The Church’s vision of a society open to Roma people
Europe’s Rom population
The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People’s makes some pastoral proposals and commitments
Rome, 20/06/2012 – The Church says European society should be “welcoming” towards Roma people. Fr. Gabriele Bentoglio, Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People reiterated this in a speech given in Eger (Hungary) at the First International Workshop on Roma Inclusion Projects in Central and Eastern Europe “Opening Doors”. Fr. Bentoglio listed the various initiatives that are currently underway.
The initiatives mentioned were primarily Italian and he also referred to St. Egidio and the Diocese of Vicenza. On a diocese and parish level he spoke about Dublin and mentioned the aid work done by the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Scalabrinians and others. Finally he stressed the action taken by bishops on a continental level in relation to international European institutions and single governments. But this is not enough – he added – if an open society is not created.
That is, “a welcoming society, a sensitive and just society, attentive to each person to whom access to social and cultural goods is guaranteed, and where the conditions for an integral development are ensured and the basic human rights are safeguarded.”
However, he concluded, the path towards integration “essentially requires the recognition of the dignity and centrality of each human person, with equal conditions regarding rights and duties. On these principles human rights as well as their boundaries are founded, seen as expression of a vision of humanity that attributes to the person absolute priority and the most profound values.”
The meeting in Eger was organised jointly by the Hungarian Episcopal Conference’s Commission for the pastoral care of the Rom population and the German charity Renovabis.