Fr. Fabio Baggio visits the Philippines

Fr. Fabio Baggio visits the Philippines

The Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Fr. Fabio Baggio C.S visited the Philippines from February 11 to 17.

Among the activities he carried out during the trip, he highlighted his participation in a training course organized by the Commission for Migrants and Itinerants of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines.

In addition, Fr. Fabio gave a presentation on "the role of priests in the care of migrants" at the University of Santo Tomás de Manila within the framework of an International Conference on Priesthood Theology.

In his speech, the undersecretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development reflected on the migratory phenomenon by providing the main figures worldwide - but paid special attention to Philippine migration -; he described some of "the main challenges that migration poses to the Catholic Church at the pastoral, ecclesial and missionary level" also suggesting some possible answers and focused on what is "the role of the priests involved in migratory pastoral care according to the latest magisterial documents."

It is important to promote social justice, dignity and human rights of migrants, highlighting the transformative power of intercultural dialogue and solidarity. The Catholic Church is called to serve them through a specific pastoral aimed at promoting their integral human development, as well as strengthening the faith of Catholics," said Fr. Baggio

Role of the priests

On the role of priests in pastoral care with migrants, Fr. Fabio stressed that it is necessary for priests to receive "adequate training, from their initial training" and added that "in migratory pastoral care - as is common in any other ministry - priests are called to take care of their own herd showing them the loving request of the Good Shepherd."

On the particular role of priests in migratory pastoral care, he explained that it acquires a deeper meaning by providing migrants with "spiritual, emotional and practical support" and added that it is "accompaniment, defense and community building."

As it has been codified by the Magisterium, there are specific destinations that are reserved for priests: chaplain, missionary cum cura animarum, parish priest of personal parishes. However, among the different tasks, those corresponding to the priestly ministry must always be prioritized: preaching the Gospel, pastoring the faithful and celebrating divine worship," he recalled.

Finally, Fr. Fabio encouraged the priests to recognize "the specific contribution of the religious, as well as the laity, to be able to delegate the corresponding functions to them, always providing them with the necessary support."

19 February 2024