"It really talks about basic human rights," he said. "It's for us a good theological base and we can share that also with other religions."
His organization, with headquarters in Rome, works in 57 countries to help about 500,000 refugees and other displaced people. "I think we can say quite clearly that most of them are not Catholic," said spokesman James Stapleton.
There are those who believe the church could reap some benefits in showing kindness to Muslim immigrants in Europe.
For one, Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out recently about his concern for the treatment of Christians in predominantly Muslim countries. By treating Muslims well in Europe, one line of thinking goes, the church could influence the way Catholics are treated in the Mideast and elsewhere.
Speaking generally of the flow of Muslims into Europe, Msgr. Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, said in an interview: "We are not people without eyes, and we must be careful about the development of this situation." But, he added, there are those in the church who believe that under the "principle of reciprocity," Muslims "must help the Christians in their countries if they receive a fair treatment" in Europe.