VATICAN, Sept. 24, 2013 — In honor of the upcoming World Migration Day, Pope Francis said that the improvement of society demands the end of common prejudices against migrants and refugees.
“In considering the situation of migrants and refugees, I would point to yet another element in building a better world, namely, the elimination of prejudices and presuppositions in the approach to migration.”
The message of Pope Francis was read aloud during a Sept. 24 press conference in honor of World Migration Day, which will take place on Jan. 19, 2014.
In his address, the Pope emphasized the need to build a better world through “efforts to provide dignified living conditions for everyone, at finding just responses to the needs of individuals and families, and at ensuring that God’s gift of creation is respected, safeguarded and cultivated.”
“Our hearts do desire something ‘more.’ Beyond greater knowledge or possessions, they want to “be” more,” he said. “Development cannot be reduced to economic growth alone, often attained without a thought for the poor and the vulnerable.”
The pontiff noted the importance of fighting the “scandal of poverty,” warning that “Violence, exploitation, discrimination, marginalization, restrictive approaches to fundamental freedoms, whether of individuals or of groups,” are some of the chief elements of poverty which need to be overcome.
Amid the necessity for cooperation among societies in order to create peace, justice and security, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of deconstructing common stereotypes which are held against many who flee their homelands.
“Not infrequently, the arrival of migrants, displaced persons, asylum seekers and refugees gives rise to suspicion and hostility,” he said.
“There is a fear that society will become less secure, that identity and culture will be lost, that competition for jobs will become stiffer and even that criminal activity will increase.” [Full story]
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