Catholic Social Teaching on Migration

Migration is a hot topic throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The theological journal Asian Horizons devoted the whole December 2014 issue to the topic of migration and poverty. Sandie Cornish contributed an article on Catholic Social Teaching on migration to this issue.

Abstract

"Among the rights of a human person there must be included that by which a person may enter a political community where they hope to more fittingly provide a future for themselves and their dependents." Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, n 106, 1963Millions of people are on the move. Often their rights claims are seen as conflicting with those of host communities and as threatening national sovereignty. This article by Sandie Cornish in Asian Horizons presents a brief overview of the response of Papal Catholic Social Teaching on migration in the post Vatican II period, and Catholic Social Teaching on migration by the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences.

It suggests the following areas for potential development in Catholic Social Teaching on migration: criteria for the acceptance of migrants when the common good prevents the acceptance of all who have a moral claim on a community; engaging with the gendered experiences of women migrants and the social construction of complementarity as subordination; and moving beyond a nuclear-family-centred perspective. In the interplay between local and universal Catholic Social Teaching, the Bishops of Asia have the opportunity to contribute more to the development of Catholic Social Teaching as a more truly international and less Eurocentric body of teaching.

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About the author: Sandie

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