MANILA, Philippines - Pope Benedict XVI urged the Philippine government to address the needs of emigrant citizens and overseas Filipino workers, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said Wednesday.
An article on the CBCP website said the Pope relayed his message to new Philippine envoy to the Vatican Cristina Ponce Enrile.
"Governments must work for proper integration of immigrants ...
governments must work for proper integration of immigrants," he said in hits first meeting with the new envoy last Oct. 27.
The CBCP article said the Pope also made references to the attention of the Filipino government toward its own emigrant citizens.
In this regard, Benedict spoke of immigration as a "resource for development."
"Government leaders face numerous challenges as they strive to ensure that immigrants are integrated into society in a way that acknowledges their human dignity and affords them the opportunity to earn a decent living, with adequate time for rest and a due provision for worship.
The just care of immigrants and the building up of solidarity of labor requires governments, humanitarian agencies, peoples of faith and all citizens to cooperate with prudence and patient determination.
Domestic and international policies aimed at regulating immigration must be based on criteria of equity and balance, and particular care is needed to facilitate the reunification of families. At the same time, conditions that foster increased work opportunities in peoples' places of origin are to be promoted as far as possible," he said.
On the other hand, he supported the collaboration between Church and state, saying that the Church is "equally convinced" that State and religion are called to support each other as they together serve the personal and social well-being of all.
"This harmonious cooperation between Church and State requires ecclesial and civic leaders to carry out their public duties with undaunted concern for the common good. By cultivating a spirit of honesty and impartiality, and by keeping justice their aim, civil and ecclesial leaders earn the trust of the people and enhance a sense of the shared responsibility of all citizens to promote a civilization of love," he said.- GMANews.TV