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Vatican Connections: Friday, June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013
In 2012 about 14 million refugees and 28.8 million internally displaced migrant were registered in the world. This week theVatican issued guidelines to for the pastoral care of Migrants and Refugees.
The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People released the document with guidelines for the providing pastoral care to refugees and forced migrants, June 5. The document was written in collaboration with the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the church’s charity arm.
The last time the council for migrants issued a set of guidelines was 1992. Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the council, told journalists at a press conference the reasons people migrate or seek refuge today are much different than when the last guidelines were published.
Refugees are considered those who are forced to leave their country due to the political situation: civil war, or violence and persecution. Forced migrants are those who leave their country because there is no work in the home country and no way no make a living, according to Bishop Joseph Kalathimparambil of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants told Salt + Light June 4.
The Pastoral Council for Migrants is one of several Catholic organizations that serve migrants and refugees. Other organizations include:
The International Catholic Migrant Commission, founded after World War II to support people needing refuge and resettlement. Today the organization is involved in policy building work, and collaborates with various international bodies to promote the importance of family unity in resettlement and help find durable resettlement solutions. The ICMC also work with international organizations to help resettle refugees.
Caritas Internationalis was founded in 1951, with the help of then-monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, later Pope Paul VI. The idea was to create a network of aid organizations around the world. Today there are 165 member organizations in the Caritas network that provide aid to people affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crises, and support he vulnerable in developed nations. Some operate under the name “Caritas” others have a different name, like Trocaire in Ireland, or Catholic Relief Services in the United States.  Caritas is considered the largest, most extensive humanitarian aid network in the world.
Jesuit Refugee Services works in accompanying, serving and advocating for refugees and forcibly displaced persons. Founded by the Jesuit order in 1980, JRS has programs in 50 countries and a Refugee Research Centre at Oxford University. The organization coordinates programs in those 50 countries from its head office in Rome, at the Jesuit General Curia. Programs include education, emergency assistance, healthcare, and social services. JRS works both with refugees and those who are marginalized in their own country.
For more information on any of these organizations visit their website:
International Catholic Migrant Commission
Caritas Internationalis
Jesuit Refugee Services

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