COMBONIANUM – Spiritualità e Missione

Blog di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA – Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa MISSIONARY ONGOING FORMATION – A missionary look on the life of the world and the church

“Francis’ visits to Lesbos and Lampedusa aim to put an end to indifference”

According to the Archbishop of Agrigento (Italy), Cardinal Montenegro, the Pope will leave his mark with his visit to the Greek island too; he is among the few who have realised that the history of the world is changing. Europe is the home of people’s rights and cannot act as it is doing. Italy too, would be a poorer place without migrants. It is wrong and unfair to say that every migrant could be a potential terrorist, in fact their wars are caused partly by the need to fulfil our interests

 Pope Francis with Cardinal Montenegro

 Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, the Pope is about to visit the island of Lesbos, a crossroads of migration flows. Is the Pope acting while European governments keep quiet?  

“The Pope is acting in a way that is in tune with the work he is doing. Regardless of whether his is an isolated voice, a voice in the wilderness, this is part of his mission. When he came to Lampedusa, his presence on the island meant something and I think the same will be the case on this occasion too, with his visit to Lesbos.”

From Lampedusa to Lesbos, the Pope seems to have placed the migrant at the centre of his magisterium…  

“He is a man who has realised that the history of the world is changing, that we are in a world built either on indifference, or on violence or on social injustice and so today we need to change direction and change our ways and style. This is precisely why the Pope’s intervention is important because we run the risk of going back to the past.”

Doesn’t the fact that Europe, including Italy, are going through a big economic crisis make it more difficult to speak of welcoming and solidarity?  

“I think we need to raise the bar. It’s true, it is a difficult moment for everyone, but it seems strange that a continent like Europe which invented Roman law amongst other things and everything to do with the legality of relations among nations, should suddenly find itself in difficulty; we’re talking about the same Europe that built democracy and rights here. How is it possible? On the other hand, we know that we are an ageing Europe, that we need new impetus; we cannot use others for our own wellbeing, rather we need to join forces in order to work towards a common good. I find it strange to think that Europe is incapable of this. There are apparently 5 million immigrants in Italy but they have filled a gap that will do Italy some good. Otherwise we would not have been able to move forward. But it’s not me who says this, the experts confirm it.”

There is a big debate over the agreement between the EU and Turkey on repatriation and deportation. What is your take on this?  

“This is something that baffles me. We see these people being treated like packages, this idea of moving them about from one place to another. And then Turkey, the very country which perplexes everyone, suddenly seeks to guarantee protection and service to people. This baffles me.”

The overwhelming influx of refugees over the past months is partly to do with the conflicts that are ravaging the Middle East, at the end of the day, isn’t this the problem that still needs to be resolved?  

“Even before this, however, we need to ask ourselves another crucial question: are these conflicts just their conflicts or are they the result of the attitude the West has towards them? How many of their governments are backed by ours? There were some wars that were fought because it suited us well, that way we could go and get hold of raw materials; essentially, the question is not simply that we are experiencing, through the refugees, the consequences of a misunderstanding among them, all this is an attitude and an injustice upon which the world is based and it’s now exploding, right there in our hands. Many of these countries we once colonised and are going to colonise. So it is not fair to say: they wage wars and we pay the consequences. We are partly paying the consequences of our own actions that may have impacted on those local conflicts.”

Another aspect that has emerged is the fear that the arrival of refugees on a mass scale may make it easier for radicalists or terrorists to enter.  

“It could be so and in that case, good relations must exist between states. But there are risks everywhere, terrorists can also come in as tourists, a war doesn’t have to break out. This may be a risk we will always face, but there are no grounds for assuming that every immigrant is a hypothetical terrorist. I am Sicilian and we exported the mafia to other countries but I don’t feel like a member of the mafia even though I am Sicilian and I would be offended if someone came up to me and said: ‘you’re Sicilian so you are a member of the mafia’. There are good people too among those who are arriving on our shores. Just as terrorists are exported, so are good people. Some of the people who died off the coast of Lampedusa on 3 October had a little plaque or a crucifix in their mouth, they didn’t have guns on them and some died praying because they were found in the cargo hold with their hands joined crossed.”

In what way does the Church see the immigration phenomenon as a sign of change, including evangelical change?  

“The sign of change is that a welcoming culture is growing among Christian communities too. The fact that more than 20,000 immigrants have been welcomed and that many parishes are busy helping these people, it means something is happening. This is what we are witnessing here too, there are more and more communities who are attentive to these problems. It is not just about bringing someone a glass of water, people are reflecting on the significance of this presence which is calling on faithful to put their faith in Jesus into practice, putting their words into practice. And so every community is experiencing the phenomenon in its own way, particularly where there are immigrant reception centres.”

Is there, in your opinion, a difference in approach between northern and southern Italy with regard to the refugee question?  

“I have been to the north as well to speak about this issue and I didn’t perceive a difference. I think the Gospel is the reason for this. Just because I am from the south, does not mean I read the Gospel in a certain way; I could be more inclined towards certain gestures but the Gospel speaks to everyone, both those on the northern borders and those in south and the same response is expected. Every immigrant is a presence in this sense, to him, I am that Christ who is expected to stop.”

francesco peloso


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Questa voce è stata pubblicata il 15/04/2016 da in Church and religion, ENGLISH, News, Society, Culture con tag , , .

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San Daniele Comboni (1831-1881)


Combonianum è stato una pubblicazione interna di condivisione sul carisma di Comboni. Assegnando questo nome al blog, ho voluto far rivivere questo titolo, ricco di storia e patrimonio carismatico.
Il sottotitolo Spiritualità e Missione vuole precisare l’obiettivo del blog: promuovere una spiritualità missionaria.

Combonianum was an internal publication of sharing on Comboni’s charism. By assigning this name to the blog, I wanted to revive this title, rich in history and charismatic heritage.
The subtitle
Spirituality and Mission wants to specify the goal of the blog: to promote a missionary spirituality.

Sono un comboniano affetto da Sla. Ho aperto e continuo a curare questo blog (tramite il puntatore oculare), animato dal desiderio di rimanere in contatto con la vita del mondo e della Chiesa, e di proseguire così il mio piccolo servizio alla missione.
I miei interessi: tematiche missionarie, spiritualità (ho lavorato nella formazione) e temi biblici (ho fatto teologia biblica alla PUG di Roma)

I am a Comboni missionary with ALS. I opened and continue to curate this blog (through the eye pointer), animated by the desire to stay in touch with the life of the world and of the Church, and thus continue my small service to the mission.
My interests: missionary themes, spirituality (I was in charge of formation) and biblical themes (I studied biblical theology at the PUG in Rome)

Manuel João Pereira Correia


Questo blog non rappresenta una testata giornalistica. Immagini, foto e testi sono spesso scaricati da Internet, pertanto chi si ritenesse leso nel diritto d’autore potrà contattare il curatore del blog, che provvederà all’immediata rimozione del materiale oggetto di controversia. Grazie.


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