Today, Pope Francis declared, “every Christian is called to reflect God’s gaze towards our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters.”
The pontiff described immigration as a “very important challenge” to a group of pilgrims in the Vatican. He said: “It emphasises the urgent need to prioritise fraternity over rejection and solidarity over indifference.”
“We are called to “live and spread the culture of encounter, an equal encounter between migrants and the people of the country that welcomes them.”
“It’s an enriching experience,” he said, “because it reveals the beauty of diversity.”
It is also fruitful, he asserted, “because the faith, hope and tenacity of migrants can be an example and a spur for those who want to commit themselves to build a world of peace and well-being for all.”
“We are all called to be creative, to think outside the box,” Francis proposed, in order to increase fraternity and social friendship. “We are called to create new spaces in which art, music, and being together become instruments of intercultural dynamics, in which we can savour the richness of diversity’s encounter.”
The pope prayed for his audience to feel “the joy of being with migrants, of being at their service, and of doing so with faith, animated by the Holy Spirit, in the conviction that in each of them we encounter the Lord Jesus.”
On Sunday, Francis, condemned Europe’s “scandalous” rejection of migrants, claiming that “the exclusion of migrants is criminal, it kills them right before our eyes.”
“And that’s how the Mediterranean became the world’s largest cemetery,” he declared. “By not opening doors to those in need, the exclusion of migrants is disgusting, sinful, and criminal.”
Rather than welcoming them, Europe sends them to “concentration camps, where they are exploited and sold like slaves,” he claims.
“Brothers and sisters, let us remember these migrants today, especially those who are dying,” he said.
“Do we welcome those who are able to enter as brothers and sisters, or do we exploit them?”