Migrants: Card. Czerny for The Walk, hospitality means life

Amal puppet, symbol of refugees, in St. Peter's Square

10 September, 17:13

    (ANSAmed) - VATICAN CITY, SEPT 10 - Michael Czerny, under-secretary of the migrants and refugees section of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, welcomed the arrival of the puppet "Little Amal" in St. Peter's Square as part of a traveling festival called The Walk, which aims to raise awareness around child refugees.

    The 3.5-metre puppet depicts a young refugee, about nine years old, and represents displaced children worldwide, many of whom are separated from their parents.

    "Hospitality generates life," Czerny said.

    "The culture of encounter, as Pope Francis says, is a harbinger of challenges - not always easy - that allow communities to grow consciously as a human family, in a shared home," he said.

    The Walk started in Gaziantep, near the Turkey-Syria border, and will complete its journey in Manchester, UK, having traveled 8,000 km.

    "Dear Amal, now you can rest in your tent, certainly, but soon you will resume your walk," Czerny said.

    "Each of us, brothers and sisters all, is on the move, the Church is on the move, and its renewal comes through everyone's change, showing that it is life," he said.

    "Welcoming transforms, as shown by the many communities and families who have taken upon themselves care for 'the stranger', above all those who work with minors uprooted from their families, from their communities, from their aspirations, who have to count on the goodwill of strangers to protect them so they become the people God intended them to be and to take the place that awaits them in the communities that welcome them," he said.

    "Integration is a bi-directional process, with recognition of reciprocal rights and responsibilities, and this is also a complex, sometimes bumpy road, but whose objective must always be to achieve the integral human development of new arrivals as well as those who welcome them, especially the most vulnerable among them," Czerny said.

    In St. Peter's Square, "The Walk" stopped in front of the monument located near the Bernini colonnade titled "Angels Unawares", the bronze sculpture that portrays a group of migrants on a boat.

    In addition to Cardinal Czerny, also on hand to welcome Little Amal was Bishop Benoni Ambarus, auxiliary bishop delegated for Charity, Migrants and the pastoral care of Roma and Sinti.

    For the occasion, the Diocese of Rome organised a celebration in which dozens of children from various Roman parishes will participate and then be received by the pope.

    "Here next to us is truly a boat: a sculpture that Pope Francis wanted in St. Peter's Square to remind everyone of the evangelical challenge of welcoming, the kind of welcoming that opens the door to incredible encounters," Czerny said.(ANSAmed).

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