Overcoming prejudices to build unity in diversity

The Message of Card. Turkson at the Meeting of the International Catholic Committee for Gypsies in Croatia

"The mission of return requires us to look for all that we have in common to enable us to know one another better, to understand one another better, to overcome prejudices and preconceptions, in order to build unity in diversity. This is born out of every encounter, in the first place through acceptance of the other and of their reality in its entirety as well as their customs, welcoming unconditionally, in dialogue, in being open to their otherness and their hierarchy of values, in recognising their identity and allowing them to remain fully themselves".

Thus said Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, in the Message sent to the Annual Meeting of the International Catholic Committee for the Gypsies (CCIT), which was held in Trogir, Croatia, from 5-7 April 2019, on the theme "The mission of return: A source for change".

Speaking to religious and lay people involved in the pastoral care of itinerant people, the cardinal quoted the Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate in which Pope Francis recalls that God urges us to " pass beyond what is familiar, to the fringes and beyond. He takes us to where humanity is most wounded, where men and women, beneath the appearance of a shallow conformity, continue to seek an answer to the question of life’s meaning." (GE, 135). 

Finally, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development stressed the need for greater openness to collaboration - in the commitment to evangelization, to the social and charitable spheres - with the local Churches, with their pastors and with the parishes to make work richer and more fruitful. A collaboration that is good above all for the Roma people: those who have friendly relations with the Roma "those who are friends with them are called to work in raising awareness within their parish communities, to respond to Pope Francis’ call to welcome, protect, promote and integrate not only migrants, but also Roma people".

11 April 2019