Archbishop: Migrants are often "the exploited, the rejected and the vulnerable"

05/05/2015 12:45 pm

Young boy and girl kneel in prayer at the Mass for migrants, St George's Cathedral, Southwark, 4 May 2015.

Archbishop Peter Smith, Vice President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, has defended the human dignity of migrants and their right to migrate "so that they are enabled to find peace, security and hope for a better life and the opportunity to realise their God-given potential."

Speaking in his cathedral, St George's, at a special Mass for migrants on Bank Holiday Monday, 4 May, Archbishop Peter admitted that there are no easy answers when it comes to immigration and protecting the rights of migrants:

"The Church clearly upholds and recognises the right of a sovereign state to control its borders in furtherance of the common good. But there are no easy answers to the question of balancing the common good of resident citizens and, at the same time, reaching out and helping the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people, both in our own society and those who seek to come from other countries. So we must pray for our politicians and our Government, both national and local, and whilst we have the right and the duty to hold them to account, we should always do so with courtesy and respect."

The annual Mass for migrants celebrates the contribution made by migrant communities in England and Wales and takes place each year on the Feast of St Joseph the Worker.

Full Homily

You can download Archbishop Peter Smith's full homily below or to the right of this page:

Migrants' Mass 2015 30.00 kB


Migrants' Mass 2015

abp-smith-migrants-mass-2015.doc 30.00 kB

Archbishop Peter Smith gave this homily at a special Mass for migrants in the Cathedral Church of St George in Southwark on 4 May 2015.