Head of Pontifical Council for Migrants to visit Australia in May


Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People President Archbishop Antonio Vegliò, and under-secretary Fr Gabriele Bentoglio will visit Australia from 2 to 14 May on the invitation of the late Bishop Joseph Grech (former Bishops Delegate for the Pastoral care of Migrants and Refugees).

Hosted by the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO), the visit will be the first of its kind and will aim to encourage migrant chaplains and communities living and working in Australia.

ACMRO's Fr Maurizio Pettenà hopes that the visit will contribute greatly to sharing Australia’s experience of pastoral care to migrants and refugees with the Holy See.

"We wish this visit to be pastoral in nature, to exhibit the wonderful work of migrant chaplains around Australia to these representatives of the Holy See," Fr Maurizio said.

"We hope that the visit will have an impact on the wider community in Australia to showcase the pastoral care of the Catholic Church to Migrants and Refugees in the broader context of the Church’s teaching on this matter."

Archbishop Vegliò will address the Plenary of the Australian Bishops at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney on 11 May, and will meet with migrant chaplains and pastoral workers in various parts of the country.

It is the hope of Archbishop Vegliò and Fr Bentoglio that they might better understand the system in Australia regarding the provision of pastoral care to migrant and refugees.

The visit will take place just a few months before the Bishops of Australia take part in the Ad Limina visit to the Holy Father and to the heads of the various Dicasteries of the Roman Curia.

During the Ad Limina visit, the Australian Bishops will visit the headquarters of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant people, highlighting the importance the Australian Church places on migrant and refugee issues.

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