The Holy See
back up

 Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

People on the Move

N° 104, August 2007



Welcoming and caring for the foreigner in the light of

Erga migrantes caritas Christi*


Cardinal Renato Raffaele MARTINO

President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care

of Migrants and Itinerant People


The Pastoral care of the Church

Human mobility has always been at the centre of the concerns of the Church, through her various interventions underlining her willingness to understand this changing reality, and through concrete proposals mainly on the pastoral level, but also at the social and community levels, in order to achieve full acceptance of the stranger and his cultural and religious heritage along the path to an authentic communion and respect of diversity[1].

In this perspective, the Holy See has been aware in the first place of the reasons that end up creating social unrest and the urge to migrate, trying to identify the pastoral means that are most apt to give an answer to the real question of those faithful who «on account of their way of life, cannot sufficiently make use of the common and ordinary pastoral care of parish priests or are quite cut off from it. Among this group are the majority of migrants, exiles and refugees, seafarers, air-travellers, gypsies, and others of this kind. Suitable pastoral methods – stated the Fathers of Vatican II – should also be promoted to sustain the spiritual life of those who go to other lands for a time for the sake of recreation. Episcopal conferences, especially national ones, should pay special attention to the very pressing problems concerning the above-mentioned groups. Through voluntary agreement and united efforts, they should look to and promote their spiritual care by means of suitable methods and institutions. They should also bear in mind the special rules either already laid down or to be laid down by the Apostolic See which can be wisely adapted to the circumstances of time, place, and persons»[2].

In the recent pronouncements of the Holy See, in agreement with such reflections and encouraging actions, emerges an attention to the constant transformations that the phenomena of mobility undergo and to the new demands of contemporary man, intending to respond «to the new pastoral needs of migrants and lead them towards the transformation of their migration experience not only into an opportunity to grow in Christian life, but also an occasion of new evangelization and mission» mindful «to apply accurately the norms contained both in the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches in order to respond more adequately to the pastoral needs of the emigrant faithful of the Eastern Churches. They are now more and more numerous. The composition of today’s migration also requires an ecumenical vision of the phenomenon because of the presence of many migrants not in full communion with the Catholic Church. It also imposes the need of inter-religious dialogue because of the increasing number of migrants belonging to other religions, particularly Muslims, in traditionally Catholic countries, and vice-versa. Finally, another purely pastoral need, which is indispensable, is the promotion of pastoral action that is both faithful to tradition and open to new developments. These include pastoral structures which must also be apt to guarantee communion between pastoral agents in the field of migration and the local hierarchy in the receiving country» (Erga migrantes caritas Christi – EMCC – n. 3).

And so with the passing of time even the structures of the Church in regards to the pastoral care of migrants have changed, but, at the same time, she has also deepened her attitude in confronting the phenomenon. From an initial reaction of fear because of the obvious dangers or of suspicion toward this kind of mobility, and the resultant innovations in the social and cultural fields, she has matured to consider also the human and spiritual potential issuing from migration according to the providential divine plan in history, without losing sight realistically of the human cost of the migratory experience and its multiple consequences of social, demographic and economic nature. 

2. Focusing on the centrality of the human person

When it comes to respecting the basic rights of the person and, naturally, the rights of those who are involved in human mobility, the Church is constantly committed on various levels. Specific undertakings and Messages of the Holy Father, not to forget the activities aimed at sensitizing the International Organizations and the governments of the countries of origin and transit of migrants, outline the strategy of the Church beginning with the centrality and sacredness of the person especially when it comes to defending the weak and the excluded.

From these premises indeed are drawn «important theological and pastoral findings that have been acquired. These are: the central position of the human person and the defence of the rights of migrants, both men and women, and their children; the ecclesial and missionary dimension of migration; the reappraisal of the apostolate of the laity; the value of cultures in the work of evangelisation; the protection and appreciation of minority groups in the Church; the importance of dialogue both inside and outside the Church; and the specific contribution of emigration to world peace » (EMCC n. 27). For this reason the Church is extremely interested in the welcoming and in the pastoral care of all migrants, knowing that «the migrant thirsts for some gesture that will make him feel welcome, recognised and acknowledged as a person» (EMCC n. 96). Therefore it is worth repeating, even when it comes to the migrants, what has been affirmed with strong conviction by John Paul II, that «indeed man’s principal resource… is man himself» (Centesimus Annus n. 32).

The phenomenon of migrations, in any case, carries within itself a variety of rights and duties, first of which is the right to move[3] «in the same context with the right of every country to pursue an immigration policy that promotes the human good» (EMCC n. 29). Part of them is the decision not to emigrate in order to contribute to the development of one’s own native country[4], and also «to be able to achieve his rights and satisfy his legitimate demands in his own country» (ibid.)[5].

3. Specific pastoral care in the field of migrations

In concrete, the safeguard of the human person underlines even more the need for an ad hoc pastoral care. Indeed, it entails allowing the use of each one’s maternal tongue in catechesis, preaching, and administration of Sacraments; open mindedness in regards to particular demands stemming from popular religious customs; provision of missionaries specifically designated, and the creation of ethnic pastoral institutions to secure a constant process of active integration into the local Church which should not be a mere “religious colonization”, nor a total absorption. The Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi contains specific directives articulated as follow: «pastoral care of a particular ethnic or ritual group, aimed at promoting a genuinely Catholic spirit (cf. LG 13); need to safeguard universality and unity, which cannot, however, clash at the same time with the specific pastoral care that, if possible, entrusts migrants to presbyters of the same language, of their own Church sui iuris, or to presbyters who are close to them from a linguistic and cultural point of view (cf. DPMC 11)» (n. 38). In substance the Church’s welcome towards migrants «contributes to making the true face of the Church visible (cf. GS 92) and it brings out the value of migrations from the point of view of ecumenism and missionary work and dialogue. In fact it is also through migration that God’s saving plan will be effected (cf. Acts 11, 19-21) (cf. DPMC 11)» (EMCC n. 38).

From this perspective, if it is true that the gospel message must always be “incarnated” in a particular culture, it is even more so in the case of migrants’ groups that, being forcibly uprooted from their original environment, cannot survive without their own culture, because only through it can they find the ways to express themselves and communicate. By consequence not only should the culture of migrants be respected – because of its decisive role in the formation of consciences and in the expression of the originality and history of each people – but must be rescued and valued because it is by means of it that the gospel message is conveyed to them[6].

4. Towards welcoming and integration

In this respect, the Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi is nonetheless careful to place at specific levels adequate proposals that reflect the actual living conditions of the migrants. For this purpose «in welcoming migrants it is of course useful and correct to distinguish between assistance in a general sense (a first, short-term welcome), true welcome in the full sense (longer-term projects) and integration (an aim to be pursued constantly over a long period and in the true sense of the word)» (n. 42). In this case this is a reasonable framework to deal with a momentous issue, that is to say that the difficult concept of the integration of migrants into the receiving society is redefined; setting aside the idea of absorption, to stress instead that of encounter and dialogue. In practice the Instruction insists upon the creation of inter-cultural societies that through interaction mutually enrich each other, rather than talking of multiculturalism, that could just stand for cultures merely existing side by side[7].

To summarize then, in this gradual process «assistance or “first welcome” are of the greatest importance (let us think, for example, of migrants’ hospitality centres, especially in transit countries) in response to the emergencies that come with migrations: canteens, dormitories, clinics, economic aid, reception centres» (EMCC n. 43). This however is still not sufficient to fully express the authentic call to Christian agape for the reason that it can be easily confused with an act of simple humanitarian content.

The Instruction, consequently, envisions a wider horizon suggesting «acts of welcome in its full sense, which aim at the progressive integration and self-sufficiency of the immigrant» (EMCC n. 43). And in particular it identifies some important elements such as «the commitment undertaken for family unification, education of children, housing, work, associations, promotion of civil rights and  various ways of migrants’ participation in their host society» (ibid.).

5. Intervention on the causes of migration

It is necessary to stress the fact that the specific pastoral care could never completely reach its goals if we failed to act also “on the roots” of the migratory phenomenon. It is principally in the cases when human mobility is forced that the Church is indeed urged to intervene upon the causes of the evils that generate it. The Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi recognizes it right from the start when, next to the cultural, technical, and scientific motives besides the economic reasons, it charges also exaggerated nationalism, tainted with hatred and with systematic or violent exclusion of minority groups, or of believers of minority religions, by means of conflicts of civil, political, ethnic and even religious nature. Thus migration is also «a clear indication of social, economic and demographic imbalance on a regional or world-wide level» (EMCC n. 1).

In this respect, solidarity, cooperation, international interdependence, and the even distribution of the goods of the earth point to the fact that it is necessary to work effectively and in depth in the areas of departure of the migratory fluxes to get rid of the imbalances that force people individually or collectively to abandon their own natural and cultural environment (cf. EMCC n. 4; 8-9; 39-43). Once more the Church does not desist from encouraging all but in particular the Christian communities to display an attitude of authentic availability and openness to the other, even the migrant, affirming that «notwithstanding the repeated failures of human projects, noble as they may have been, Christians, roused by the phenomenon of mobility, become aware of their call to be always and repeatedly a sign of fraternity and communion in the world, by respecting differences and practising solidarity, in their ethics of meeting others» (EMCC n. 102). 

6. Sensitizing the receiving societies

If, in any case, the Church is directly committed to stand side by side with the migrants and the exiles[8], just as important is her effort to sensitize individuals and Institutions especially in the countries receiving the migrants in order to enact migratory policies in a spirit of true solidarity and courageous openness (cf. EMCC n. 29-30). It is important, for that purpose, to rediscover and to practice especially through catechesis[9] and the work of formation at different levels initiatives aimed at producing a global vision, moving from awareness to acceptance of the other with his specific cultural traits, to universalism, to brotherhood and to communion (cf. EMCC n. 99).

Moreover, the enactment of an open migratory policy not limited to solving contingent problems, but reflecting a global view, is in clear contrast with the attitude existing in some countries, and not just a few, in the more “developed” areas of the world that are adopting policies of progressive exclusion, while, instead, the poorer Nations are giving evidence of being open in welcome towards the refugees, for instance. It should be placed within this framework the recent appeal directed by Benedict XVI to the Governments for the «ratification of the international legal instruments that aim to defend the rights of migrants, refugees and their families», first among them the «International Convention for the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families, which was enforced on July 1st, 2003, and intends to defend men and women migrant workers and the members of their respective families»[10]. Presenting the same Message, then, I myself had the opportunity of reiterating that raising walls does not solve, but rather exacerbates the problems.

Finally, the welcoming and the caring of migrants need the ever active and specific participation of all the structures of Catholic inspiration (hospitals, social services, educational institutions) while the curriculum of formation adopted by Seminaries and Religious Institutes should not omit an adequate introduction to the reality of migration and, more in general, to the entire range of the Social Teachings of the Church[11].

7. Developments and perspectives

The Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi affirms that «international migration must therefore be considered an important structural component of the social, economic and political reality of the world today. The large numbers involved call for closer and closer collaboration between countries of origin and destination, in addition to adequate norms capable of harmonising the various legislative provisions. The aim of this would be to safeguard the needs and rights of the emigrants and their families and, likewise, those of the societies receiving them» (n. 8). Migration, indeed, is a constantly evolving process that will continue to play an essential role in the development of societies. What is more and more evident, in this respect, is the global dimension of this phenomenon with its political, economic, and social repercussions. «The ever-increasing migration phenomenon today – affirms the abovementioned Instruction – is an important component of that growing interdependence among nation states that goes to make up globalisation, which has flung markets wide open but not frontiers, has demolished boundaries for the free circulation of information and capital, but not to the same extent those for the free circulation of people» (n. 4). Right along this line, it is necessary to reaffirm that to produce positive outcomes globalization must be grounded upon a vision of the human person reflecting the Christian ideals rather than those of secular and materialistic ideologies[12].

Nowadays, unfortunately, it appears that only the arrival of masses of desperate people in need of everything and ready to risk their life, that knock at the door of rich countries, often in conditions of illegality, may convince the competent Institutions how urgent it is to improve the living conditions of their countries of origin. Their development, in fact, will warrant a perspective of survival and progress. Such development will also entail the recognition and promotion of cultural minorities especially in post-modern societies where ethnic and religious identities ever increasingly tend to cross their customary borders. What emerges then is an inter-cultural world called to live diversity not as a factor of destabilization but rather as an agent of unification and enrichment. It is a wish, it is a dream, but it is also, at least in part, a reality.


Finally, it is urgent to impress upon everybody’s mind that for the Church the specific pastoral attention to human mobility, with particular reference to the welcoming and following up of migrant brothers and sisters  (the term includes refugees, foreign students, etc.), becomes a further confirmation of her catholicity and missionary call. It is also safe to affirm that migrations carry within themselves an ecumenical message. Precisely because they are based upon the enlarged concept of homeland, and upon the cultural confrontation between different societies and experiences, they have contributed in the past, and still do, to a more relaxed attitude and increased communication even between different Christian denominations[13].

Besides, migrations, in a more restricted sense, by opening a dialogue between different cultures, can contribute to world peace. These inter-cultural and inter-religious exchanges work for peace inasmuch as they act at the roots of communication between people. In fact the search for and the discovery of common values, present in the various ethnic groups and religious beliefs, give rise to a spirit of harmony, peaceful living, and reconciliation that runs against the endless news of devastating conflicts and death that, with the complicity of the mass-media, ever more impinge upon our daily life[14].

Therefore the Church, in her vocation of «servant of humanity»[15], faithful to her call to serve on behalf of all humanity, brings not only the message but also the realization of universal peace even by means of the migratory waves of millions of her sons and daughters. In fact «migrants, too, can be the hidden providential builders of such a universal fraternity together with many other brothers and sisters» (EMCC n. 103). In this manner, the Church continues Christ’s work of salvation favouring the establishment of peaceful relationships between human beings, members of one big family.


Accueil et assistance aux étrangers, dans la perspective de l'Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi 

Le Saint-Siège a toujours été fortement engagé à réaliser une pastorale conforme aux exigences culturelles et spirituelles des migrants, confirmée par le Concile Œcuménique Vatican II lui-même. Le Saint-Siège s'efforce de venir au-devant des nouvelles attentes des migrants, non seulement en visant leur croissance spirituelle, mais aussi avec la conscience d'avoir une nouvelle mission évangélisatrice, et ce toujours dans le respect des normes des canons pour l'Eglise latine, et de celles du Droit Canonique pour les Eglises Orientales Catholiques. Aujourd'hui plus que jamais, la diversité culturelle et religieuse des immigrés nécessite une pastorale à fond œcuménique et interreligieux. Enfin, il faut promouvoir une pastorale qui soit fidèle aux justes traditions des immigrés, et ouverte à leurs nouvelles exigences socio-culturelles. En défendant la centralité de la personne humaine, l'Eglise défend certainement aussi les droits de tous les migrants (hommes, femmes et enfants).

L'Instruction Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi illustre graduellement les différentes étapes de l'accueil des migrants et de l'assistance à leur apporter. Elle s'engage en faveur de la scolarisation de leurs jeunes, fils et filles d'immigrants, ainsi qu'en faveur de l'assistance sanitaire, du logement et d'une juste rétribution du travail, en promouvant l'associationnisme et les droits civils, en vue de l'insertion dans le tissu socio-culturel du pays-hôte.

Les raisons de l'émigration sont souvent économiques, mais il en existe aussi qui sont entraînées par des dangers, des questions ethniques ou religieuses, par la violence et la guerre, etc. Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi invite les communautés chrétiennes à accueillir les migrants en signe de solidarité et de communion.

Le Saint-Père Benoît XVI a également invité les Gouvernements à ratifier la Convention internationale des droits de tous les travailleurs migrants et des membres de leurs familles.

Notre Instruction affirme que les migrations internationales doivent être vues comme un élément social, culturel, économique et politique important du monde d'aujourd'hui ; c'est pour cette raison qu'une collaboration aussi est nécessaire entre les Gouvernements des pays d'origine et ceux de destination des migrants.

De par sa vocation, l'Eglise est au "service de l'humanité". Fidèle à l'appel qu'elle a reçu, elle ne se limite pas à apporter son message ; elle s'engage aussi à réaliser la paix universelle à travers également l'assistance aux migrants.


Aufnahme und Betreuung der Fremden in der Darstellung der Instruktion Erga migrantes caritas Christi 

Der Heilige Stuhl hat sich immer für die Realisierung einer Seelsorge gemäß den kulturellen und spirituellen Bedürfnissen der Migranten eingesetzt, das wurde auch vom II. Ökumenische Vatikanische Konzil bestätigt. Er versucht den neuen Erwartungen der Migranten entgegen zu kommen, nicht nur im Hinblick auf ihre spirituelle Reife, sondern auch im Bewusstsein einer neuen evangelisierenden Mission, unter Achtung der Normen des Kanonischen Rechts der Lateinischen Kirche und der Verordnungen der Kanonen der Katholischen Ostkirchen. Die kulturelle und religiöse Verschiedenheit der Immigranten verlangt mehr denn je eine Pastoral auf ökumenischer und interreligiöser Grundlage. Schließlich fördert man eine Pastoral, welche genau die rechten Traditionen der Migranten beachtet und offen ist für ihre neuen sozialen-kulturellen Bedürfnisse. Die Kirche verteidigt die Zentralität der menschlichen Person, also auch die Rechte der Migranten, der Männer, Frauen und Kinder.

Die Instruktion Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi erläutert stufenweise die verschiedenen Etappen der Aufnahme und der Assistenz der Migranten. Sie setzt sich für die schulische Ausbildung der Kinder der Migranten ein, für eine ärztliche Versorgung, für die Unterküfte, die rechte Entlohnung und der Förderung des Vereinswesens, der Zivilrechte, und einer Einfügung in das sozial-kulturelle Gewebe des Gastlandes.

Die Gründe, die zu einer Auswanderung führen sind wirtschaftlicher Art, aber es gibt auch Menschen, die wegen drohender Gefahr, aus ethnischen, religiösen Gründen, oder wegen Gewalt und Krieg, usw., dazu gezwungen werden. Die Instruktion Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi lädt die christlichen Gemeinden ein, die Migranten aufzunehmen, als Zeichen der Solidarität und der Gemeinschaft.

Papst Benedikt XVI. hat auch die Regierungen aufgefordert die Internationale Konvention der Rechte der Migranten-Arbeiter und ihrer Familienmitglieder zu ratifizieren.

Unsere Instruktion bestätigt, dass die internationalen Migrationen als eine wichtige soziale, kulturelle, wirtschaftliche und politische Komponente der heutigen Welt zu betrachten sind, weshalb auch die Kollaboration unter den Regierungen des Herkunfts- und des Ziellandes der Migranten gehört.

Die Kirche steht aufgrund ihrer Berufung „im Dienst der Menschheit“. Dieser ihrer Berufung getreu bringt sie nicht nur ihre Botschaft ein, sondern setzt sich für die Verwirklichung des universellen Friedens ein, eben auch durch die Betreuung der Migranten.


* This is the address given in Taipei, Taiwan on 16th March 2007, on the occasion of the  International Conference on Service and Assistance to Asian Migrants.

[1] pius xii expressed his prophetical intuition in the Apostolic Constitution Exsul Familia (AAS XLIV [1952] 649-704), which is considered the magna charta of the Church’s thought about migrations. Paul VI, then, in continuity and as a follow up to Vatican II, issued the Motu proprio Pastoralis migratorum cura (AAS LXI [1969] 601-603), promulgating the Instruction of the Congregation of Bishops De pastorali migratorum cura (AAS LXI [1969] 614-643) In 1978, the Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrations and Tourism intervened with the Circular letter to the Episcopal Conferences Chiesa e mobilità umana (AAS LXX [1978] 357-378). And finally, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, in 2004, published the Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi (AAS XCVI [2004] 762-822).

[2] Ecumenical Council Vatican II, Decree on the pastoral office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 18: AAS LVIII (1966) 682.

[3] «Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own State. When there are just reasons in favour of it, he must be permitted to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there»: John XXIII Encyclical Pacem in Terris, 25: AAS LV (1963) 263. See also EF 79; GS 65,69; DPMC 7; EMCC 21.

[4] See GS 65; DPMC 8; EMCC 29.

[5] See also Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Discorso del Santo Padre, 2: Atti del IV Congresso Mondiale sulla Pastorale dei Migranti e dei Rifugiati (5-10 ottobre 1998), Città del Vaticano 1999, p. 9.

[6] To the theme «“inculturation” and religious and cultural pluralism» EMCC dedicates adequate space at the beginning of the second part, n. 34-36, defining also a dynamic itinerary for an authentic process of inculturation with these elements: «“Inculturation” begins by listening, which means getting to know those to whom we proclaim the gospel. Listening and knowing lead to a more adequate discernment of the values and “counter values” of their cultures in the light of the Paschal Mystery of death and life. Tolerance is not enough; needed is a certain feeling for the other, respect as far as possible for the cultural identity of one’s dialogue partners. To recognise and appreciate their positive aspects, which prepare them to accept the gospel, is a necessary prelude to its successful proclamation. This is the only way to create dialogue, understanding and trust. Keeping our eyes on the gospel thus means attention to people too, to their dignity and freedom. Helping them advance integrally requires a commitment to fraternity, solidarity, service and justice» (n. 36).

[7] The themes of this important chapter of the pastoral care for human mobility have been investigated and published Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ed) Migranti e pastorale d’accoglienza (Quaderni Universitari II Parte), Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano 2006.

[8] Benedict xvi, in his Message for the 93rd World Day for the Migrant and the Refugee, paraphrasing EMCC n. 6, reminds that «the Church offers through various Institutions and Associations that kind of advocacy that is becoming ever more necessary. For that reason Centres to listen to migrants have been opened , Homes to receive them, Offices for services to individuals and families and other initiatives have been started to respond to the growing needs existing in this field»: OR 264 (44.406 – 15.XI.2006), p. 5.

[9] «In religious instruction and catechesis suitable means must be found to create in the Christian conscience a sense of welcome, especially for the poorest and outcasts as migrants often are. This welcome is fully based on love for Christ, in the certainty that good done out of love of God to one’s neighbour, especially the most needy, is done to Him. This catechesis cannot avoid referring to the serious problems that precede and accompany migration, such as the demographic question, work and working conditions (illegal work), the care of the numerous elderly persons, criminality the exploitation of migrants and trafficking and smuggling of human beings»: EMCC n. 41.

[10] Benedict XVI, Messaggio per la 93ª Giornata Mondiale del Migrante e del Rifugiato: OR 264 (44.406 – 15.XI.2006), p. 5.

[11] See Congregation for Catholic Education, The Pastoral Care of Human Mobility in the Formation of Future Priests (Circular Letter to the Diocesan Ordinaries and to the Rectors of their Seminaries, 25 January 1986): Enchiridion Vaticanum 10 (1986-1987) 5-24; Congregation for Catholic Education and Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Joint Letter on the Pastoral Care of Migrants in the Formation of Future Priests and Permanent Deacons to their Excellencies the Diocesan Ordinaries and to the Rectors of Seminaries: AAS XCVIII (2006) 70-71. For what refers to the Social Teachings of the Church, the Compendium of the Social Teachings of the Church is a most valuable instrument (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano 2004), edited by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, of which I am also the President.

[12] For that purpose, essential is the reference to pars. 27-29 of the Encyclical Deus caritas est of Benedict xvi (AAS XCVIII [2006] 217-252: 237-241). The Holy Father stresses that the Church is very seriously concerned about man and the world (n. 27), because she is particularly interested «in the opening of the intelligence and the will to the demands of goodness» and consequently «she cannot stay in the sidelines of the fighting for justice» (n. 28a). In the end, the expression of Christian love, caritas, will always be necessary for society, because «if one wishes to do away with love he must be ready to do away with man as man» (n. 28b). On the contrary, the dynamics of love originated by the Spirit of Christ, in any of its expressions, never humiliates man, but it heals, supports, and strengthens «precisely what is specifically human» (28b).

[13] See EMCC n. 56-58.

[14] See EMCC n. 69.

[15] Paul VI, Homily for the IX Session of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II: AAS 58 (1966) 57.