Pope Francis has supported a campaign by Caritas Internationalis, backed by nearly 200 Catholic aid charities worldwide, including Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and CAFOD, calling on the public and world leaders to welcome and protect refugees and migrants. At his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis met and embraced young migrants and encouraged everyone throughout the world to do the same.
The Share the Journey campaign is spearheaded by the Catholic Church’s global charitable arm, Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of Catholic relief and development agencies that operates in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. Its member organisations, including CSAN and CAFOD in England and Wales, want to foster greater understanding of why so many people are leaving their homes at this time in history. They hope to inspire communities to build relationships with migrants and refugees and to call on world leaders support the UN Global Compacts on Migrants and Refugees in 2018.
The Catholic community in England and Wales is already working to welcome the stranger: CSAN member charities and parishes run befriending schemes, English classes, immigration advice clinics and social groups. The Catholic community is leading the way with the Community Sponsorship of Refugees scheme, in which parish groups take the lead in resettling families displaced by the conflict in Syria.
More information about Share the Journey can be found on a dedicated Caritas Internationalis website.
A one-minute video extract from the papal audience is available on YouTube.