Benedict XVI on regulating migration

A friend of mine, the great Roman Fabrizio noticed this and sent it along for our opportune knowledge.

The Holy Father, in his “Message” for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees, offered:

” The Church recognizes this right in every human person, in its dual aspect of the possibility to leave one’s country and the possibility to enter another country to look for better conditions of life” (Message for World Day of Migration 2001, 3; cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Mater et Magistra, 30; Paul VI, Encyclical Octogesima adveniens, 17). At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity. “

Fabrizio adds:

Benedict for Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio?

I am so glad that Fabrizio had the patience to read that whole thing.  But don’t we all await these letters on pins and needles?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Supertradmum says:

    This is excellent. Thanks for the heads-up on this.

  2. MrD says:

    “Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity. ”

    While this comments applies to the US and elsewhere, I believe it is pointed at Europe and the refusal of the Islamic communities to integrate (e.g. France).

  3. MikeM says:

    MrD, I think you’re absolutely correct. We sometimes forget that the world doesn’t revolve around us.

  4. spesalvi23 says:

    Germany has been hit by a huge storm of an open, even polemical immigration / intigration debate; where migrants with an islamic background have been criticized as intigration resistant, education resistant, culture resistant, language resistant fundamentalists, sponging off the German social system, practically dumbing down German society as a whole.
    Harsh words… but the vast majority of Germans actually agrees, while the media and half the political spectrum is desperately trying to convince the public it isn’t true.

    That this dicussion is ALLOWED to take place in Germany is a miracle in itself.

    There are certainly perfectly intigrated muslims who contribute to society in many ways. That’s completly undeniable… but sadly, they’re not the majority!

  5. Choirmaster says:

    I think that it is less directed toward Muslims immigrating to Europe as it is at the global phenomena of massive demographic shifting. However, it is a testament to the prescience of this message that both the U.S. States and E.U. Nations could easily argue that this message was meant for them.

    The U.S. has a massive problem with border security and illegal immigration that I can relate to because I live here, and much of it is due to the State not exercising her right to “regulate migration flows and to defend [her] own frontiers” coupled with immigrants refusing to respect the “laws and… national identity” of the U.S.

    From all accounts, there is a similar disconnect between E.U. Nations and immigrating Arab Muslims.

    This message is fascinating in its simplicity and timeliness. As usual, the correct analysis of a conflict challenges both sides to give-up something unnecessary in exchange for a greater and necessary good (as Fr. Z mentioned several times relative to Anglicanorum Coetibus).

    My (quite predictable) conclusions are for the U.S. Government to give up its socialistic power-grab that it is hiding under the cloak of compassion for impoverished illegal immigrants, while immigrants set their goal to one of open citizenship through proper channels; and for the E.U. to encourage its denizens to build families and re-establish their demographic advantage, while Arab Muslims stop rioting and lobbying for separatist, Sharia-style legal precedence.

    Pipe dreams, unless our prayers bring some divine intervention!

  6. Geoffrey says:

    “MrD, I think you’re absolutely correct. We sometimes forget that the world doesn’t revolve around us.”

    Indeed! I’ve been using the term “amero-centric” in this regard.

  7. MLivingston says:

    Benedict for Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio?? YES!! Thank you, Mr. Fabrizio!! (I live in Arizona, if you hadn’t guessed.)

  8. Fr. Basil says:

    I live in Arizona.

    Suffice it to say there is NOTHING in SB1070 that is not already in Federal statutes and even that of many states, including California, one of Arizona’s more vocal critics.

    ALL resident aliens are required to carry proof of legal residency on their persons at all times.

    And if anyone cares, I’m voting for Brewer in this election, and I always vote AGAINST Arpaio every chance I can.

  9. wmeyer says:

    I find myself quoting this more and more often these days. From the Catechism:
    2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

    Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

  10. JMody says:

    Now, if he could just send this letter to our dear border bishop, His Excellency Gerald.

    Europe and the US are being overrun by immigrants who expect to receive social benefits right away, who claim it is their right to enter and not assimilate, and who speak openly about turning the host nation into “their” nation, whether it is Moslems who want to take back Poitiers or folks here using words like “Aztlan” or “reconquista”. The destabilizing effect on society is extreme. The rampant crime that crops up in places like Paris or Rotterdam or Mannheim or Phoenix or Turin is NOT because the immigration laws are too harsh, but because real malefactors are mixed in with those “who just want to work for a better life (and don’t feel like laws should apply to them)”. All of this is part and parcel of age-old ideas about tearing down society so that it can be rebuilt in a better way, more ‘scientifically’, or other cutesy words that really mean “communist”. So maybe there’s hope that the Holy Father will start playing some of those Golden Oldies as well about how anti-Christian certain political ideas really are.

    Yes, I really hope he sends this to our bishop as well.

    And on the spiritual level, if I die while committing a felony which I know to be such, am I in a state of mortal sin against the 4th Commandment/honor Father and Mother/render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s? So if someone promotes the felonious and hazardous activity, is he inducing people to certain moral/mortal hazards?

  11. roamincatholic says:

    No-one has yet mentioned the fact that seminarians are required to be fluent in Spanish, but see no real point in learning Latin…

    … or the fact that Spanish Masses are a right of the people…?

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Some interesting matters which invite attention (which the Holy Father lately, or when still Cardinal Ratzinger, may have addressed?) concern (to borrow words from JMody) the possibility of any “right to enter and not assimilate” in the context of “how anti-Christian certain political ideas really are”. Or, to draw on the ‘Message’, “Immigrants […] have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity” – but presumably not in any and every way where the “host” “States” are signally failing in “guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person” by policies of abortion, human experimentation, dysthanasia, etc.

    To take a ‘Sound of Music’ (real story) example, young Dr. Von Trapp was happily (though far from easily) able to emigrate from Austria when ‘Anschluss’ suddenly made it such a country.

    But is that always an option? And when it is, what other options are there? (E.g., Dr. Von Trapp’s young contemporary, Master Ratzinger, did not emigrate, in his time, for whatever reasons. Nor did his predecessor. But there were surely limits to their ‘respecting the laws and the national identity’ imposed upon their countries. And the same presumably applies to immigrants as to those suddenly so betrayed by their native lands.)

  13. TJerome says:

    The National Anti-Catholic Reporter won’t like His Holiness’ statement. It rings of truth and common sense.

  14. teomatteo says:

    That Benedict the 16th sure can write! Thank you Father Z. for including this and the link to the Vatican site.

  15. Pingback: What is your good news? | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

  16. Melody says:

    I love how the Church is always balanced and full of reason on these issues. Political voices always seem so drawn to extremes that leave out sane reservations.

    Also, I’m reminded of many stories I have read about immigration officials saving Mexicans from terrible conditions resembling slavery. The coyotes often smuggle them here in exchange for their life savings and then subject them to terrible conditions if they do not pay them enough. Other times they will abandon them in the desert to die if they sense INS might be in the area. None of this would have to happen if the liberals would let us set up a functioning immigration system.

Comments are closed.