Ecclesia in Europa, 103 (en)

John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, 28-VI-2003, AAS 95 (2003) 649-719


103. On her part, the Church is called “to continue her activity in creating and continually improving her services of welcome and her pastoral attention for immigrants and refugees”,(165) in order to ensure respect for their dignity and freedom and to promote their integration.

In particular, specific pastoral care needs to be given to the integration of Catholic immigrants, with respect for their culture and their distinct religious traditions. To this end, contacts should be encouraged between the Churches in their native countries and those to which they have migrated, in order to study forms of assistance which could include the presence among immigrants of priests, consecrated men and women, and properly trained pastoral workers from their own countries.

The service of the Gospel also requires the Church, in defending the cause of the oppressed and excluded, to call on the political authorities of the different States and the leaders of European institutions to grant refugee status to those who have left their country of origin because of threats to their life, to help them return to their countries, and to create conditions favouring respect for the dignity of all immigrants and the defence of their fundamental rights.(166)


(165) Propositio 34.

(166) Cf. Congregation for Bishops, Instruction Nemo Est (22 August 1969), 16: AAS 61 (1969), 621-622; CIC, canons 294 and 518; CCEO, canon 280 § 1.

Full Text: