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World Tourism Day

2009-08-13

The Holy See takes the opportunity to send a message of its own on World Tourism Day.

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto
Secretary, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants

“To try to help people to understand the importance of tourism that for the Church is a sign of the times.”

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto is the secretary of the Holy See’s council responsible for tending to immigrant issues.

He says on this World Tourism Day the Church is keeping in mind social themes like diversity and also how tourism can build bridges between religions and cultures.

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto
Secretary, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants

“Through tourism you have the chance to meet and to know people of different minds and opinions and religions and idiosyncrasies, etc. And this can be an enrichment because it could be an occasion of respect, of acceptance.”

But Archbishop Marchetto says it’s also important to think about the less positive aspects of human mobility.

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto
Secretary, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants

“Sexual tourism is something very bad. And we condemn it, of course. The Holy Father also in the last encyclical, ‘Caritas in Veritate,’ of course is condemning it and trying to help people understand there must be a law also trying to protect weak people.”

But all in all, Marchetto hopes this World Tourism Day is a chance for people to reflect on the beauty of the world and the mixing of cultures that is bred through travel.

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