regarding past misunderstandings, to cultivate common values and to clarify and
respect diversity, but without renouncing Christian principles62. Catholic communities are therefore called
upon to practise discernment. It is a question of distinguishing between what
can be and cannot be shared in the religious doctrines and practices and in the
moral laws of Islam.
66. Belief in God the Creator and the Merciful, daily prayer,
fasting, alms-giving, pilgrimage, asceticism to dominate the passions, and the
fight against injustice and oppression are common values to be found in
Christianity too, though they may be expressed or manifested in a different
manner. Beside these points of agreement there are, however, also divergences,
some of which have to do with legitimate acquisitions of modern life and
thought. Thinking in particular of human rights, we hope that there will be, on
the part of our Muslim brothers and sisters, a growing awareness that
fundamental liberties, the inviolable rights of the person, the equal dignity of
man and woman, the democratic principle of government and the healthy lay
character of the State are principles that cannot be surrendered. It will
likewise be necessary to reach harmony between the vision of faith and the just
autonomy of creation63.
67. When, for example, a Catholic woman and a Muslim wish to
marry, bearing in mind what is stated in No. 63 and local pastoral judgements,
bitter experience teaches us that a particularly careful and in-depth
preparation is called for. During it the two fiancés will be helped to know and
consciously “assume” the profound cultural and religious differences they will
have to face, both between themselves and in relation to their respective
families and the Muslim’s original environment, to which they may possibly
return after a period spent abroad.
If the marriage is registered with a consulate of the Islamic
country of origin, the Catholic party must beware of reciting or signing
documents containing the shahada (profession of the Muslim belief).
In any case, the marriage between a Catholic and a Muslim, if
celebrated in spite of all this, requires not only canonical dispensation but
also the support of the Catholic community both before and after the marriage.
One of the most important tasks of Catholic associations, volunteer workers and
counselling services will be to help these families educate their children and,
if need be, to support the least protected member of the Muslim family, that is
the woman, to know and insist on her rights.
68. Finally as regards the baptism of the children, it is well
known that the norms of the two religions are in stark contrast. The problem
must therefore be raised with absolute clarity during the preparation for
marriage, and the Catholic party must take a firm stand on what the Church
requires. Conversion and the request for baptism by adult Muslims also require
very careful attention, both because of the particular nature of the Muslim
religion and the consequences that follow from this.
69. Societies today are more and more mixed as regards religion
owing in part to migration. They thus require of Catholics a convinced
willingness for true interreligious dialogue (cf. PaG 68). To this end
both the ordinary Catholic faithful and pastoral workers in local Churches
should receive solid formation and information on other religions so as to
overcome prejudices, prevail over religious relativism and avoid unjustified
suspicions and fears that hamper dialogue and erect barriers, even provoking
violence or misunderstanding. Local Churches will take care to include such
formation in the educational programmes of their seminaries, schools and
Dialogue among different religions must not, however, be
understood as just looking for points in common so as to build peace together
but above all as an occasion to rediscover convictions shared in each community.
These include prayer, fasting, man’s fundamental vocation, openness to the
Transcendent, the adoration of God and solidarity between nations64.
Nevertheless we ourselves must never renounce the proclamation –
either explicit or implicit according to circumstances – of salvation in Christ,
the only Mediator between God and man. The whole work of the Church moves in
this direction in such a way that neither fraternal dialogue nor the exchange
and sharing of “human” values can diminish the Church’s commitment to
evangelisation (cf. RMi 10-11 and PaG 30).
a Pastoral Care of Communion
In the home and the
70. To ensure that the pastoral care of migrants may be one of
communion (that is, born from an ecclesiology of communion and serving a
spirituality of communion), it is essential that the Churches of departure and
arrival establish an intense collaboration with one another. This begins first
in the reciprocal exchange of information on matters of common pastoral
interest. It is unthinkable that these Churches should fail to dialogue with one
another and systematically discuss, even in periodic meetings, problems
concerning thousands of migrants. Then for the better co-ordination of all
pastoral activity in favour of immigrants, Episcopal Conferences should entrust
it to a special Commission, with the appointment of a National Director to
animate the corresponding diocesan commissions. When it is not possible to set
up such a Commission, a Bishop Promoter should at least be entrusted with the
co-ordination of the pastoral care of migrants. In this way spiritual assistance
for persons far from their home country will appear as a clear ecclesial
commitment, a pastoral task that cannot simply be left to the generosity of
individuals, presbyters, religious men or women, or lay faithful but sustained,
even materially, by the local Churches (cf. also PaG 45).
71. Episcopal Conferences will likewise entrust to Catholic
university faculties in their territories the task of studying the various
aspects of migration more thoroughly for the benefit of concrete pastoral
service for migrants. Compulsory courses of theological specialisation could
also be programmed for this purpose.
In seminaries too, formation cannot now fail to take into account
the world-wide phenomenon of migration. “Seminaries and Institutes of Higher
Studies, in adapting their own curricula and methods, will enable their students
to become acquainted with the various types of emigration (permanent or
seasonal, international or internal), the reasons for which people move, the
consequences of such mobility, the general outlines for adequate pastoral care
in this field, the Pontifical Documents on the subject and also those of the
In any event “the Quaderni universitari of the Pontifical
Council [then Commission] for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
and its magazine ‘[People] on the move’, together with other documents of the
Magisterium published recently, will prove useful when initiating the teaching
Finally the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation,
dabo vobis, explicitly requires that the pastoral experience of
seminarians should also be orientated towards nomads and migrants67.
72. The celebration of the World Day (or Week) of Migrants and
Refugees will also be the occasion for a growing sense of urgency in commitment
and for paying zealous attention to the specific topic proposed each year by the
Supreme Pontiff in his Message.
This Pontifical Council proposes that this day should be celebrated everywhere
on one fixed date so as to help all to live together – at one and the same time
– in the sight of God a day of prayer, action and sacrifice for the cause of
migrants and refugees.
In addition to the World Day, an annual meeting of the
bishop/eparch, possibly in his Cathedral, with all the ethnic groups present in
the diocese/eparchy could prove to be of great significance. In some places
where this event is already held, it is known as the “festival of
co-ordinator for chaplains/missionaries
73. Among the pastoral workers in the service of the migrant, the
National Co-ordinator is particularly important. He is meant to be a help more
for the chaplains/missionaries of a certain language or country than for the
migrants themselves. Likewise he is an expression of the Church ad quam
in favour of the chaplains/missionaries themselves though he is not considered
to be their representative. He is at the service of the chaplains/missionaries
who receive the “declaration of suitability” – that is the rescript given by the
Episcopal Conference a qua (cf. DPMC 36, 2) – in countries with a
large number of immigrants coming from the same nation.
74. The activity of the National Co-ordinator towards the
chaplains/missionaries is to exercise fraternal vigilance, to moderate and to
act as a link between the various communities. He has no direct competence,
however, over the migrants who, by reason of their domicile or semi-domicile,
are subject to the jurisdiction of the ordinaries or hierarchs of the particular
Churches or eparchies. He does not have jurisdiction over the
chaplains/missionaries who, regarding the faculties and exercise of their
ministry, are subject to the local ordinary, from whom they receive the relative
faculties. The National Co-ordinator must therefore work in close contact with
the national and diocesan directors of pastoral work for migrants.
75. On the basis of previous Church documents dealing with this
subject68, we would here stress
above all the necessity of special preparation for specific pastoral work among
migrants (cf. PaG 72), which entails an authentically missionary
dimension and is eminently spiritual in purpose. Such a preparation is carried
out in communion with and under the responsibility also of the local
ordinary/hierarch of the country of origin.
76. In this connection it is to be noted that “the complexity and
continuing evolution which are to be observed in the phenomenon of people on the
move make necessary, in order to give direction and purpose to the pastoral
activity, the work of complementary institutions, designed to keep track of this
phenomenon and aim atan objective evaluation of it. This means pastoral centres
for ethnic groups but above all interdisciplinary study centres, that is, ones
which would collate the material necessary for the working out and putting into
practise a pastoral strategy” (CMU 40). This research should also be
useful as a guide for studies in seminaries, institutes of formation and
pastoral centres and should be directly utilisable for the preparation of
pastoral workers dealing with migration.
77. To be a chaplain/missionary for migrants eiusdem
sermonis (of the same language) does not, however, mean to remain prisoner
to one exclusive, national way of living and expressing the faith. If on the one
hand we must emphasise the need for specific pastoral care based on the
necessity to transmit the Christian message by cultural means that correspond to
the formation and just requirements of the persons it is aimed at, on the other
it is equally important to reaffirm that such specific pastoral care also
requires openness to a new world and a sincere effort to find one’s place in it,
the final goal being the full participation of the migrants in the life of the
diocese. In this process the chaplain/missionary must be a bridge, linking the
community of migrants to the host community. He is with them to build the
Church, in communion first of all with the diocesan bishop/eparch and with his
brothers in the priesthood, in particular with the parish priests who have the
same pastoral work to perform (cf. DPMC 30, 3). To do this he needs to
know and appreciate the culture of the place where he is called to perform his
ministry, speak its language, be able to dialogue with the society he lives in
and teach esteem and respect for the host country, even to the point of loving
and defending it. So even though the migrants’ chaplain/missionary makes use of
ethnic or linguistic considerations as the basis in exercising his ministry, he
knows well that the pastoral care of migrants must also result in building up a
Church that aims at being ecumenical and missionary (cf. RMi 10-11;
DPMC 30, 2).
78. Those responsible for pastoral work among migrants should thus
have a certain expertise in intercultural communication. The same also applies
to those responsible for pastoral care on the local level since those coming
from abroad cannot effect such cultural mediation on their own.
The principal tasks of the pastoral worker among immigrants are,
above all, thus:
· safeguarding the migrants’ ethnic, cultural, linguistic and
ritual identity since effective pastoral activity is unthinkable if it does not
respect and value their cultural heritage, which, however, must also be brought
into dialogue with the local Church and culture so as to respond to new
· guidance on the way to authentic integration, avoiding a
cultural ghetto and at the same time opposing the pure and simple assimilation
of migrants into the local culture;
· incarnating a missionary and evangelising spirit, by sharing the
situation and conditions of migrants, with the ability to adapt and make
personal contacts in an atmosphere of a clear witness of life.
presbyters as chaplains/missionaries
79. Chaplains/missionaries may be diocesan/eparchial presbyters
(who normally remain incardinated in their own diocese/eparchy and go abroad
temporarily to care for migrants) or religious presbyters. Both however, whether
diocesan/eparchial or religious, take on the same mission, though their initial
vocations may be different and complementary.
Diocesan/eparchial presbyters, exercising pastoral care in a
diocese/eparchy where they are not incardinated are nevertheless integrated into
it so that they form part of the diocesan/eparchial presbytery to all effects69. The same applies to religions
presbyters. It cannot therefore be too strongly stressed that
chaplains/missionaries remain united in fraternal harmony not only with the
local ordinary/eparch, but also with the diocesan/eparchial clergy, especially
with the parish priests. For that purpose, participation in priest’s meetings
and those of the diocese/eparchy can be helpful, together with efforts to be
present in gatherings for study of social, moral, liturgical and pastoral
issues. These are a condition sine qua non for putting an authentic
pastoral care into practice with mutual co-operation, solidarity and
co-responsibility (cf. DPMC 42). It must also be an operative unity so as
to be effective between migrants and the local population too. This kind of
solidarity, in intention and in practice, will be an excellent example of
adaptation and collaboration, and in this way mutual knowledge and respect of
the cultural heritages of each one will be achieved.
presbyters, brothers and sisters working among migrants
80. Religious presbyters, brothers and sisters have always played
a primary role in pastoral work for migrants, and the Church has shown and
continues to show great confidence in what they do. The Christian community
recognises the vocation to the religious life as a special gift of the Spirit,
which the Church welcomes, guards and interprets so as to make it grow and
develop in accordance with its own dynamism70. The same Spirit in the course of history has also brought
into being institutes whose specific goal is the apostolate to migrants71, each having its own organisation.
In this connection we feel duty-bound to remember the apostolate
of religious women, so often dedicated to the pastoral care of migrants, with
specific charisms and performing works of great pastoral importance. We would
recall in particular the words of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation
consecrata: “Likewise the future of re-evangelisation, as of all other
forms of missionary activity, is unthinkable without a renewed contribution from
women, especially consecrated women” (no. 57). Also: “It is therefore urgently
necessary to take certain concrete steps, beginning by providing room for women
to participate in different fields and at all levels, including decision-making
processes, above all in matters which concern women themselves”72.
81. In addition to these religious institutes for the pastoral
care of migrants, there are also others which, although it is not their specific
charism, are cordially invited to take part in this responsibility. In fact “it
will always be opportune and praiseworthy for them to devote themselves to the
spiritual care of this category of the faithful, choosing especially those
activities that best correspond to their nature and aims” (DPMC 53, 2).
This is the practical application of one of the Council’s directives, because
“in view of the urgent need of souls and the scarcity of diocesan clergy,
Religious communities which are not dedicated exclusively to the contemplative
life can be called upon by the bishops to assist in various pastoral ministries.
They should, however, keep in mind the particular character of each community.
Superiors should encourage this work to the utmost, by accepting parishes, even
on a temporary basis” (CD 35).
82. But if all religious institutes are called upon to keep in
mind human mobility in their pastoral work, then they should give generous
consideration to the possibility of sending some of their own members, men or
women, to work in the field of migration. Many of them in fact could make an
appreciable contribution to the spiritual care of migrants because they have
members with different types of formation, coming from various countries, whom
it would be relatively simple to transfer abroad.
It is particularly in the field of migration that the role
attributed to religious institutes in the Apostolic Exhortation
nuntiandi stands out clearly. In fact “by their lives they are sign of
total availability to God, the Church and the brethren. As such they have a
special importance in the context of the witness which … is of prime importance
in evangelisation. At the same time as being a challenge to the world and to the
Church herself, this silent witness of poverty and abnegation, of purity and
sincerity, of self-sacrifice in obedience, can become an eloquent witness
capable of touching also non-Christians who have good will and are sensitive to
certain values” (EN 69).
83. This need for pastoral attention is emphasised in the
Instruction of 25th March 1987 dealing with pastoral commitment for
migrants and refugees, published jointly by the Congregation for the Religious
and Secular Institutes and the Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral Care of
Migration and Tourism and addressed to all men and women superiors general. This
appeal to religious institutes for a particular commitment in favour of migrants
and refugees is deeply motivated by what could be described as an affinity
between the intimate expectations of these people uprooted from their homelands,
and the religious life. Theirs are the expectations, often unexpressed, of the
poor with no prospect of security, of outcasts often mortified in their longing
for fraternity and communion. When offered by those who have voluntarily chosen
to live in poverty, chastity and obedience, this solidarity is not only a
support in their difficult situation but also a witness to values that can
enkindle hope in sad situations (cf. no. 8). Here, then, is an urgent invitation
to all institutes of the consecrated life and to all societies of apostolic life
to be generous in widening the horizons of their work with a truly missionary
dimension, an appeal that should be considered especially by religious
congregations whose specific goal is missionary73.
84. There is no doubt that today many religious institutes are
more and more aware that the migration problem represents more or less a
challenge to their charisms. But so that this spiritual awareness and the
appeals of the Church’s magisterium may take on concrete form, we would suggest
here to superiors general that they collaborate generously with pastoral workers
for migrants and refugees by assigning some of their own members to work in this
sector, backed up by the solidarity and collaboration of the entire religious
community. Perhaps they might also make available for this work, either
permanently or for a certain period, some part of their buildings that would
otherwise remain unused.
We would further suggest that, in their circular letters to their
members and in their meetings, superiors should from time to time focus on the
urgency of the problem of migrants and refugees, drawing attention to Church
documents and the words of the Holy Father. They might also care to bring up
this matter on the occasion of general or provincial chapters and during courses
of updating and permanent formation. Future presbyters too should at least
consider the possibility of preparing themselves to exercise their ministry or
part of it among migrants74.
85. As regards the practical life of men and women religious
working for migrants, it should be stressed as a fundamental criterion that the
religious life as such must be safeguarded and appreciated in its inspiration
and in its particular forms. It is in itself the image of perfect charity, a
charism whose treasures are of benefit to the whole community. Pastoral care for
migrants undoubtedly needs religious communities, but these in turn must be able
to live and work in observance of and adhesion to their own constitutional
norms. This is stated quite clearly in Mutuae
Relationes: “In this hour of cultural evolution and ecclesial renewal,
therefore, it is necessary to preserve the identity of each institute so
securely, that the danger of an ill-defined situation be avoided, lest
religious, failing to give due consideration to the particular mode of action
proper to their character, become part of the life of the Church in a vague and
ambiguous way ” (MR 11).
laity, lay associations and ecclesial movements: for an engagement among
86. In both the Church and society the lay faithful, lay
associations and ecclesial movements, with all the diversity of their charisms
and ministries, are called to bear Christian witness and to be in the service of
migrants too75. In particular we
have in mind pastoral assistants and catechists, animators of groups of young
people or adults, persons engaged in the world of labour, in social and
charitable services (cf. PaG 51).
In a Church that strives to be entirely missionary-ministerial,
urged by the Spirit, respect for the gifts of all must be given prominence. In
this matter the lay faithful enjoy areas of rightful autonomy, but they also
take on typical tasks of diakonia, such as visiting the sick, helping the
elderly, leading youth groups, animating family associations, teaching catechism
and holding courses of professional qualification, working in schools and in
administration and, furthermore, helping in the liturgy and in “consultation
centres”, in prayer meetings and in meditation on the Word of God.
87. Other and more specific tasks for the lay faithful are in
trade unions and in the world of labour, advising about and writing out laws
aimed at facilitating reunification of migrant families and assuring them equal
rights and opportunities. This means giving them access to essential goods, work
and wages, home and school and enabling them to participate in the life of civil
society (elections, associations, recreational activities, etc.).
In the Church itself, one could examine the possibility of
instituting a suitable form of non-ordained ministry of welcome with the task of
approaching migrants and refugees and introducing them gradually into the civil
and the ecclesial community or helping them in view of a possible return to
their home country. In this context particular attention would need to be paid
to foreign students.
88. In this connection the lay faithful, too, need systematic
formation (cf. PaG 51), meant not just as transmitting of ideas and
concepts but, above all, as a help – surely in an intellectual sense too – for
them to bear the witness of an authentic Christian life. Ethnic and linguistic
communities too are called to be places of education even before being centres
of organisation, and in this widening view of things space will be given for
ongoing and systematic formation.
The Christian witness of the laity in building the Kingdom of God
certainly heads the list of a host of important questions, including the
relations of the Church and the world, faith and life, and charity and
Structures of Missionary Pastoral Care
Unity in plurality:
89. There are many reasons why the specific care of migrants
should be more deeply integrated into the pastoral care of particular Churches
(cf. DPMC 42). The person primarily responsible for this is the
diocesan/eparchial bishop who, in full respect for the migrants’ diversity and
spiritual and cultural patrimony, goes beyond the limits of uniformity (cf..
PaG 65 and 72), distinguishing the territorial character of the care of
souls from that of care based on belonging to ethnic, linguistic, cultural and
In this context each host Church is called upon to integrate the
concrete reality of the persons and groups that compose it, bringing the values
of each one into communion, as all are called upon to build a Church that is
concretely Catholic. “In this way there is brought about a unity in plurality in
the local Church, a unity that is not uniformity but harmony, in which every
legitimate diversity plays its part in the common and unifying effort”
In that way, in the Spirit of Pentecost, the particular Church
will contribute to the foundation of a new society, in which the different
languages and cultures no longer constitute inviolable confines, as after Babel,
but in which this very diversity can realize a new manner of communication and
communion (cf. PaG 65).
Pastoral work among migrants thus becomes a service of the Church
for the faithful whose language or culture are different from those of the host
country, while at the same time it ensures that the foreign communities make
their own contribution to the construction of a Church that must be a sign and
instrument of unity with the prospect of a renewed humanity. It is this vision
that has to be deepened and assimilated also to avoid possible tensions between
indigenous parishes and chaplaincies for immigrants, between indigenous
presbyters and chaplains/missionaries. In all this, consideration should also be
given to the classic distinction between first, second and third generations of
migrants, each one having its own characteristics and specific
90. Today the problem of helping migrants find their place in the
Church is mainly on two planes: one is canonical and structural and the other
theological and pastoral.
Human mobility today is on a world-wide scale. In the long run
this certainly means going beyond pastoral care that is generally mono-ethnic,
as both chaplaincies/missions for foreigners and the territorial parishes of
host countries have been up to now, thus in view of a pastoral approach based on
dialogue and constant mutual collaboration.
Regarding chaplaincies/missions for persons of a different culture
or language, we should note that the classic pastoral expression Missio cum
cura animarum was basically linked, in the past, to immigration that was
temporary or at any rate going through a settling-in period. Today this solution
should no longer be the almost exclusive pastoral option for immigrant
communities that live at various levels of integration in their host country. In
other words, new structures need to be thought out that, on the one hand, will
be more “stable”, with a more consequent juridical form in the particular
Churches, and, on the other, will still be flexible and open to mobile or
temporary immigration. It is no easy matter, but this already seems to be the
challenge for the future.
91. Always bearing in mind that the migrants themselves must be
the first protagonists of pastoral care, we can envisage suitable solutions both
in the sphere of ethnic-linguistic pastoral care and of integrated pastoral care
(cf. PaG 72).
In the first sphere, we would first of all draw attention, here,
to some dynamics and pastoral structures, beginning with the Missio cum cura
animarum, the classic formula for communities still being built up, applied
to ethnic/national groups or those of a certain rite that have not yet settled
down. Even in such chaplaincies/missions more and more emphasis will have to be
laid on interethnic and intercultural relations.
On the other hand, a personal ethnic-linguistic parish or one
based on a particular rite is foreseen for places where there is an
immigrant community that will continually have newcomers even in the future, and
where that community is numerically strong. It maintains the typical
characteristic service of a parish (proclamation of the Word, catechesis,
liturgy, diakonia) and will be concerned above all with recent
immigrants, seasonal workers or those coming in turns, and with others who for
various reasons have difficulty in finding their place in the existent
We can also envisage the case of a local parish with an
ethnic-linguistic mission or with one based on a particular rite. This is
identified with a territorial parish which, with the help of one or more
pastoral workers, would take care of one or more groups of immigrant faithful.
The chaplain here would be part of the parish team.
There can likewise be an ethnic-linguistic pastoral service on
a zonal level, understood as pastoral care for immigrants who are relatively
well integrated in the local society. It seems important indeed to keep certain
elements of pastoral care based on language or linked to nationality or a
particular rite. That would guarantee essential services, including those
related to a particular type of culture and piety, and at the same time promote
openness and interaction among the territorial community and the various ethnic
92. At all events when the canonical erection of such stable
structures for pastoral care appears difficult or inopportune, this does not
diminish the duty to help Catholic immigrants pastorally in whatever manner
seems best in view of circumstances, even without specific canonical
institutions. Informal, perhaps spontaneous, pastoral arrangements deserve to be
recognised and encouraged within ecclesial circumscriptions, independently of
how many people benefit from them, if only to avoid the danger of improvisation
and isolated and unsuited pastoral workers or even of sects.
Integrated pastoral care
and its various sectors
93. Integrated pastoral care is here to be understood above all as
communion that knows how to appreciate belonging to different cultures and
peoples. This is in response to the Father’s plan of love, who in building His
Kingdom of peace – for Christ, with Christ and in Christ – by the power of the
Spirit, interweaves the historical, complex and often contradictory vicissitudes
of humanity (cf. NMI 43).
On this basis we can envisage:
· the intercultural and interethnic or inter-ritual parish,
providing pastoral assistance for both the local population and foreigners
resident in the same territory. In this way the traditional territorial parish
would become the privileged and stable place of interethnic and intercultural
experience, while the individual groups would retain a certain autonomy. Or
· the local parish with a service for migrants of one or more
ethnic groups, of one or more rites. This would be a territorial parish made
up of the local population but whose church or parish centre would be a point of
reference, meeting and community life for one or more foreign communities
94. Finally we could envisage certain environments, structures or
specific pastoral sectors that are dedicated to animation and formation at
various levels in the world of migrants. We have in mind:
· Centres for pastoral work among young persons and for
vocational orientation, with the task of furthering initiatives to this
· Centres for the formation of the laity and pastoral
workers, in a multicultural perspective;
· Centres for study and pastoral reflection, with the task
of observing the evolution of the migration phenomenon and presenting suitable
pastoral proposals to those in charge.
95. Pastoral units76, which came into being some time ago in some dioceses,
might in future constitute a pastoral platform for the apostolate among
immigrants too. They manifest that the parish-territory relationship is slowly
changing. It can be observed that services for the spiritual assistance of the
faithful are increasing in number and going beyond parish boundaries, new
legitimate forms of ministry are emerging, and, last but not least, the
migrants’ “diaspora” is steadily growing in importance and spreading
Pastoral units will have the desired effect if they operate above
all in the context of overall, integrated and organic pastoral work. In this
framework the ethnic-linguistic chaplaincies/missions and those for specific
rites can likewise be fully accepted. The requirements of communion and
co-responsibility have to be manifest concretely, not only in relations between
persons and different groups but also in the relations between local parish
communities and ethnic-linguistic or ritual ones.
(Seeds of the Word)
96. Today’s migrations constitute the greatest movement of
persons, if not of peoples, of all time. They bring us into contact with men and
women, our brothers and sisters, who for economic, cultural, political or
religious reasons have left or have been compelled to leave their homes and end
up, for the most part, in refugee camps, in a soulless megalopolis and in slums
on the outskirts of cities, where they often share the marginalisation of the
unemployed, the ill-adjusted youth, and abandoned women. The migrant thirsts for
some gesture that will make him feel welcome, recognised and acknowledged as a
person. Even just a simple greeting is one of these.
In answer to this yearning men and women of the consecrated life,
communities, lay associations and ecclesial movements as well as pastoral
workers should feel above all the duty to educate Christians to welcome,
solidarity and openness to foreigners, so that migration may become more and
more a “significant” factor for the Church, and the faithful may discover the
semina Verbi (seeds of the Word) found in different cultures and
97. In the Christian community born of Pentecost, migration is an
integral part of the Church’s life, clearly expresses its universality, promotes
communion within it, and influences its growth. Migration thus offers the
Church an historic opportunity to prove its four characteristic marks:
the Church is one because in a certain sense it also expresses the unity
of the whole human family; it is holy also to make all people holy and
that God’s name may be sanctified in them; it is catholic furthermore in
its openness to diversity that is to be harmonised; and it is likewise
apostolic because it is also committed to evangelise the whole human
person and all people.
It is thus clear that the Church’s missionary calling is not
determined only by geographic distances but by differences of culture and
religion. “Mission” is thus going out to every person to proclaim Jesus Christ
and, in Christ and the Church, to bring him into communion with all
98. Once the emergency phase has passed and migrants are settled
in their host country, the chaplain/missionary will try to widen his own horizon
and become a “deacon of communion”. Being a foreigner he will be a living
reminder for the local Church in all the components of its characteristic
catholicity, and the pastoral structures he serves will be a sign, poor though
it may be, of a particular Church committed in practice to a path of universal
communion, with respect for legitimate diversities.
99. In this regard all lay faithful too, though they may not have
any special functions or tasks, are to embark on the journey of communion, which
implies accepting legitimate diversity. Undoubtedly the defence of Christian
values also means no discrimination against immigrants, above all through a
vigorous spiritual renewal of the faithful themselves. Fraternal dialogue and
mutual respect, the living testimony of love and welcome, thus constitute in
themselves the first and indispensable form of evangelisation.
dialoguing and missionary spirit in pastoral care
100. Particular Churches are thus called for the gospel’s sake to
a better welcome for migrants through pastoral initiatives that include meeting
them and dialoguing with them as well as helping the faithful to overcome
prejudices and biases. In contemporary society, to which migration contributes
by making it more and more multiethnic, intercultural and multireligious,
Christians are called to face a substantially new and fundamental chapter in the
missionary task: that of being missionary in countries of long Christian
tradition (cf. PaG 65 and 68). With great respect and attention for the
migrants’ traditions and culture, we Christians are called to bear witness to
the gospel of love and peace in our dealings with them and also to proclaim the
Word of God explicitly to them so that the blessing of the Lord, promised to
Abraham and his descendants for ever, may reach them.
Because it is dialogue, communion and mission, specific pastoral
care for, among and with migrants will then become a significant
expression of the Church, called to be a fraternal and peaceful meeting place, a
home for all, a building sustained by the four pillars referred to by Blessed
Pope John XXIII in Pacem
in Terris, namely, truth and justice, love and freedom78, the fruit of that paschal event that in
Christ has reconciled everything and everybody. Thus the Church will manifest
clearly that it is a home and school of communion (cf. NMI 43) accepted
and shared, of reconciliation requested and given, of mutual, fraternal welcome
and of authentic human and Christian development. In this way, “ever more
affirmed [is the knowledge of] the innate universality of the Church’s
organisation, in which no one can be considered a stranger or just a guest, or
in any way on the fringe of things” (CMU 29).
and Christians, sign of hope
101. Faced with the vast movement of people, the phenomenon of
human mobility, considered by some as the new “credo” of contemporary man, faith
reminds us how we are all pilgrims on our way towards our true homeland.
“Christian life is essentially a living through the Passover with Christ, or a
journey, a sublime migration towards total Communion of the Kingdom of God”
(CMU 10). All the history of the Church illustrates its passion and its
holy zeal for this humanity on the move.
The “foreigner” is God’s messenger who surprises us and interrupts
the regularity and logic of daily life, bringing near those who are far away. In
“foreigners” the Church sees Christ who “pitches His tent among us” (cf.
Jn 1:14) and who “knocks at our door” (cf. Ap 3:20). This meeting
– characterised by attention, welcome, sharing and solidarity, by the protection
of the rights of migrants and of commitment to evangelise – reveals the constant
solicitude of the Church, which discovers authentic values in migrants and
considers them a great human resource.
102. God thus entrusts the Church, itself a pilgrim on earth, with
the task of forging a new creation in Christ Jesus, recapitulating in Him (cf.
Eph 1:9-10) all the rich treasures of human diversity that sin has
transformed into division and conflict. To the extent that the mysterious
presence of this new creation is genuinely witnessed to in its life, the Church
is a sign of hope for a world that ardently desires justice, freedom, truth and
solidarity, that is peace and harmony79. And notwithstanding the repeated failures of human
projects, noble as they may have been, Christians, roused by the phenomenon of
mobility, become aware of their call to be always and repeatedly a sign of
fraternity and communion in the world, by respecting differences and practising
solidarity, in their ethics of meeting others.
103. Migrants, too, can be the hidden providential builders of
such a universal fraternity together with many other brothers and sisters. They
offer the Church the opportunity to realize more concretely its identity as
communion and its missionary vocation, as asserted by the Vicar of Christ:
“Migrations offer individual local Churches the opportunity to verify their
catholicity, which consists not only in welcoming different ethnic groups, but
above all in creating communion with them and among them. Ethnic and cultural
pluralism in the Church is not just something to be tolerated because it is
transitory, it is a structural dimension. The unity of the Church is not given
by a common origin and language but by the Spirit of Pentecost which, bringing
together men and women of different languages and nations in one people, confers
on them all faith in the same Lord and the calling to the same hope”80.
104. May the Virgin Mother, who together with her Blessed Son knew
the pain of emigration and exile, help us to understand the experience, and very
often the drama, of those who are compelled to live far from their homeland and
teach us to serve them in their necessities, truly accepting them as brothers
and sisters, so that today’s migrations may be considered an appeal, albeit a
mysterious one, to the Kingdom of God, the first fruits of which are already
present in His Church (cf. LG 9), and an instrument of Providence to
further the unity of the human family and peace81.
§1. To the right of the faithful to receive the help that derives
from the spiritual wealth of the Church, especially the Word of God and the
sacraments (CIC Can. 213, CCEO Can. 16), there is a corresponding
duty on the part of pastors to provide such help, in particular to migrants, in
view of their particular condition of life.
§2. Since with their domicile or presence migrants are canonically
part of a parish and diocese/eparchy (CIC Can. 100-107; CCEO Can.
911-917), it is the duty of the parish priest and the diocesan or eparchial
bishop to extend to them the same pastoral care as is due to their own
§3. Moreover, especially when groups of immigrants are numerous,
the Churches of their origin have the responsibility of co-operating with the
Churches of arrival to facilitate efficacious and suitable pastoral
The Lay Faithful
§1. In fulfilling their specific tasks, the lay faithful should be
engaged in concretely carrying out what truth, justice and love require. They
should thus welcome migrants as brothers and sisters and do all they can to
ensure that their rights, especially those concerning the family and its unity,
are recognised and protected by the civil authorities.
§2. The lay faithful are also called to promote the evangelisation
of the migrants through the witness of their own lives as Christians, living in
faith, hope and love, and by the proclamation of the Word of God in ways that
are possible and suitable for them. This commitment is even more necessary where
migrants are without religious assistance because their places of residence are
distant or dispersed or because of the shortage of clergy. In such cases the lay
faithful should be concerned about seeking migrants out and directing them to
the church of the area and in offering their own help to the
chaplains/missionaries and parish priests so as to facilitate their contacts
with the migrants.
§1. The faithful who decide to live with another people should
strive to esteem the cultural patrimony of the nation that welcomes them, to
contribute to its common good and to spread the faith especially by the example
of Christian life.
§2. Where migrants are more numerous they, in particular, should
be offered the possibility of taking part in the diocesan/eparchial and
parochial pastoral councils, so as to really take their place in the particular
Church’s structures of participation.
§3. While maintaining the right of migrants to have their own
associations, at the same time everything should be done to facilitate their
participation in local associations.
§4. The lay faithful who are culturally better prepared and
spiritually more available should furthermore be urged and trained to take on a
specific service as pastoral workers in close collaboration with the
§1. Presbyters, who have been given the mandate by the competent
ecclesiastical authority to provide spiritual assistance in a stable way to
migrants of the same language or nation, or belonging to the same Church sui
iuris, are called chaplains/missionaries for migrants; in virtue of their
office they are endowed with the faculties described in Can. 566, §1 of the
§2. This office should be conferred on a presbyter who has been
well prepared by a suitable period of formation and who for reasons of virtue,
culture and knowledge of the language and other moral and spiritual gifts,
demonstrates that he is a suitable person for this particular and difficult
§1. To those presbyters who wish to devote themselves to the
spiritual assistance of migrants, the diocesan or eparchial bishop should give
authorisation to do so if he considers them suited to this mission, in
accordance with what is laid down in CIC Can. 271 and CCEO Can.
361-362 and in these present juridical pastoral regulations.
§2. Presbyters, who have obtained due permission as explained in
the preceding paragraph, should make themselves available to the Episcopal
Conference ad quam, furnished with the relevant document granted to them
by their own diocesan or eparchial bishop and their own Episcopal Conference, or
by the competent hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The
Episcopal Conference ad quam will then ensure that these presbyters are
entrusted to the diocesan or eparchial bishop or to the bishops of the dioceses
or eparchies concerned, who will appoint them chaplains/missionaries to the
§3. As far as religious presbyters who dedicate themselves to
assisting migrants are concerned, the specific norms contained in Chapter III
have to be applied.
§1. When it is deemed necessary to erect a personal parish, in
view of the number of migrants or the opportuneness of providing them with
special pastoral care corresponding to their needs, in doing so the diocesan or
eparchial bishop shall clearly establish the confines of this parish and the
rules regarding the parish books. Whenever the possibility exists, it should be
kept in mind that the migrants are free to choose whether they wish to belong to
the territorial parish where they are living or to the personal parish.
§2. The presbyter entrusted with a personal parish for migrants
enjoys the faculties and obligations of a parish priest; what is stated here
about chaplains/missionaries for migrants applies to him unless the nature of
things requires otherwise.
§1 The diocesan or eparchial bishop may also erect a missio cum
cura animarum in the territory of one or more parishes, clearly defining its
terms of reference. It may or may not be annexed to a territorial parish.
§2. The chaplain entrusted with a missio cum cura animarum,
always observing due distinctions, is juridically equivalent to a parish priest
and performs his functions together with the local parish priest. He likewise
has the faculty to assist at the celebration of a marriage when one of the
spouses is a migrant belonging to his mission.
§3. In the case mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the chaplain
is obliged to fill in the parish register as required by law and to send an
authentic copy at the end of every year both to the local parish priest and to
the pastor of the parish in which the marriage was celebrated.
§4. Presbyters assigned as coadjutors to a chaplain who has been
entrusted with a missio cum cura animarum have, always observing due
distinctions, the same tasks and faculties as parochial vicars.
§5. If circumstances render it opportune, a mission with the care
of souls, erected in the territory of one or more parishes, may be annexed to a
territorial parish, especially when the latter is entrusted to members of the
same institute of consecrated life or society of apostolic life as those who are
caring for the spiritual assistance of the migrants.
§1. To every chaplain of migrants, even if not entrusted with a
missio cum cura animarum, in so far as possible, a church or oratory
should be assigned for the exercise of his sacred ministry. In the contrary
case, the competent diocesan or eparchial bishop shall issue opportune
instructions authorising the chaplain/missionary to exercise his spiritual
duties freely, and together with the local parish priest, in a church, not
excluding the one of the parish.
§2. Diocesan or eparchial bishops shall ensure that the tasks of
migrants’ chaplains/missionaries are coordinated with the office of the parish
priests and that the latter should accept and help them (cf. CIC Can.
571). It is also fitting that some chaplains/missionaries for migrants be called
to be members of the diocesan presbyteral council.
Unless there are explicit agreements to the contrary between the
diocesan or eparchial bishops, the one who has erected the mission, for which
the chaplain exercises his ministry, is to guarantee him the same economic
conditions and insurance coverage as enjoyed by the other presbyters of the
diocese or eparchy.
For the duration of his appointment the chaplain/missionary for
migrants is subject to the jurisdiction of the diocesan or eparchial bishop who
erected the mission for which he performs his office, both as regards the
exercise of his sacred ministry and also the observance of Church
§1. In countries in which there are numerous
chaplains/missionaries for migrants of the same language, it is opportune that
one of them should be appointed national co-ordinator.
§2. In consideration that the co-ordinator’s responsibility is to
co-ordinate the ministry and service of the chaplains/missionaries operating
within a particular nation, he acts on behalf of the Episcopal Conference ad
quam, by whose president he is appointed after consultation with the
Episcopal Conference a qua.
§3. The co-ordinator shall generally be chosen from among the
chaplains/missionaries of the same nationality or language.
§4. The co-ordinator does not enjoy any power of jurisdiction in
virtue of his office.
§5. In view of his office the co-ordinator has the duty of
maintaining relations both with the diocesan and eparchial bishops of the
country a quo and with those of the country ad quem.
§6. It is opportune to discuss matters with the co-ordinators when
appointing, transferring or replacing chaplains/missionaries, and also when
envisaging the erection of a new mission.
Men and Women Religious
§1. All institutes, in which religious of various nations are
often present, can make their contribution to assistance for migrants.
Ecclesiastical authorities should therefore encourage in particular the work
done by those who, under the seal of religious vows, have the apostolate to
migrants as their own specific goal or who have acquired appreciable experience
in that field.
§2. The help offered by women’s religious institutes to the
apostolate among migrants should also be appreciated and valued. The diocesan or
eparchial bishop shall therefore ensure that these institutes, with full respect
for their own rules and bearing in mind their obligations and their charism,
lack neither the spiritual assistance nor the material means necessary for them
to carry out their mission.
§1. In general whenever a diocesan or eparchial bishop intends to
entrust the care of migrants to a religious institute, with due respect for the
customary canonical norms, he will draw up a written agreement with the superior
of that institute. If more than one diocese or eparchy is involved, the
agreement must be signed by every diocesan or eparchial bishop. The role of
co-ordinating these initiatives belongs to the competent commission of the
Episcopal Conference or the corresponding hierarchical structures of the Eastern
§2. If the pastoral care of migrants is entrusted to an individual
religious, it is always necessary first to obtain the consent of his superior
and in this case too to draw up the relative agreement in writing; in other
words, taking into consideration due distinctions, the procedure is the same as
that laid down in Art. 5 for diocesan presbyters.
As regards carrying out their apostolate among migrants and
itinerant people, all religious are bound to obey the dispositions of the
diocesan or eparchial bishop. Even in the case of institutes with the specific
goal of assisting migrants, everything done and all initiatives taken in the
migrants’ favour are subject to the authority and direction of the diocesan or
eparchial bishop, allowing however for the right of superiors to watch over the
religious life and the zeal with which their members carry out their
Everything laid down in this chapter about religious is
applicable, respecting due distinctions, to societies of apostolic life and to
§1. The diocesan or eparchial bishop shall devote special care to
migrant faithful, above all by supporting the pastoral action in their favour
performed by parish priests and the chaplains/missionaries for immigrants. In
this he shall ask any necessary help from the migrants’ Churches of origin, or
from other institutions devoted to spiritual assistance for migrants, and also
provide for the creation of pastoral structures best adapted to the
circumstances and pastoral needs. If necessary, the diocesan or eparchial bishop
shall appoint an episcopal vicar with the charge of directing the pastoral care
of migrants, or else he shall set up a special office for the migrants
themselves at the episcopal or eparchial chancery.
§2. Since the spiritual care of the faithful is the duty in
primis of the diocesan or eparchial bishop, it is his responsibility to
erect personal parishes and missiones cum cura animarum and to appoint
chaplain/missionaries. The diocesan or eparchial bishop shall ensure that the
territorial parish priest and the presbyters entrusted with migrants move
forward together in a spirit of collaboration and understanding.
§3. The diocesan or eparchial bishop, in accordance with
CIC Can. 383 and CCEO Can. 193, shall also provide for spiritual
assistance to migrants of another Church sui iuris, supporting the
pastoral work of presbyters of the same rite or of other presbyters, and
observing the relevant canonical norms.
§1. With regard to Christian migrants not in full communion with
the Catholic Church, the diocesan or eparchial bishop shall have an attitude of
charity, promoting ecumenism as understood by the Church and offering these
immigrants the spiritual help that is possible and necessary, respecting the
norms concerning communicatio in sacris and the legitimate
desiderata of their pastors.
§2. The diocesan or eparchial bishop shall also consider
unbaptised migrants as entrusted to him in the Lord and, with respect for their
freedom of conscience, shall offer them too the possibility of coming to the
truth that is Christ.
§1. The diocesan or eparchial bishops of the countries a
quibus shall remind parish priests of their serious duty to provide for all
the faithful a religious formation such that, if the case may be, they will be
able to face the difficulties connected with their departure for emigration.
§2. The diocesan or eparchial bishops of the places a
quibus shall moreover take it upon themselves to seek out diocesan/eparchial
presbyters who are suited for pastoral care with emigrants, and they shall not
neglect to enter into close relations with the Episcopal Conference or the
corresponding hierarchical structure of the Eastern Catholic Church of the
nation ad quam in order to help in pastoral work.
§3. Even in dioceses/eparchies or regions where it is not
immediately necessary for seminarians to specialise in the field of migration,
the problems of human mobility should be taken more and more into account in the
teaching of theology, especially pastoral theology.
Episcopal Conferences and the
Corresponding Hierarchical Structures of the
Eastern Catholic Churches
§1. In countries to which migrants go or which they leave in
larger numbers, the Episcopal Conferences and the competent hierarchical
structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches shall set up a special national
commission for migration. It will have its secretary, who in general will take
on the office of national director for migration. It is very opportune that
religious should be present on this Commission as experts, especially those
working for the spiritual assistance of migrants, as well as lay faithful
qualified in this matter.
§2. In other countries where there are fewer migrants, the
Episcopal Conferences or the corresponding hierarchical structures of the
Eastern Catholic Churches shall appoint a bishop promoter to ensure that
migrants are properly assisted.
§3. Episcopal Conferences and the corresponding hierarchical
structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches will inform the Pontifical Council
for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People of the composition of the
commission described in the first paragraph or the name of the bishop
§1. It is the duty of the Migration Commission or the bishop
1. to gather information on the migration situation in the country
and to pass on useful data to the diocesan/eparchial bishops, and in contact
also with the centres for migration studies;
2. to animate and stimulate the relevant diocesan commissions,
which in turn will do the same with those parochial commissions concerned with
the vast and more general phenomenon of human mobility;
3. to receive requests for chaplains/missionaries from the bishops
of dioceses/eparchies in which there is immigration and introduce to them the
presbyters proposed for this ministry;
4. to propose to the Episcopal Conference and the corresponding
hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches, when necessary, the
appointment of a national coordinator for the chaplains/missionaries;
5. to establish opportune contacts with Episcopal Conferences and
the corresponding hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches
6. to establish opportune contacts with the Pontifical Council for
the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and to pass on indications
received from the Council to the diocesan or eparchial bishops;
7. to send an annual report on the situation of the pastoral care
of migrants to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and
Itinerant People, to the Episcopal Conference, to the corresponding hierarchical
structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and also to the diocesan/eparchial
§2. It is the task of the national director:
1. to facilitate in general – also in reference to Art. 11 – the
relations of the bishops of his own country with the national commission or with
the bishop promoter;
2. to compile the report mentioned in point 7, §1 of this
In order to arouse the awareness of all the faithful to their duty
of fraternity and charity towards migrants and to collect the necessary economic
aid to fulfil pastoral obligations towards them, the Episcopal Conferences and
the corresponding hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches shall
fix a date for a “Day (or Week) of Migrants and Refugees” at a time and in the
manner called for by local circumstances, even if for the future it is to be
hoped that a fixed date can be agreed upon for its celebration
The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral
of Migrants and Itinerant People
§1. It is the task of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care
of Migrants and Itinerant People to guide “the pastoral solicitude of the Church
to the particular needs of those who have been forced to abandon their homeland
as well as those who have none. Consequently the Council closely follows all
questions pertaining to this matter” (PB 149). Moreover “the Council is
committed to assuring that particular Churches offer efficacious and relevant
spiritual assistance to refugees and exiles, by setting up adequate pastoral
structures when necessary, as well as to migrants” (PB 150, 1), always
however with due respect for the pastoral responsibility of local Churches and
the competence of other organs of the Roman Curia.
§2. It is therefore the duty of the Pontifical Council among other
1. to study the reports sent in by Episcopal Conferences or the
corresponding hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches;
2. to issue instructions, referred to by Can. 34 of the
CIC, to make suggestions and encourage initiatives, activities and
programmes to develop structures and institutions relating to the pastoral care
3. to promote exchange of information among the different
Episcopal Conferences or of that coming from the corresponding hierarchical
structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and to facilitate their relations
with one another, especially when it is a matter of transferring a presbyter
from one nation to another for the pastoral care of migrants;
4. to study, encourage, and animate the pastoral activity of
regional and continental organisms of ecclesial communion to co-ordinate and
harmonise initiatives in favour of migrants;
5. to study situations to evaluate if, in determined places, there
are circumstances that may suggest specific pastoral structures for migrants
(cf. no. 24, note 23);
6. to promote the relations of religious institutes that offer
spiritual assistance to migrants with the Episcopal Conferences and the
corresponding hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches and to
follow their work, always with due respect for the competence of the
Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of
Apostolic Life in matters regarding the observance of the religious life, and
the competence of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches;
7. to stimulate and participate in useful or necessary initiatives
in view of a profitable and sound ecumenical collaboration in the field of
migration, in agreement with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian
8. to stimulate and participate in those initiatives that are
considered necessary or advantageous for dialogue with groups of non-Christian
migrants, in agreement with the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious
Notwithstanding any contrary dispositions.
On 1 May 2004, Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, the Holy
Father approved the present Instruction of the Pontifical Council for the
Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and authorized its
Rome, from the offices of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral
Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, on the 3rd of May 2004, Feast of Saints
Philip and James, Apostles.
Stephen Fumio Cardinal Hamao
Titular Archbishop of
actuositatem (II Vatican Council)
AAS: Acta Apostolicae Sedis
Gentes (II Vatican Council)
CCEO: Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum
Dominus (II Vatican Council)
Laici (Pope John Paul II)
CIC: Codex Iuris
CMU: Chiesa e mobilitá umana (The Church
and Human Mobility) (Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migration and Tourism)
DPMC: De Pastorali Migratorum Cura
(Congregation for Bishops)
in America (Pope John Paul II)
EE: Ecclesia de
Eucharistia (Pope John Paul II)
in Europa (Pope John Paul II)
Nuntiandi (Pope Paul VI)
in Oceania (Pope John Paul II)
EV: Enchiridion Vaticanum
et Spes (II Vatican Council)
Gentium (II Vatican Council)
Holy Father‘s Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Relationes (Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes
Congregation for Bishops)
Millennio Ineunte (Pope John Paul II)
Ecclesiarum (II Vatican Council)
OR: L'Osservatore Romano
Gregis (Pope John Paul II)
Bonus (Pope John Paul II)
dabo vobis (Pope John Paul II)
PG: Patrologia Graeca, Migne
PL: Patrologia Latina, Migne
Ordinis (II Vatican Council)
in Terris (Pope John XXIII)
RH: Redemptor Hominis
(Pope John Paul II)
RMa: Redemptoris Mater
(Pope John Paul II)
RMi: Redemptoris Missio
(Pope John Paul II)
Concilium (II Vatican Council)
1 Pope John Paul II,
Message for the World Day of Peace 2001 Dialogue between Cultures for a
Civilisation of Love and Peace, 12: AAS XCIII (2001) 241; cf. also
John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Novo millennio ineunte, 55: AAS
XCIII (2001) 306.
Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migration and Tourism, circular letter to
Episcopal Conferences Chiesa e mobilità umana, 8: AAS LXX (1978)
3 Cf. Pope John Paul
II’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, 8: AAS
XCV (2003) 655 and Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores
Gregis, 69 and 72: OR 17 October 2003, p. 12.
4 Cf. Pope John Paul
II, Angelus Domini of Sunday, 6 July 2003: OR 7-8 July 2003, p.
5 The Convention also
mentions those principles and rights that already exist in the international
arena and which can very well be applied to migrants. It makes reference, for
instance, to the Slavery Conventions, the Convention against Discrimination in
the Field of Education, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination, as well as to the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and
the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment. Mention must also be made of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, and the Manila Declaration of the Fourth United Nations Congress on the
Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. It is therefore significant
that even those countries, which have not ratified the International Convention
on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and the Members of Their
Families, are obliged to observe the aforementioned instruments, naturally if
they ratified or subsequently adhered to them.
On the rights of migrants in civil society, cf., for instance from
the Church’s point of view, Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Laborem
Exercens, 23: AAS LXXIII (1981) 635-637.
6 Cf. 2003 Message:
OR Weekly Edition in English, 11 December 2002, p. 6.
7 Cf. Second Vatican
Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et
Spes, Proemio, 22, 30-32: AAS LVIII (1966) 1025-1027; 1042-1044;
1049-1051; Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 1, 7 and
13; AAS LVII (1965) 5, 9-11, 17-18; Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity
Apostolicam Actuositatem, 14: AAS LVIII (1966) 850ff.; Pope John
XXIII, Encyclical Pacem in Terris, Part I: AAS LV (1963) 259-269;
Pontifical Council Cor Unum and Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of
Migrants and Itinerant People, Refugees, a Challenge to Solidarity:
EV 13 (1991-1993) 1019-1037; Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace,
Self-Reliance: compter sur soi: EV 6 (1977-1979) 510-563; and
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, The Church and the Racism,
Vatican City 2001.
8 1999 Message, 3:
OR 21 February 1999, p. 7.
9 Cf. Pope John Paul
II’s encyclical Redemptoris Mater, 25: AAS LXXIX (1987)
10 Cf. Letter to
Diognetus 5.1, quoted in Message 1999, 2: l.c. 7.
11 Cf. Clement of
Rome, Letter to the Corinthians, X-XII: PG 1, 228-233;
Didaché, XI, 1; XII, 1-5, ed. F.X.FUNK, 1901, pp. 24, 30; Apostolic
Constitutions, VII, 29, 2, ed. F.X.FUNK, 1905, p.418; Justin,
Apologia I, 67: PG 6, 429; Tertullian, Apologeticum, 39:
PL 1, 471; Tertullian, De praescriptione haereticorum, 20:
PL 2, 32; Augustine, Sermo 103, 1-2. 6: PL 38,
12 Cf. John Paul
II’s encyclical Redemptoris Missio, 20: AAS LXXXIII (1991)
13 We may remember
among others the Salesians of St John Bosco in Argentina, the initiatives of St
Frances Xavier Cabrini, especially in North America, the two religious
Congregations founded by Blessed Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, the
Bonomelli Work in Italy, the St. Raphaels-Verein in Germany and the Society of
Christ for Emigrants founded by Card. August Hlond in Poland.
14 Cf. Sacra
Congregatio Consistorialis, Decretum de Sacerdotibus in certas quasdam regiones
demigrantibus Ethnografica studia: AAS VI (1914)
15 Cf. Sacra
Congregatio Consistorialis, Decretum de Clericis in certas quasdam regiones
demigrantibus Magni semper: AAS XI (1919) 39-43.
16 Cf. AAS
XLIV (1952) 649-704.
17 The first part of
the encyclical Pacem in Terris, dealing with the right to emigrate or
immigrate, states, “Every human person has the right to move freely and to
settle anywhere within the political community of which he is a citizen and also
the right, when legitimate interests make this advisable, to immigrate to other
political communities and settle there”: l.c. 263.
18 The Decree of the
Second Vatican Council on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church
Christus Dominus, 18: AAS LVIII (1966) 682. Regarding the
“dispositions already given” cf. Pius X, Motu proprio Iam pridem:
AAS VI (1914) 173ff; Pius XII, Exsul Familia, especially the
normative part, l.c. 692-704; Sacra Congregatio Consistorialis, Leges
Operis Apostolatus Maris, auctoritate Pii Div. Prov. PP. XII conditae:
AAS L (1958) 375-383.
19 1993 Cf. Message,
6: OR 2nd August 1992, p.5.
20 Paul VI, Motu
proprio Pastoralis Migratorum Cura: AAS LXI (1969)
21 Instruction of
the Congregation for Bishops De pastorali migratorum cura (Nemo est):
AAS LXI (1969) 614-643.
22 Cf. The Church
and Human Mobility, l.c. 357-378.
23 Cf. CIC
Can. 294 and John Paul II’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in
America, 65 note 237: AAS XCI (1999) 800. Cf. also John Paul
II’sPost-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, 103 note 166,
24 Cf. John Paul
II’s Apostolic Constitution Sacri Canones, AAS LXXXII (1990)
25 For specific
norms and regulations concerning the Eastern Catholic Churches in this context,
cf. CCEO, Can. 315 (which deals with Exarchates and Exarchs), Can. 911
and 916 (on the status of the foreigner and the local ordinary, his own ordinary
and his own parish priest), Can. 986 (on authority of government), Can. 1075 (on
the competent forum) and Can. 1491 (on laws, customs and administrative
26 Pope John Paul
II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 77: AAS LXXIV
27 Cf. the
Instruction of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies
of Apostolic Life Starting Afresh from Christ, a Renewed Commitment to
Consecrated Life in the Third Millennium, 9, 35, 36, 37 and 44: OR
Weekly Edition in English 26 June 2002, Special Insert pp. III, VIII,
28 Pope John Paul
II’s encyclical Redemptor Hominis, 14: AAS LXXI (1979)
29 Cf. in particular
the 1992 Message: OR 11 September 1991, p.5, and those of 1996: OR
6 September 1995, p.6 and 1998: OR 21 November 1997, p.4
30 Cf. 1993 Message:
2, l.c. 5.
31 Cf. John Paul II,
“ Faith Calls Us to Welcome the Immigrant”, Address to the IV World Congress on
the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees (5-10 October 1998): OR
Weekly Edition in English 4 November 1998, p.8. Cf. Pontifical Council
for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the Holy Father’s
Address, 2: Proceedings of IV World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants
and Refugees, Vatican City 1999, p. 9.
32 Cf. 1996 Message:
OR 6 September 1995, p.6.
33 1988 Message, 3b:
OR 4 September 1987, p.5.
34 Cf. 1990 Message,
5: OR 22 September 1989, p.5, and those of 1992, 3, 5-6: l.c. 5, and
2003: OR 2-3 December 2002, p.7.
35 Cf. 1987 Message:
OR 21 September 1986 p.5, and that of 1994: OR 17 September 1993
36 Giovanni Battista
Scalabrini, Memorandum for the constitution of a pontifical commission Pro
emigratis catholicis (4 May 1905), in S. Tomasi and G. Rosoli, “Scalabrini e
le migrazioni moderne. Scritti e carteggi”, Turin 1997, p.233.
37 Pope John Paul
II, Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia Pastor Bonus, 149-151:
AAS LXXX (1988) 899-900.
38 Pope John Paul
II’s Address to members of the International Catholic Migration Commission, 4:
OR 12-13 November 2001, p.6.
40 In particular
Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (no. 20)
draws attention to the need for the evangelization of different cultures. He
states that “what matters is to evangelize man’s culture and cultures … in the
wide and rich sense which these terms have in Gaudium et spes [cf. no.
53], always taking the person as one’s starting point and always coming back to
the relationships of people among themselves and with God. The Gospel, and
therefore evangelisation, are certainly not identical with culture, and they are
independent in regard to all cultures. Nevertheless, the Kingdom which the
Gospel proclaims is lived by men who are profoundly linked to a culture, and the
building up of the Kingdom cannot avoid borrowing the elements of human culture
and cultures”: AAS LXVIII (1976) 18-19.
41 Cf. also
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops on Certain
Aspects of the Church as Communion, 8-9: AAS LXXXV (1993)
42 Cf. also Second
Vatican Council, Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad
Gentes, 11: AAS LVIII (1966) 959-960.
44 Cf. Second
Vatican Council Decree on the Ministry and Life of Presbyters Presbyterorum
ordinis, 2 and 6: AAS LVIII (1966) 991-993, 999-1001 and the
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, 47: AAS
LVI (1964) 113, as also GS 66.
Interdicasterial Instruction on Certain Questions Concerning the Collaboration
of the Laity with the Ministry of the Priests, Ecclesiae de mysterio:
AAS LXXXIX (1997) 852-877 and PaG 51 and 68.
46 Chapter 15 of the
Epistle to the Romans gives us the basic features of the duty to welcome
others. The welcome must be “Christian” and profound and come from the heart
(May God “help you all to be tolerant with each other, following the example of
Christ Jesus”: v. 5); it must be generous and gratuitous, disinterested and not
possessive (“Christ did not think of himself … , he became [a] servant”: vv. 3
and 8); it must be benevolent and strengthening (“Each of us should think of his
neighbours and help them to become stronger Christians”: v. 2); and it must be
attentive to the weaker ones (“We who are strong have a duty to put up with the
qualms of the weak without thinking of ourselves”: v. 1).
47 Cf. 1992 Message,
3-4: l.c. 5 and PaG 65.
48 Cf. Pope John
Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 23: AAS LXXXI
(1989) 429-433, RMi 71 and PaG 40.
49 Pope John Paul
II’s Apostolic Letter on the Sanctification of Sunday Dies Domini, 53:
AAS XC (1998) 747; cf. Congregation for Divine Worship, Directory on
Sunday Worship in the Absence of a Priest Christi Ecclesia, 18-50:
EV XI (1988-1989) 452-468, and Interdicasterial Instruction Ecclesiae
de mysterio, Art. 4 and 7: l.c. 860, 869-870.
50 Cf. Congregation
for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Directory on Popular
Piety and the Liturgy. Principles and Orientations, Vatican City, 2002; and
International Theology Commission, Faith and Inculturation, Part Three,
Present-day Inculturation Problems, 2-7: EV 11 (1988-1989)
51 Cf. Second
Vatican Council, Decree on the Eastern Catholic Churches Orientalium
Ecclesiarum, 4 and 6: AAS LVII (1965) 77-78.
52 Cf. Congregation
for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, De
Benedictionibus, Vatican City 1985.
53 Cf. 1991 Message:
OR 15 August 1990, p.5; Secretariats for Christian Unity, for
Non-Christians and for Non-Believers and Pontifical Council for Culture (eds.),
The Phenomenon of Sects and New Religious Movements: a Pastoral
Challenge, Vatican City 1986; and Sects and New Religious Movements:
Texts of the Catholic Church (1986-1994) (by the Work Group for New
Religious Movements),Vatican City 1995. Regarding "New Age", cf. Pontifical
Councils for Culture and for Interreligious Dialogue, Jesus Christ, the
Bearer of the Water of Life. A Christian Reflection on the “New Age”,
Vatican City 2003.
54 As regards the
provisions for the coordination of different rites in one and the same
territory, cf. CCEO Can. 202, 207 and 322.
Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Directory for the Application
of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 137: AAS LXXXV (1993)
56 Pope John Paul
II’s encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 45: OR 18 April 2003,
p.5. Referring to his encyclical Ut unum sint, the Holy Father states as
follows for Catholics: “Likewise in certain cases and in particular
circumstances, Catholics, too, may have recourse to the same sacraments from
ministers of those Churches in which they are valid” (no. 46: AAS LXXXVII
 948). “These conditions must be carefully examined; they cannot be waived
even in this matter of certain cases, because with the denial of one or more
truths of the faith regarding these sacraments, including the necessity of the
ministerial priesthood, a faithful Catholic cannot receive communion in a
community that lacks the valid sacrament of ordination” (EE
Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Directory for the Application
of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 107: l.c. 1083.
58 Cf. RMi
37b, 52, 53, 55-57: l.c. 283, 299, 300, 302-305.
59 Cf. Pontifical
Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Congregation for the Evangelization of
Peoples, Instruction Dialogo e annuncio, 42-50: AAS LXXXIV (1992)
60 In schools in
which meals are offered, account must be taken of the dietary rules of the
pupils, unless their parents declare that they renounce this. The school should
also provide occasion for dialogue on common activities between parents,
including those belonging to other religions.
61 Pope John Paul
II’s Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Oceania, 45: AAS XCIV
62 Cf. The Second
Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Church’s Relations with Non-Christian
Religions Nostra aetate, 1-3, 5: AAS LVIII (1966) 740-744 and also
63 Cf. also
Secretariat for Non-Christians, The Church’s Attitude Towards the Followers
of Other Religions, 32: OR 11-12 June 1984, p.4.
64 Cf. 2002 Message,
3: OR 19 October 2001, p.5.
65 Circular letter
of the Congregation for Catholic Education, The Mobility Phenomenon,
addressed to diocesan ordinaries and the rectors of their seminaries, on the
inclusion of pastoral care for human mobility in the training of future priests,
(1986), Appendix 3: EV 10 (1986-87) 14.
67 Cf. Pope John
Paul II’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis, 58:
AAS LXXXIV (1992) 760.
68 For the
definition of “missionary” or “chaplain” cf. DPMC 35. The new CIC
simply uses the word cappellanus, cf. Can. 564-572. Regarding the
specific purpose of this missionary activity cf. AG 6; for the necessity
of the Church’s mandate cf. DPMC 36; for those the activity is meant for,
i.e. the migrants, cf. DPMC 15 and the above-mentioned circular letter
The Church and Human Mobility, 2: l.c. 358. As regards the concept
of the pastoral care of migrants cf. DPMC 15.
69 Cf. DPMC
37 and 42-43.
70 Cf. Congregation
for Religious and for Secular Institutes and Congregation for Bishops,
Directives on the Mutual Relations between Bishops and Religious in the Church,
Mutuae Relationes, 11 and 12: AAS LXX (1978) 480-481.
72 Pope John Paul
II’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita consecrata, 58: AAS
LXXXVIII (1996) 430; cf. EEu 42-43.
73 Cf. Congregation
for Religious and for Secular Institutes and Pontifical Commission for the
Pastoral Care of Migration and Tourism, Joint Letter to All Men and Women
Religious in the World: People on the Move 48 (1987) 163-166.
74 Cf. The Joint
Instruction of the Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes and the
Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migration and Tourism An
Invitation to Pastoral Commitment for Migrants and Refugees, 11: SCRIS
Informationes, 15 (1989) 183-184; cf. AG 20 and DPMC 52, 53,
75 Cf. 1988 Message:
l.c. 5; Instruction Ecclesiae de mysterio, 4: l.c. 860-861,
and EEu 41.
76 They are
generally composed of several parishes that the bishop has requested to work
together to constitute an efficacious “missionary community” to operate in a
given territory in harmony with the diocesan pastoral plan. It amounts basically
to a form of inter-parish collaboration and coordination (between two or more
77 Cf. 1996 Message:
OR 6 September 1995, p.6.
78 Cf. PT,
first part: l.c. 265-266.
80 1988 Message, 3c:
OR 4 September 1987, p.5.
81 Cf. 2004 Message:
OR 24 December 2003, p.5.
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