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Pope Francis on Immigration

 

 


Separating immigrant parents from children is immoral

Pope Francis has criticized the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world's immigration problems. The Pope said he supported recent statements by US Catholic bishops who called the separation of children from their parents "contrary to our Catholic values" & "immoral".

One of his most pointed messages concerned Pres. Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy, in which US authorities hold illegal immigrant adults in jail while their children are sent to government shelters.

US Catholic bishops have joined other religious leaders in the US in condemning the policy. "I am on the side of the bishops' conference," the pope said, referring to two statements from US bishops this month. "Let it be clear that in these things, I respect the bishops conference."

"It's not easy, but populism is not the solution," Francis said. The pope said populists were "creating psychosis" on the issue of immigration.

Source: Reuters on 2018 Trump Administration , Jun 20, 2018

We should receive asylum-seekers, not reject them

The pope said populists were "creating psychosis" on the issue of immigration, even as aging societies like Europe faced "a great demographic winter" and needed more immigrants. Without immigration, he added, Europe "will become empty."

He spoke at length about immigration, a controversial issue in Europe as well as the US. The populist Italian government has refused port access to non-government ships that have been rescuing asylum-seekers trying to cross to Italy from Africa in flimsy boats.

"I believe that you cannot reject people who arrive. You have to receive them, help them, look after them, accompany them and then see where to put them, but throughout all of Europe," Francis said.

"Some governments are working on it, and people have to be settled in the best possible way, but creating psychosis is not the cure," he added. "Populism does not resolve things. What resolves things is acceptance, study, prudence."

Source: Reuters on 2018 Trump Administration , Jun 20, 2018

Take better care of refugees driven from their land

Pope Francis called for the world to take better care of millions of migrants "driven from their land"--a subtle hit at President Donald Trump in the pope's˙annual Christmas address.

Speaking in St. Peter's Square in Rome, Pope Francis, the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics across the world, brought his attention to the migrant crisis occurring throughout the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The pope compared the plight of more than 22 million refugees worldwide to that of Joseph and Mary, who traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem but found no lodging, a timeless parable of unwelcome travelers.

President Trump has tried to keep˙refugees out of the U.S., signing a number of restrictions on those seeking asylum from war-torn countries like Yemen,˙Syria and Iraq. Trump often argues that allowing refugees from these countries into the U.S. could increase the risk of terrorism, but he has also accepted far fewer Christian refugees than in prior years.

Source: Newsweek magazine, "Christmas Message" , Dec 25, 2017

Building walls instead of building bridges is not Christian

President Trump and Pope Francis are known to have serious differences on issues such as immigration. The border wall is an issue where Pope Francis and President Trump have a very clear and public difference of opinion.

In February 2016, shortly after celebrating a Mass in Mexico just yards from the border, Pope Francis was asked by reporters about then-candidate Trump's promise to build a wall the entire length of the border. "A person who thinks only of building walls, wherever it may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian," the pope said.

Trump, asked by reporters to comment on that, said Mexico was "using the pope as a pawn," and he said it was "disgraceful" for a religious leader to question someone's faith.

The pope's approach, he said, is "to meet the major players in the field in order to reason together and to propose to everyone the greatest good, exercising the soft power that seems to me to be the specific trait of his international policy."

Source: Catholic News Service, "Human trafficking" , May 26, 2017

It's not Christian to build a wall on US-Mexican border

Pope Francis declared that Donald Trump is "not Christian" if he wants to address illegal immigration only by building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump fired back ferociously, saying it was "disgraceful" for a religious leader to question a person's faith.

The rare back-and-forth between pontiff and presidential candidate underscored the popular pope's willingness to needle U.S. politicians on hot-button issues. Francis' comments came hours after he concluded a visit to Mexico, where he prayed at the border for people who died trying to reach the U.S. He was asked what he thought of Trump's campaign pledge to build a wall along the entire length of the border. "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," he said. While Francis said he would "give the benefit of the doubt" because he had not heard Trump's border plans independently, he added, "I say only that this man is not a Christian if he has said things like that.

Source: Japan Today, 'Not Christian,' by N. Winfield and J. Pace , Feb 19, 2016

View refugees as persons; respond humanely

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This present us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunity. If it's not what we want for our own children, we must not be taken aback by the numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays, to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. In a word, if we want security, let us give security. If we want life, let us give life.
Source: Pope Francis' address to Congress during 2015 U.S. visit , Sep 24, 2015

End inhuman conditions when Mexican migrants come to U.S.

Source: Washington Post coverage of Pope Francis' 2015 U.S. visit , Sep 19, 2015

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Page last updated: Sep 09, 2018