Pope Pushes Open Borders: There Are ‘No Walls in the Catholic Church’
'All are welcomed and reached by the mercy of God and the invitation'
Pope Francis told a gathering of priests in the island nation of Cyprus that there are “no walls in the Catholic Church.”
The Pontiff asserted that the church is Catholic, “that is, universal, an open space in which all are welcomed and reached by the mercy of God and the invitation to love”
The Latin Church “has seen the enthusiasm of faith grow together with its children and today, thanks to the presence of so many migrant brothers and sisters, it presents itself as a ‘multicolored’ people, a real meeting place between different ethnic groups and cultures,” he said.
“This face of the Church reflects the role of Cyprus in the European continent: a land of golden fields, an island caressed by the waves of the sea, but above all a history that is intertwined with peoples and a mosaic of encounters,” he declared.
The pope also decried proselytism as unworthy of Christians.
“Let’s not forget! None of us have been called here to proselytize as preachers, ever. Proselytism is sterile, it does not give life,” he said.
“We have all been called by the mercy of God, who never tires of calling, never tires of being near, never tires of forgiving.”
The pope then encouraged openness to newcomers.
The Church “does not allow itself to be upset and disturbed by changes, but serenely welcomes novelty and discerns situations in the light of the Gospel,” he said.
“On this island, the work you do in welcoming the new brothers and sisters who come from other shores of the world is precious.”
“You are immersed in the Mediterranean: a sea of different stories, a sea that has rocked many civilizations, a sea from which people, peoples, and cultures from all over the world still disembark,” Francis said.
“With your fraternity, you can remind everyone, the whole of Europe, that to build a future worthy of man, it is necessary to work together, to overcome divisions, tear down walls and cultivate the dream of unity.”
“We need to welcome and integrate, to walk together, to be all brothers and sisters!” he said.
The pope's remarks come almost a year after Cyprus declared a “state of emergency” due to the flood of migrants overwhelming its reception centers.
“Due to this situation and overcrowding in reception centers, I was forced to make a written representation to the European Commission,” said Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.
Nouris told the commission that Cyprus was “entering a state of emergency as far as migration is concerned, and there is no further capacity to host additional migrants.”
The flood of migrants streaming into Cyprus enter in the Turkish-occupied north are described by locals as “illegal crossings,” and accused Turkey of sending migrants to destabilise the south.