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Rome Reports

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Bishops from countries facing the migration crisis gather in the Vatican

From Rome, the Church is coordinating unprecented activities in the face of the migration crisis. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has gathered dozens of representatives from episcopal conferences in the countries most affected by this problem. They have recounted what they witness daily. One example is in India. MSGR. OSWALD LEWIS CBCI Office for Labour (India) "We have migration from 28 countries, but mostly from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.â? Mexico is one of the countries hardest hit by the migration crisis. This bishop regrets that neither the migrants nor the government of his country are aware of their rights and duties. Many of the migrants end up in the clutches of traffickers, an indicator of both the weakness of the State and the vulnerability of the migrants.   MSGR. GUILLERMO ORTIZ  Delegate, Episcopal Conference of Mexico "It is important that the executors know the laws, understand their meaning, and why they exist. But also, we need to inform our migrant sisters and brothers of these laws, and what they have the right to ask and demand.â? The objective of this meeting organized by the Vatican is to gather information from the local churches in order to collaborate with the U.N. The United Nations is seeking a global treaty that defines both the rights of migrants and refugees, and the duties of their host governments. This will be necessary in order to avoid abuse, injustice and the violation of human rights.  Pope Francis, in person, has told the two undersecretaries of the dicastery that deals with migrant issues that the strategy will not be developed by the Vatican, but by the local churches.  FR. FABIO BAGGIO Undersecretary, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development "He told us that the priority is to listen. The local churches are the first protagonists of the pastoral action of the Church. We must listen, in particular, to the bishops by reading, revising and developing their proposals to really assist those needs that are perceived from the bottom up.â? Pope Francis, who is a descendant of migrants, decided to direct this dicastery himself. He meets once a month with its undersecretaries. The dicastery received as a gift the famous vest of a girl who died in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe.   JRB/RSW MG FL -PR Up:AC