‘Let’s put the positive verbs surrounding modern migration into practice’ – Pope Francis

Pope Francis gestures as he leads the Holy Mass with First Communions at Most Holy Heart of Jesus church in Rakovski, Bulgaria May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Pope Francis has said that by putting the verbs surrounding the migration situation into practice, it will lead to the development of humanity and to better reach our sustainable development goals.

The Pope says that challenges surrounding the migration crisis could be centred around four key doing words; ‘welcome, protect, promote and integrate.’

By acting on them, Pope Francis explains that it will mean not only the building ‘the city of God and man,’ it would also, ‘promote the integral human development of all people. We will also help the world community to come closer to the goals of sustainable development that it has set for itself and that, lacking such an approach, will prove difficult to achieve.’

This address is part of Pope Francis’ recognition of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees due on September 29th and themed on the issue ‘it is not just about migrants.’

The Holy leader’s view is there is a strong wave of ‘extreme individualism’ and ‘utilitarian mentality’ within advanced economies and societies, which is creating a ‘globalization of indifference’ towards migrants and refugees. This ultimately had led to their exclusion and to be, ‘looked down upon and considered the source of all society’s ills.’

He in turn encourages people to show concern and compassion for migrants is to show, ‘concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays.’

Preventing exclusion

In the course of the Pope’s address, he outlines that with it not being simply about migrants, it is about other vital aspects like opening ourselves up to charity, to humanity and to the prevention of exclusion.

He stresses the problem of the developing world being, ‘drained of their best natural and human resources for the benefit of a few privileged markets.’

He then cites a point raised about war, stating that, ‘Wars only affect some regions of the world, yet weapons of war are produced and sold in other regions which are then unwilling to take in the refugees produced by these conflicts. Those who pay the price are always the little ones, the poor, the most vulnerable, who are prevented from sitting at the table and are left with the “crumbs” of the banquet.’

Therefore, development that continues to exclude people only, ‘makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. A real development, on the other hand, seeks to include all the world’s men and women, to promote their integral growth, and to show concern for coming generations.’