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allochtonen, armoede, bahá'íbijbeluitleg, bijbel en koran, boeddhisme, christendom, extreemrechts, fundamentalisme, globalisering en antiglobalisering,  hindoeïsme  ,interlevensbeschouwelijke dialoog, islam, jodendom , levensbeschouwing, levensbeschouwing / godsdienst en onderwijs , migratie, racisme, samenleving, sikhisme, tewerkstelling van allochtonen, vluchtelingen en asielzoekers, vrijzinnigheid , witte scholen, multiculturele scholen en concentratiescholen,

Geloof en solidariteit . Philippe Schillings, franciskaanen coördinator van Pro Migrantibus. Zie website http://www.caritas-int.be/nl/foi_solidarite/texte3.html .

Heel wat gedreven vrijwilligersgroepen zijn vandaag in de weer voor de opvang van asielzoekers. Het gaat meestal om mensen met verschillende filosofische of religieuze overtuigingen. Het Evangelie geeft evenwel een heel eigen visie op die "vreemdeling".

Bestaat er een specifieke "christelijke" benadering van het fenomeen migratie?

De christelijke benadering vertrekt weliswaar vanuit een humanistische visie maar een christen benadert de migrant niet als een louter wetenschappelijk of sociaal fenomeen. Hij zou hierbij tekort doen aan het eeuwenlang engagement van de Kerk binnen de opvang van migranten. Een gelovige beperkt zich niet tot de waarden die algemeen aanvaard worden binnen het brede veld van mensen die zich inzetten voor de opvang en begeleiding van migranten: ons christelijk geloof en onze traditie vragen om een visie op de mens die ook de morele en spirituele identiteit van de vreemdeling respecteert.

Welke bronnen bestaan er voor een christelijk humanisme van de migratie?

Ik zie er drie: de christelijke antropologie, de Sociale Leer van de Kerk en een spiritualiteit van de migratie.

Vooreerst de christelijke antropologie: de mens kan niet herleid worden tot een economische of sociale realiteit. Het christendom ziet de mens als beeld van God, op zoek naar spiritualiteit en morele waarden die zijn bestaan schragen, iemand die op zoek is naar de zin van zijn leven.

De Sociale Leer van de Kerk. Weinig landen hebben zich zo intensief ingezet bij het uittekenen van de basisprincipes als België. Wij hebben een fantastische erfenis gekregen die op sociaal vlak erg vooruitstrevend is. De Sociale Leer is het resultaat van grote denkers en van mensen die zich actief hebben ingezet, zoals Cardijn en heel wat anderen. "Het leven van een arbeider is meer waard dan al het goud van deze wereld. God wil mannen en vrouwen die rechtop staan…

Er bestaat bovendien ook nog een spiritualiteit van de migratie die de moeite waard is om te exploreren. De migrant herinnert ons aan de fundamentele vrijheid van elk menselijk wezen in de uitbouw van zijn persoonlijk leven, telkens hij geconfronteerd wordt met verdrukking, ook religieuze verdrukking.
De migrant leert ons eveneens wat echte armoede betekent, de armoede van diegene die alles heeft moeten achterlaten: vaderland, bezittingen, ouders, vrienden, werkkring, bekenden. De confrontatie met iemand die alles verloren heeft, stelt de vraag naar de menselijke waardigheid en kan een schokeffect hebben op onze eigen levenswijze. De confrontatie met armoede kan ons naar de essentie van ons bestaan voeren en ons verlossen van al wat oppervlakkig en overbodig is: in een "naakt" bestaan kunnen we de ware bevrijding ervaren.
Migratie herinnert ons bovendien aan de levensweg die elke individu dient te gaan. Wij zijn niet geboren tussen muren en grenzen. Wij zijn pelgrims in deze wereld. "Vertrek uit je land en ga waarheen ik je leid". Het lijden onderweg schudt ons door mekaar en geeft ons de kans ons ware zelf te ontdekken.

Uitdagingen

Het is niet altijd gemakkelijk religieuze en culturele verschillen te aanvaarden. Ook hier wordt ik geïnterpelleerd door de vreemdeling: hoe kan ik in volle respect voor elke man, elke vrouw, elk groep, met de vele onderlinge verschillen die er zijn tussen mezelf en "de anderen", een hechte samenleving vormen. Je moet een sterke persoonlijkheid hebben opgebouwd om in dialoog te kunnen treden over geloof en zingeving. Sommigen hebben reeds vol overgave bewezen dat het kan.

Oorlog en conflicten zijn vaak de reden voor migratie. Hoe kunnen wij een instrument zijn voor vrede en verzoening in de manier waarop wij de migrant onthalen? De gebeurtenissen in het Midden-Oosten hebben nog maar eens aangetoond dat wij de dynamiek van het geweld moeten stoppen. Werken aan vrede vraagt evenwel veel geduld en inlevingsvermogen: hoe kunnen we mensen die in hun diepste gekwetst zijn door het onrecht dat hen werd aangedaan, over vrede spreken? Hoe kunnen we hun momenten van woede en verzet opvangen? Hoe kunnen wij vandaag de vrede van Christus brengen naar mensen die hun geloof in de fundamentele goedheid van de mens verloren hebben?

Elke mens is uniek

Het christendom wordt vandaag onder meer concreet in de opvang van migranten, wat voor alles toch een onthaal is van mannen en vrouwen die elke op zich enig zijn in hun soort. Zij hebben allemaal een opdracht te vervullen in deze wereld. De migrant wordt opgeroepen om, net zoals u en ik, "een kind van het licht te zijn". Zijn kwetsbaarheid, zijn angst en zijn pijn leren ons over leven en liefhebben.

Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People . People on the Move - N° 86, September 2001 . Welcome Speech* Archbishop Stephen Fumio HAMAO, President of the Pontifical Council . Website : http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/migrants/pom2001_85_87/rc_pc_migrants_pom86_hamao.htm .

I am pleased to welcome you to the Third European Meeting of Catholic Airport Chaplains and Chaplaincy Members which is being held in Belgium. It is a special honour for me to welcome Father Philippe Schillings, who accepted to offer us some thoughts about spirituality in daily life. Father Schillings is the National Director of the Migration Office of the Belgian Episcopal Conference and he represents his Congregation to the European Institutions for Migration Affairs. His concern for the people on the move has induced him to stay with us during the whole meeting. I am sure we will learn a lot from him.

I am very happy that Msgr. Xavier de Meeus, founding member of this modern ministry, is here today to share with us his long years of experience. It was here that he started this apostolate even before the Pontifical Council was born. On behalf of us all, I thank Msgr. De Meeus for the services he has rendered in the field of Civil Aviation ministry.

I am also honoured to welcome Rev. John A. Jamnicky. He is well known to most of us as the former chaplain of Chicago O’Hare International Airport. He attended our first European meeting in Warsaw as President of the U.S. National Conference of Catholic Airport Chaplains. His guidelines helped us found our European Secretariat. The Episcopal Conference of the United States recognised his experience in the Civil Aviation ministry in appointing him as the National Coordinator of the Mobility Apostolates.

Tomorrow we will have the honour to welcome Msgr. Jan De Bie, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Malines-Bruxelles. He is the president of the Pro Migrantibus Workgroup of the Belgian Episcopal Commission for Diakonia. He will bring to us the greetings of His Eminence Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who unfortunately cannot be with us because he is abroad. Msgr. De Bie will celebrate the Eucharist and spend some of his precious time with us.

I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to Rev. Herman Boon and his staff for welcoming us here in Mechelen and for the enormous work they did in preparation for this Meeting. A special word of thanks must go to Msgr. Faustino Sainz Muñoz, Vatican Representative to the European Community, who made it possible for us to visit the Centre of the European Community in Brussels. He will honour us with a visit tomorrow evening.

Two years ago, in February 1999, I had the honour to open the Second Meeting at Budapest. A lot has happened since then. That Meeting was concentrated on the preparation of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. Now we are already looking back at that wonderful event. Some of you were present with a group of pilgrims at our Jubilee in June. No one can forget the enthusiasm of the more than thirty thousand people at St. Peter’s Square, when the Holy Father presided over our solemn Jubilee Eucharist. "Your Jubilee," the Holy Father said, "expresses with remarkable eloquence the central place which the charity of acceptance must hold in the Church. Ever since the Son of God pitched his tent among us, every person has in a way become a place of encounter with him."

It is a meaningful coincidence that the themes chosen for this Third Meeting are among those that the Holy Father treated in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte. Together with you, I would like to reflect on what the Holy Father proposes.

After speaking to the crowds from Simon’s boat, Jesus invited him to put out into the deep for a catch: Duc in altum. Peter and his companions trusted Christ’s words and cast the nets. "When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish" (Lk 5:6). The Holy Father opens his Apostolic Letter with this passage, making it an image of what has happened and what has to be done.

During the Great Jubilee we listened to the Lord, we put our boats at Christ’s disposal so that He could teach the crowds. Now He asks us to put out into the deep. And, as He said to Peter, He will make us fishers of men (Mt 4:19). But it will no longer be as it was before, when we had not yet heard His words, when we had not yet contemplated his face.

This is certainly the aim of the first theme of our Meeting. When we reflect on the spirituality in our daily lives, it is because we know that He has to be the source of all our words and deeds. If we are not able to set our compass on Him, all that we are doing is in vain.

It was not easy for the Apostles - and neither is it for us - to believe that the face they contemplated after the Resurrection was the same face of the Jesus with whom they lived for almost three years. It took the disciples of Emmaus a long journey, and Thomas needed some tangible proofs to realize this. It is only by the grace of faith that Peter could go beyond what others said about Jesus, when he answered his direct and personal question: But who do you say that I am? "Only the faith proclaimed by Peter … touches the depth of the mystery: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (NMI, 19).

In contemplating Christ’s face, we confront the most paradoxical aspect of his mystery, as it emerges in his last hour, on the Cross. Is it possible to imagine a greater agony, a more impenetrable darkness? His last words My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? - taken from Psalm 22 - express the depth of His loneliness and suffering, and at the same time evoke the equally deep trust in the presence of the Father, as expressed in the same psalm. But our "contemplation of Christ’s face cannot stop at the image of the Crucified One. He is the Risen One!" (NMI, 28). The Church has to proclaim this message to the world at the dawn of the Third Millennium.

In the third part of his Letter, the Holy Father offers us some guidelines for our pastoral programmes. "First of all", he says, "I have no hesitation in saying that all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness" (NMI, 30). Holiness is a gift offered to all the baptized, but a gift that becomes a task. We are called to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. An indispensable accessory on the way to holiness is prayer. In our secularised world, there is a widespread demand for spirituality, a need for prayer. The Eucharist is the most precious sacrament where communion with God and with our fellow men is ceaselessly proclaimed and nurtured. The sacrament of Reconciliation needs a renewed pastoral attention to face the crisis of the sense of sin apparent in today’s culture.

In the fourth part of his Letter, the Holy Father develops some practical implications of our contemplation of the Lord’s face. They are all based on the new commandment He gave us: Love one another as I have loved you.

We need to promote a spirituality of communion which "implies also the ability to see what is positive in others, to welcome it and prize it as a gift from God" (NMI, 43). Fostering communion certainly has its consequences in the delicate area of ecumenism. Christ’s "invocation ut unum sint is, at one and the same time, a binding imperative, the strength that sustains us, and a salutary rebuke for our slowness and close-heartedness" (NMI, 48).

Charity as a commitment to practical and concrete love for every human being is an aspect which must clearly mark our pastoral planning. We must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified: “I was hungry …, I was thirsty …, I was a stranger …, I was naked …, I was sick …, I was in prison … (Mt 25)" and you took care of me (cf. NMI,49). Those ideas will certainly illuminate us when we will be talking about our pastoral programmes for the asylum seekers in our airport.

At the end of this address, I would like to look back at our group of European Catholic Airport chaplains at the time of the Budapest Meeting, to see what has changed in these two years. Perhaps you heard about the decease of H.E. Msgr. Emanuele Clarizio, who was the first Pro-President of our Pontifical Council from the time of its creation in 1970. It was then known as the Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral Care for Migration and Tourism. May the Lord welcome Msgr. Clarizio in his peace.

Some airport chaplains have retired or were assigned to other ministries. I recall Rev. Marc Constantieux of the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, Rev. Pierre Riches of the Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome, Father Daniel Sammut of the Luqa airport in Malta and Rev. Xavier Lingg of the Cointrin airport in Geneva. I would like to ask your prayers for Rev. Brian Theodore Laycock of London Heathrow, who is very ill. May the Lord comfort and encourage him to carry his cross. We thank them all wholeheartedly for what they did and most of all for the gift of their own selves in this particular apostolate.

It is a great joy to see that there are many new chaplains in the European airports, though not all of them could come to this meeting: Rev. Paschal Ryan in London Heathrow, Rev. Jean-Paul de Sury in Geneva, Fr. Victor Enriques in Malta, Rev. Giorgio Rizzieri in Rome, Rev. Marco Ferrari in Orio al Serio and Rev. Mario German in Genoa. Last year, a new chaplaincy was founded in the Punta Raisi Airport of Palermo, with two chaplains: Rev. Angelo Inzerillo and Rev. Piero Magro, and some months ago the chapel of the Dresden International Airport opened. The Catholic chaplain, Rev. Bernd Fisher, is here among us.

I wish to echo the Holy Father’s conclusion in his Apostolic Letter for our Meeting: "The Risen Jesus accompanies us on our way and enables us to recognize him, as the disciples of Emmaus did, in the breaking of the bread. May he find us watchful, ready to recognize his face and run to our brothers and sisters with the good news: We have seen the Lord! " (NMI, 59).

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*Given at a Meeting held in Belgium from 28 to 31 May 2001.




LINKS MIGRATIE

1. Migrantenstudies. Tijdschrift voor migratie- en Etnische Studies: http://home.pscw.uva.nl/rath/ms/mshome.htm Zeer boeiend is de lijst met de links naar organisaties, websites en tijdschriften: http://home.pscw.uva.nl/rath/ms/mslinks.htm

 



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