The annual meeting of bishops and delegates entrusted with the ministry of migrants of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Europe will take place this time in Stockholm, Sweden, 13 through 15 of July, at the invitation of the local bishop, Cardinal Anders Arborelius OCD, in charge of the “migration” section of the CCEE Commission “Pastoral Care of Social Issues.”
The theme chosen for this year is, A movement of humanity: the flow of migrants and news. Dialogue and communication for a culture of encounter. Those in charge of the ministry of migrants in Europe want to explore the relationship between migratory flow and its perception by the public opinion, directed by communication agencies that do not always promote dialogue and the culture of encounter.
“The Catholic Church in Sweden is a Church of Migrants. Most of us have come from other countries, and some of us from other denominations. As Christians, we are all pilgrims on the way to God’s heavenly kingdom,” says Cardinal Arborelius. “If we are really aware of this grace, we will also be able to be more open and welcoming to all those migrants that God has sent to us. We have our real homeland above. God’s kingdom is our real home. Here below, we are all guests, pilgrims, migrants. We belong together. We have the same vocation: to be the witnesses of Jesus here and now.”
The meeting – as an open session – will begin on Friday, July 13, at 6 pm in the St Erik cathedral church of Stockholm, and some representatives of migrant communities in the Swedish capital city will attend. The meeting will be opened by Cardinal Arborelius and H. Ex. Msgr. Giampaolo Crepaldi, Archbishop of Trieste (Italy) and President of the CCEE Commission “Pastoral Care of Social Issues.” Subsequently, Prof. Fr. José María La Porte, Dean of the Faculty of Institutional Social Communication of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome), will develop the theme, Immigration and public opinion: the dynamics of information.
On Saturday, July 14, the participants will discuss the theme, How the Church uses the media to talk about migration, in a session animated by Fr. Henrik Alberius OP, President of Caritas Sweden and member of the Executive Committee of Caritas Europe. The program includes the testimony of various international Church bodies working in the field of the ministry of migrants (Caritas Europe, ICMC, etc.). After that, Mr. Yuri Tykhovlis and Mrs. Lidia Magni Yuri of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development will discuss the theme, How the Church forms and informs her faithful on the issue of migration.
The second day of the meeting will end with the interventions of Msgr. Robert Vitillo, Secretary General of ICMC (International Catholic Migration Commission) on How the Church uses the media to witness to the world what she does and what she thinks about migration and the conclusions of Msgr. Duarte da Cunha, Secretary General of CCEE.
Every working session will include a moment of dialogue to allow the participants to explain what they consider to be the communication challenges of the Church in the field of migration, both inside and outside the Christian community.
The meeting will end in the morning of Sunday, July 15, with the celebration of a Holy Mass together with some migrant communities in the church of St. Eugenia in Stockholm, and a visit to the Abbey of Our Lady and of St. Bridget.
It will be a closed-doors meeting, with the exception of the opening session on Friday, July 13. A press release is to be released at the end of the meeting.
Photos will be available here.