Yesterday, the pope released a statement on immigration for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, coming up in January 2011. Titled “One Human Family,” Benedict addresses the dignity of all immigrants while acknowledging nations’ rights to regulate their flow:
“The World Day of Migrants and Refugees offers the whole Church an opportunity to reflect on a theme linked to the growing phenomenon of migration, to pray that hearts may open to Christian welcome and to the effort to increase in the world justice and charity, pillars on which to build an authentic and lasting peace,” wrote the Pontiff in his opening remarks on Oct. 26.
“All,” he continued, “belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.”
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However, the Pope added, “States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host country, respecting its laws and its national identity.”
You can read the full speech at the Vatican Web site here.