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Fr. Fabio Baggio: Pope Francis asked us to pay special attention to the victims of migration

2017-05-01

The first time Pope Francis left Rome was to travel to Lampedusa, an Italian island that has become synonymous with tragedy. The trip proved to be almost prophetic as the pope denounced the increasingly widespread "globalization of indifference” to the despair of those attempting to escape war and hunger.

The pope decided to travel to a place where his complaints would resonate more strongly. For this, he went to Lesbos, the scene of the  migratory drama of these times.

As proof that he is worried about the fate of these persons, he has personally assumed leadership of the Vatican department which is concerned with migrants.

Thus, Fr. Fabio Baggio, one of the two undersecretaries working in this office, receives his indications directly from the pope.

FR. FABIO BAGGIO
Undersecretary, Dicastery for Human Development 
"We suffer from the 'globalization of indifference' in which it seems that after the first or second announcement of a news story, everything slips from our hearts and our consciences. In this sense, the pope has asked us to pay particular attention to the victims, who dramatically suffer this migratory experience.”

At the moment, Fr. Baggio, who lived for eight years in Latin America and eight in the Philippines, has received two missions from Pope Francis. The first, to raise awareness of this form of modern slavery; and the second, collaboration with local churches to strengthen the pastoral care for migrants, and thus respond more effectively to their situations. 

FR. FABIO BAGGIO
Undersecretary, Dicastery for Human Development 
"We have to be able to interpret the facts that so many people who arrive from outside, from cultures different from our own, from expressions of Christian or Catholic life different from ours, are a source of enrichment, and not of impoverishment, for us. Thus, instead of creating the fear of an invasion, which one hears many speak about, the facts should make us want to encounter them. If it was truly my brother or sister, would I close the door?”

In a world in which more and more walls are being built, the pope advocates building bridges. But Fr. Baggio points out that this must also be the attitude of Christians, not only as believers, but also as citizens. 

FR. FABIO BAGGIO
Undersecretary, Dicastery for Human Development 
"The first task is to raise awareness among people about the issue and, above all, to try to get them the right information so that, if a decision is to be made, it can be an informed choice.” FLASH "We have to try and reach out to our communities, which are formed by those who will be voting. They must be fully aware of of what they are doing in the moment that they cast their vote.”

The secretariat asks that the good news related to migration be disseminated in order to change the appearance with which a phenomenon as old as humanity is perceived.

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