Pope Francis: Welcoming the Stranger

In his general audience address on Wednesday, October 26, Pope Francis reflected on the many stories of migration that are to be found in the Bible and on how, through the centuries, so many committed Christians have found generous ways of meeting the needs of people fleeing violence and injustice. He spoke about two corporal works of mercy – welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked – and said that the growing numbers of refugees fleeing war, famine and dire poverty calls us to welcome and care for these brothers and sisters:

“Today the current economic crisis unfortunately fosters attitudes of closure instead of welcome. In some parts of the world walls and barriers are being built. It appears that the silent work of men and women who, in different ways, do what they can to help and assist refugees and migrants, is being drowned out by the noise made by those who give voice to an instinctive egoism”

And saying that closure is never a solution, the Pope said it actually ends up favouring criminal trafficking. The only solution, he said, is solidarity: “Solidarity with the migrant, solidarity with the foreigner…”

Pope Francis reiterated that this is a commitment that we must all make “no one excluded.”

“Dioceses, parishes, religious institutes, organisations and individual Christians: we are all called to welcome our brothers and sisters who are fleeing war, hunger, violence and cruel conditions of life” he said.

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