There is no question that Pope Francis, from his first visit outside of Rome to Lampedusa, has foregrounded the issue of refugees and migrants. The fact that he has taken personal charge of the Refugee section of the Dicastery for Integrated Human Development has strengthened this commitment. It is likewise true that over the past few years due to his influence and the rise in refugee numbers and realities, the theological reflection has also deepened and expanded. Since those working with refugees in the faith based sector would benefit from a fresh exposure to church teaching and especially the insights of Pope Francis. It would serve to strengthen the explicit faith foundations of their service, equip them with theological tools for carrying out their work and a sure foundation for doing advocacy with this vulnerable group.
The CPLO, JRS, SHMA and Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees – Archdiocese of Johannesburg propose to hold a one day workshop to explore the above:
1. Ramphe Hlobo (Jusuit) will give a talk on the Popes insights into refugee issues as being part of his overall Ignatian way of discerning especially public issues.
2. Sergio Carciotto (SIHMA) will give an analysis of the recently released 20 principles for engaging in/ reflecting on refugee issues from the Dicastery for Human Development with an emphasis on some of the key theological principles being applied in it.
3. Peter-John Pearson (CPLO) will look at theological foundations for advocacy especially those implicit in Francis’ approach to advocacy.