The President of COMECE, Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, Archbishop of Luxembourg issued the following statement today:
"You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus 19:34).
Following Pope Francis, the Catholic Church in Europe reaffirms "our shared responsibility to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate", migrants and refugees in our societies. They are not just figures or trends, but "first of all persons who have faces, names and individual stories", and deserve being treated in accordance with their inherent human dignity and their fundamental rights.
In this regard, the principles of the centrality of the human person and his real needs and of the common good must preside EU and member states' internal and external policies, also in migratory issues. As the UN Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees are in their final stages of adoption, we also encourage national political authorities, in the words of Pope Francis, "to ground responsibility for the shared global management of international migration in the values of justice, solidarity and compassion."
On 11 December, a UN Global Compact is due to be signed in Marrakech. Fruit of a vast negotiation, it recognizes a shared and common responsibility of authorities and societies in countries of departure, transit and arrival to frame and regulate migration for the benefit of all human persons and communities involved. It aims at providing security and protection to migrant persons as well as to hosting societies by promoting legal migration pathways, preventing thus human trafficking, deadly journeys, family disruption and violence.
Recalling the exhortations of the Holy See in that matter, COMECE encourages the Member States of the European Union to make this Global Compact an achievement for the common good of a shared humanity.