Published : 01/15/2021 12:44:47
Categories : News
A book we recommend for this weekend is "La famiglia esule". This agile and thought-provoking text was born in 2020 with the aim of highlighting the continuity between Pius XII and Pope Francis on the reception and protection of migrants and refugees.
It reproduces in Italian the Latin text of the first part of Pope Pius XII's apostolic constitution "Exsul familia" on the care of migrants. The document, which demonstrates how Pope Francis' Magisterium on migrants is fully in line with the Church's millenary tradition on the subject of welcoming and protecting people in mobility, is opened by two in-depth essays by Father Fabio Baggio, under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, and historian Andrea Ricciardi. The introduction is by Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Holy See's Dicastery for Communication and biographer of Pius XII.
"Exsul familia" was published on 1 August 1952, a few years after the Second World War. It is an expression of the principle of welcome and care that the Church, throughout its history, faithful to the words of Jesus (Mt 25:36) "I was a stranger and you welcomed me", has never failed to preach and bear witness to in the face of displaced persons, refugees and foreigners (p. 3). Exsul familia is divided into two parts (titles): the first one, contained in this volume, is dedicated to a theological-spiritual vision and a historical review of the most important pastoral actions carried out by the Church in the field of migrants' care; the second one presents a systematic compendium of doctrinal principles and pastoral indications.
Pius XII's apostolic constitution - writes Father Fabio Baggio in his contribution - "can be defined as the Magna Charta of pastoral care for migrants" (p. 42). It is the first official document of the Holy See that deals with spiritual assistance to migrants in a global and systematic way. It is a highly topical text that finds expression in the teachings of Pope Francis. The strong historical, canonical and pastoral relevance of "Exsul familia" is outlined in Andrea Riccardi's contribution, which retraces its genesis, deepening some aspects of the figure of Pope Pacelli with respect to emigration; at the same time, it also retraces some themes of his magisterium during - and after - the Second World War. It highlights, in fact, how significant it is that Pius XII "felt the need for a long historical memory of the involvement of the papacy and the Church in these events" (p. 22).
The book is part of the series of books published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana eis to bathos. It contains a concise, in-depth but not specialist collection of in-depth texts on the papal Magisterium.