Mexican bishops have praised the faith of people on the migrant caravans, walking through their diocese.
Father Arturo Montelongo, secretary of the Mobility Commission in the Episcopal Conference of Mexico (CEM) said: "The Church in Mexico is very involved and follows with concern the events of migrant caravans, from the place of origin to that of destination, showing solidarity and hospitality throughout our national territory, from Tapachula to Tijuana."
Although there has been less news coverage lately, the migrant caravans to the United States, are continuing. A large caravan began in October 2018 from Honduras with people exasperated by poverty and violence in their country, trying to reach Mexico to seek asylum. Thousands more, on October 21, left Guatemala, following three other caravans, made up of Salvadorians. On January 14, 2019 thousands of Hondurans left San Pedro Sula.
Fr Montelongo said there was a lack of "responsible leaders guiding them safely and without deception, speaking to them sincerely and not leaving them adrift."
The priest says he is surprised by the faith present among the people taking part in the caravans: "They bring with them the enthusiasm for a better life, they are aware of the great difficulties they face and despite being of different Christian denominations, they know that without the help of God, it would be even more difficult to move forward."
"Children, whole families, young people who thought they had a great future in their countries of origin, found themselves a very different reality," Fr Arturo said. He also pointed out the great participation of Mexican citizens to the refugees coming to their country and praised the way everyone is responding to the humanitarian crisis. "Many synergies have been created with the various governments, at a state and municipal level, as well as openings at a federal level," he said.
Returning from a 'Tex-Mex' meeting, which saw the meeting of Bishops from both sides of the Mexican border in El Paso, Fr Arturo said he also witnessed the demonstration by Bishop Raúl Vera and Father Pedro Pantoja against the government of the state of Coahuila, which rejected the migrants by sending the last caravans to Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey.
The Secretary points out the need for "public policies which are attentive to the human rights of their fellow citizens" in the countries of transit and destination. And recalls that "Pope Francis urges us to welcome, protect, promote and integrate, in order to transform world society and define once and for all that migration is a right and that migrants are not a danger, but an opportunity to development".
"The Church in the United States is also working to support the cause of migrants," notes Fr Montelongo. "Mgr Mark Saitz, Bishop of El Paso - he recalls - has made available the structures of the minor seminary in order to open a shelter where migrants awaiting the resolution of their position, may have food, shelter and medical care".
"The Bishops in the USA - he concludes - continue to demonstrate against the immigration policy characterized by the separation of families, detention of migrants, imposition of an electronic system that identifies them as delinquents and especially against the construction of a wall that separates not only families, but the cities that historically have the same cultural origin".
We Need Your Support
ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.
Please support our journalism by donating today.Donate