(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is set, this week, to launch a global campaign on migration.
Entitled “Share the Journey” the 2-year Caritas Internationalis campaign aims to promote the strengthening of relationships between migrants, refugees and communities.
It is Caritas’ response to Pope Francis’ call for a culture of encounter and to see people on the move with open hearts and minds.
The campaign will be launched on Wednesday 27th in the Vatican and by all members of the Caritas family across the globe.
Caritas Internationalis President, Cardinal Luis Tagle told Vatican Radio's Alessandro Gisotti that the campaign is asking people to see the real people behind the numbers and statistics.
Listen to the interview:
Cardinal Tagle explains that the primary objective of the campaign is to ‘return to the Bible’, to the spirituality of the Word of God “where God always had a soft spot in his heart for the most vulnerable” and amongst the most vulnerable, he says, are the migrants, the foreigners.
“Jesus himself identifies his presence with that of the stranger: ‘when I was a stranger you visited me’ Tagle recalls.
So, with this campaign what is important, he says, is to remind the Christian world - and all of humanity - of this important message.
The Cardinal points out that the campaign of action and awareness-raising will promote the Social Teaching of the Church and it will put “a human face” on migrants who are often seen as mere numbers and statistics.
It embraces the call and the words of Pope Francis “to welcome, to protect, to promote the integral human development and to integrate” forced migrants and refugees.
“Through this campaign we hope to correct some negative myths about migrants and migration and also to address some of the roots of forced migration” as well as influence the Global Compact to make migration safe for people, Tagle says.
Pointing out that migration has always been part of human history, Tagle says recent trends force us to look at the causes of forced migration, to be aware of the violence to which many are subjected and of the new forms of slavery that have stemmed from the phenomenon.
Especially concerning, he says, is the vulnerability of young people.
“If we do not address this humanitarian crisis with the help of all governments and communities we will see generations of people with their hopes of a future destroyed” he says.
What the Church and Caritas are asking for – Cardinal Tagle explains - is a change of mentality, “a conversion”.
Instead of demonizing migrants and building walls, we must create the basis for a culture of encounter which will ultimately destroy the walls of prejudice.