Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gypsies, Tramps and Curialists

This morning, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples has presented a document on Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of Gypsies.

No, I'm not kidding.

In the works since 1999, the guidelines were presented this morning by the Council's president, Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao. In his intervention, Hamao noted that
Often marked by persecution, exile, inhospitality, rejection, suffering and discrimination, Gypsy history is shaped by permanent wandering that distinguishes them from others. This has given rise to an identity with its own languages, and a culture and religiosity with their own traditions, and a strong sense of belonging, with its relative bonds. So with them humanity is enriched by a real cultural heritage. Indeed "their wisdom is not written down in books, but that does not make it any less eloquent". Their way of life is essentially a living witness to inner freedom from of the bonds of consumerism and false security based on people’s presumed self-sufficiency. Nevertheless - as it is affirmed in the Guidelines – we should not forget the popular proverb that says: "God helps those who help themselves".
And that's your decennial dose of Gypsy news.