encyclical, immigrant, Paul VI

Pope Paul VI on Immigration

Right to Emigrate
17. We are thinking also of the precarious situation of a great number of emigrant workers whose condition as foreigners makes it all the more difficult for them to make any sort of social vindication, in spite of their real participation in the economic effort of the country that receives them. It is urgently necessary for people to go beyond a narrowly nationalist attitude in their regard and to give them a charter which will assure them a right to emigrate, favor their integration, facilitate their professional advancement, and give them access to decent housing where, if such is the case, their families can join them.

Linked to this category are the people who, to find work, or to escape a disaster or a hostile climate, leave their regions and find themselves without roots among other people.

It is everyone’s duty, but especially that of Christians, to work with energy for the establishment of universal brotherhood, the indispensable basis for authentic justice and the condition for enduring peace: “We cannot in truthfulness call upon that God who is the Father of all if we refuse to act in a brotherly way toward certain men, created to God’s image. A man’s relationship with God the Father and hist relationship with his brother men are so linked together that scripture says: ‘He who does not love does not know God’ (John 4:8).”

Octogesima Adveniens, Catholic Social Thought: The Documentary Heritage


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