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November 16, 2009

Catholics’ respect for human life and dignity must be clear in the way they welcome the world’s estimated 200 million migrants and 11 million refugees, offer them pastoral care and lobby their governments for fairer treatment of people on the move, a Vatican official said. Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, said globalization is not just an economic phenomenon. It also has an impact on the movement of people, and people must be the focus of Christian attention, he said. Archbishop Veglio spoke on Nov. 3 at a Vatican press conference before the Sixth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which is to meet at the Vatican from Nov. 9 to 12. With globalization the church not only has had to reach out to assist people on the move, it has also had to address situations that force them to seek a new life away from their homeland as well as attitudes and policies that make it difficult or impossible for them to live with dignity in a new land, Archbishop Veglio said.

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