Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
People on the Move
N° 99, December 2005
Statement on migration
Nordic Bishops' Conference
Migration is typical for today’s global world. We can see it as a sign of God’s foreseeing love in order to strengthen the solidarity between people throughout the world. Thanks to immigration, the local churches in our Nordic countries have been able to grow and to mediate the Gospel to many people in our secularized societies. We wish to thank Catholics who have come from the entire world to help us build our Church.
According to the Social Doctrine of the Church, those countries, which receive immigrants and refugees, must treat them with justice and love. During the past times, we Bishops have, however, noticed a row of alarming signs in the Nordic countries: lack of generosity in receiving refugees and asylum seekers, increasing hostility towards strangers, segregation, etc. Therefore, we turn to all people of good faith and encourage them to work in favour of an open and welcoming society in which all people are met by justice and true human consideration.
As Catholic Bishops in Northern Europe, we pledge ourselves to do everything we can in order to give our refugees the pastoral care that they need, in their native tongue when that is needed. We ask them to help us to build a Catholic community together with faithful Catholics regardless of background. We, the Catholic Bishops of the Nordic Countries, hold on to the decision not to have any national parishes, but to, through our priests, offer care for souls on a number of different languages. It is our hope that we can create cooperation between our local parishes and different national groups, with the goal to become what we really are: a Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, where the faithful, despite nationality and ethnicity, are united into a prophetic sign upon the heavenly Jerusalem.