The Vatican presented, Tuesday, May 5, pastoral guidelines for the internally displaced, those more than 50 million people who had to flee their homes due to conflict or natural disaster without benefiting from the international protection of refugees who crossed an international border.
” These guidelines aim to ensure that displaced persons are recognized and supported, promoted and, possibly, reintegrated, in order to play an active and constructive role in their country even if powerful causes have forced them to flee their homes and find refuge elsewhere. “Said Cardinal Michael Czerny, under secretary in charge of the section for migrants and refugees of the Department for Integral Human Development.
“Fruit of proven experiences in the field”
Although they are addressed to all, these orientations strongly insist on the role of the Christian communities, in particular with regard to the reception of the displaced.
” We focused on the needs of the displaced, how the Church responds to it and how it could better respond to it “, Insists the Canadian cardinal that this work is” the fruit of good practices, proven experiences in the field “
→ IN LOIRE. Vatican promotes care for internally displaced people: “welcome, protect, promote and integrate”
The 54 pages of the document, which widely quotes the magisterium of the Catholic Church, start from the four verbs ” welcome, protect, promote, integrate “On which Pope Francis articulated the action of the Church in favor of migrants in general.
“The great problem of the displaced is their invisibility”
For Father Fabio Baggio, the other under-secretary of the section for migrants and refugees, it is about promoting “ socio-economic inclusion which necessarily goes through recognition and personal identity ” but also ” the emergence of durable solutions which take into account the integration of the displaced in the host communities and, as much as possible, their return home “
Even if the Holy See recalls that it is not in any case about ” take the place of national responsibilities “, The document also points to the absence of an international instrument of protection for these displaced persons who, in law, remain under the responsibility of their country of origin whose borders they have not left.
” The great problem of the displaced is their invisibility “Warns Amaya Valcarcel, international advocacy coordinator at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), who also points to the difficulties of access to displaced people” which can sometimes be restricted due to conflicts or lack of recognition of their rights and necessity “
“Respond to the needs that God indicates to us everywhere”
She gives the example of the Burmese state of Kachin (north) where certain camps are beyond the reach of NGOs and the United Nations.
” With the current pandemic, people do not have access to information to protect themselves from the virus, she explains. The displaced know how to wash their hands but do not have access to clean water, including to drink. “
For Cardinal Czerny, the publication of these guidelines in the midst of the coronavirus crisis is, moreover, a sign of the attention of the Holy See for pre-existing crises has not weakened.
The Covid-19 crisis has shown that migrants “are particularly necessary”
” Our duty is to respond to the needs that God indicates to us everywhere, pandemic or not, he insists. It is a beautiful sign that the Church is doing new things to respond to new emergencies, while continuing its work for old forms of need: it is, in my opinion, a very Catholic attitude. “
” During a pandemic, the virus does not distinguish between those who are important and those who are invisible, those who have a roof and those who are displaced., he adds. Everyone is vulnerable. “
By the way, this Jesuit close to Pope Francis, whom he cares about for migrants, recognized that this Covid-19 crisis had demonstrated the inanity of ” Hollow and superficial attacks of a xenophobic nature “Against the migrants, stressing how much they, particularly in health and agriculture, have shown that” far from being intruders, they are particularly necessary and welcome, and have a role to play “