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The children from Central America

by Mark Etling on August 10, 2014

As you know, one of the hot-button issues in America today is what to do with the children from Central America who are entering this country illegally. The Catholic Church for years has been very clear on this question: people have the right to move from one country to another freely:

Pacem in Terris (Pope John XXIII): “Every human being must have the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own country, and, when there are just reasons for it, the right to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there. The fact that one is a citizen of a particular state does not detract in any way from his membership in the human family, nor from his citizenship in the world community and his common tie with all men.” (#25)

The Catholic social teaching is clear that our we are citizens of the world before we are citizens of our country, and that we belong first of all to the worldwide human family.

To what extent do we think of ourselves as citizens of the world community? Do we include each and every person on earth in our “circle of concern?” Are we truly “our brother’s and sister’s keepers?”


One thought on “The children from Central America

  1. Thank you for posting on such a relevant and important topic. I think it’s also vital to consider our country’s role in perpetuating the violence and poverty in Central America that leaves many with no choice but to leave. If we are to be compassionate citizens of the world, we must advocate for policies that support peace and justice for all.

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