Love the Stranger

'Love the Stranger' presents a Catholic response to refugees and migrants. It is a 2023 document of the Department for International Affairs.

Also in Migrants and Refugees

Helping Refugees > Migrants' Mass >

Love the Stranger places the human being at the heart of our pastoral outreach, looking beyond statistics and policies to the person – each with a name, a face and a story.

The document offers 24 guiding principles and has been endorsed by the Holy See, COMECE, CAFOD, CSAN and Caritas Social Action Network members.



The main sections of the publication are:

Foreword, Principles, Introduction, A global perspective, The right to flourish in one’s homeland, The right to migrate, Equality and human dignity, Human trafficking and slavery, The gift of migration, Concluding reflection

Bishops' foreword

Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Department for International Affairs, and Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees provide the foreword to 'Love the Stranger'.

Summary of Principles

24 principles guiding our response to migrants and refugees.


Why caring for people on the move is an integral part of how we live out our faith.

A global perspective

Understanding the universal context of Catholic social teaching on migrants and refugees.

The right to flourish in one’s homeland

Our responsibility to address the factors driving people from their homes.

The right to migrate

Our responsibility to welcome people in our own communities.

Equality and human dignity

Recognising that all people are made in the image of God, regardless of where they come from or their legal status.

Human trafficking and slavery

Confronting the evils of human trafficking and slavery in today’s world.

The gift of migration

Celebrating the way in which migrants and refugees enrich our communities.

Concluding reflection

People have a right to seek a fulfilled life outside their homeland, especially if they are unable to live in dignity there.