People have a right to seek a fulfilled life outside their homeland, especially if they are unable to live in dignity there.
Love the Stranger
Reflecting on the message in St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians: “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19), Pope Francis reminds us that migrants and refugees are not a problem to be solved, but sisters and brothers to be welcomed, respected, and loved.61
The Church in England and Wales is fully engaged with public policy relating to migration, the status of refugees, and tackling human trafficking, in order to promote the dignified treatment of all those who come to our country.
Catholic social teaching recognises the dilemmas that governments face but emphasises that the dignity of each and every human person must come first.
We call upon all Catholics to help ensure that their Members of Parliament and local authorities are aware of their responsibilities towards migrants and refugees. Pope Francis has also called for international institutions to be fully involved in these issues, recognising their global nature.
Responsibility for promoting the common good nevertheless goes much further than the public policy arena, it is the obligation of us all. The arrival of people from elsewhere enriches our community in so many ways but, even where it brings economic pressures, we should recognise that the goods of the world do not belong only to those born in richer countries. People have a right to seek a fulfilled life outside their homeland, especially if they are unable to live in dignity there.
We strongly commend the work of Catholic agencies and charities which strive to welcome, promote, protect, and integrate people when they come to the United Kingdom. We encourage parishes to assist this work and participate in the synodal process by walking together, talking together, and praying together as one community, to promote the mission of the Church.
Finally, we ask all the Catholic faithful to reach out the hand of friendship to migrants and refugees so that they can help us grow in the love of God and we can together grow in universal fraternity and solidarity.
61. Pope Francis, Message for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2019)