Pope Francis leads members of the assembly of the Synod of Bishops in praying for migrants and refugees in front of the statue, "Angels Unawares," in St. Peter's Square Oct. 19, 2023. The sculpture by Canadian Timothy Schmalz, depicts a boat with 140 figures of migrants from various historical periods and various nations. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

‘Whoever welcomes a migrant welcomes Christ,’ pope says

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians cannot share a vision that sees migrants as threats to society or as a cause for fear, Pope Francis said in a video meditation.

“Whoever welcomes a migrant welcomes Christ,” the pope said in the video released May 28 by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

The pope’s prayer intention for the month of June is: “Let us pray that migrants fleeing from war or hunger, forced to undertake journeys fraught with danger and violence, may find welcome and new living opportunities in their host countries.”

The pope asked viewers to remember that a “feeling of uprootedness or of not knowing where they belong often accompanies the trauma experienced by people who are forced to flee their homeland because of war or poverty.”

Then, they arrive in a place they thought would be safe and good for their families, and they are treated as intruders or met with walls — “walls on the earth separating families and walls in hearts,” the pope said.

A Christian approach to migration, he said, is to “promote a social and political culture that protects the rights and dignity of migrants, a culture that promotes the possibility that they can achieve their full potential and integrates them.”

“A migrant needs to be accompanied, promoted and integrated,” he said.

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