Cardinal Pietro Parolin at the conference in Sacrofano, near Rome, entitled "Cattedra dell'Accoglienza" Cardinal Pietro Parolin at the conference in Sacrofano, near Rome, entitled "Cattedra dell'Accoglienza" 

Cardinal Parolin: We must save migrants' lives

Meeting journalists on the sidelines of the inauguration of the "Chair of Welcome" in Sacrofano, near Rome, Italy, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, called for a "regularisation of migratory movements, so that it is safe" and tragedies such as the one in Cutro, southern Italy, do not happen again. In a message, the Pope recalled that the presence of our migrant brothers and sisters is "an opportunity for human growth, encounter and dialogue."

By Alessandro Di Bussolo

Following his appeal made during the Sunday Angelus that "the journeys of hope never more be transformed into journeys of death," Pope Francis has repeated his call for "welcome and solidarity" towards migrants. He did so in a message sent for the opening of a meeting on the theme of welcome called the "Cattedra dell'accoglienza" (the chair of welcome), a gathering promoted by the Fraterna Domus association from 6 to 10 March in Sacrofano, the province of Rome, Italy. 

In the text signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope calls for "a renewed commitment to fostering a spirit of welcome and solidarity, promoting peace and fraternity among peoples". The Pope again encourages looking at "the presence of so many migrant brothers and sisters as an opportunity for human growth, for encounter and for dialogue between cultures and religions".

Church guidelines on welcome

Before giving his address, Cardinal Parolin answered a journalist's question about the terrible tragedy of the recent shipwreck in Cutro, southern Italy, that cost the lives of at least 71 people. He recalled the shocking nature of the tragedy and how he believes marks "a call to rethink migrant reception policies" and how "the Church has offered a whole range of principles and guidelines that ought to be considered precisely to reconsider these policies."

A more positive view

The most important consideration to avoid more disasters in what have been called "journeys of hope", according to Cardinal Parolin, "is the regularisation of migratory flows, so that migration is safe." For Cardinal Parolin, "above all, we must have a more positive attitude, " that today is "unfortunately dominated by fear." He added that what is needed "is a welcome that takes into account the situation from which these people come and the situation in which we find ourselves."

Saving people above all

Regarding the Pope's words at the Sunday Angelus when he called on efforts to stop "traffickers in human beings," the Cardinal joined his voice in condemning "those who speculate on this and those who profit from it." The Secretary of State did not speak about the new rules requested by Italy from NGOs involved in the rescue of migrants at sea, but stressed that for the Holy See "the principle that always applies is that it is first and foremost a question of saving people, of not allowing human lives to be lost" as happened recently off the coast of southern Italy.

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07 March 2023, 16:31