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On Sunday, the 12th May, the meeting of the Franciscan family that gathered in Marrakech, Morocco, to address the issue of migration in the Mediterranean concluded.

The day was marked by the visit of Cardinal Cristóbal López Romero, SDB, Bishop of Rabat, who very clearly presented the identity and mission of the Church in Morocco.

When speaking about ecclesial identity, he stated that “The Church in Morocco is “migrant” sociologically and theologically.” Sociologically because the majority of the thirty thousand Catholics in Morocco are migrants of at least one hundred nationalities. For the cardinal, migration is not a problem or misfortune. Migrants are not received in many places because they are poor and this has to do with “aporophobia” or fear of the poor.

The theological identity of the migrant Church in Morocco comes from its being a pilgrim Church. In this sense, this Church is migrant but not foreign because it seeks to incarnate and have a Moroccan face. It is a Church that does not want to implant itself but rather build up the Kingdom of God based on the values of justice, peace, freedom, life, truth and, the most fundamental, love.

Addressing the ecclesial mission, the Bishop of Rabat maintained that dialogue is the centre of this mission. A dialogue understood not as a passing fashion or market strategy but as God’s way of communicating with creation and in the history of salvation. Hence the ecclesial message is the centrality of the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, it is a mission that is transparent in the testimony that the Moroccan Church offers to the universal Church: universal brotherhood is possible. This testimony is “a life experience that Christians and Muslims can live as brothers,” he stressed.

Cardinal López Romero concluded his reflection by stating that the Church in Morocco wants to be a sign not because of the number of its members but because of its authenticity. It is an exciting and passionate Church. Although it may appear to be insignificant, it can in fact be of great significance.

After this dialogue, the Eucharist was celebrated with the community of the Holy Martyrs parish of Marrakech and was presided over by the Cardinal of Rabat. Every moment of this Eucharistic feast was lived with joy, hope and celebration.

During lunch, the brothers Br. Jean de Dieu Bazibuhe, Br. Fabio Lamour and Br. Manuel Corrullón, from the Franciscan fraternity of Marrakech, gave a souvenir gift to each participant. Thus, the meeting of the Franciscan family that works with migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean was concluded.