Flesh of Refugees – Flesh of Christ

by | Jun 7, 2013 | Vincentian Family

dimarzio(Romereports.com) Nicholas Di Marzio, bishop of Brooklyn and Queens, was in Rome to take part in the plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People. The assembly was greeted and addressed by Pope Francis, whose thoughts on the importance of assistance towards migrants have been clear since the start of his pontificate.

Bishop NICHOLAS DI MARZIO Bishop of Brooklyn and Queens (US)
“The flesh of the refugees is the flesh of Christ”. You couldn’t get a clearer reference than that to recognize that we’re dealing with Christ in these refugees and it is something that really touches our faith, something we need to do in a way that is different from the past, it’s more urgent. The problems are greater: we need to organize ourselves as a Church to meet these problems and to influence governments to help and assist also.”

This year, the assembly focused on ‘forced migrations’, an issue that seems to be spreading fast, even in the US.

Bishop NICHOLAS DI MARZIO Bishop of Brooklyn and Queens (US)
“It used to be that migration was an issue only for five or six states. Today it is an issue in every state: migrants have moved to almost all the states and clearly it is a national issue. Current debate on changing the immigration law, on legalizing many people is really an important one because it does effect everybody: it’s a national problem and we need a national solution. So, truly, the issue of immigration is one that is very current, very urgent at the same time.”

Although he has a clear view of migration in his own diocese, Bishop Di Marzio was also able to get a glimpse of Catholic life in China, when he recently visited various dioceses and provinces.

Bishop NICHOLAS DI MARZIO Bishop of Brooklyn and Queens (US)
“The Church struggles in many ways: it doesn’t have complete freedom, but it uses the freedom it has well, to as best as they can in the faith (they don’t have educational institutions).5,11 – 5,31“The so-called Church or the non-approved Church operates very openly, but is not approved by the government, whereas the government approved Church is rather small there. So, it is a contradiction in some ways, but it is the way things are: it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going on in China.”

China is only the latest connection Bishop Di Marzio makes in his active role as a promoter of the New Evangelization in his own diocese and across the world.


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