Pope Calls for Syrian Migrants to Return to Their Home Country
Pontiff makes drastic U-turn on 'open borders' narrative
Pope Francis has seemingly made a U-turn on his 'open border' push during his Easter address on Sunday, calling for the return of Syrian refugees to their home country.
The Pontiff urged world leaders to come to a political solution for the continuing “humanitarian crisis” in Syria.
“Christ is alive, and he remains with us. Risen, he shows us the light of his face, and he does not abandon all those experiencing hardships, pain, and sorrow,” the pope told the 70,000 pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square to receive his “Urbi et Orbi” message and his apostolic blessing.
“May he, the Living One, be hope for the beloved Syrian people, victims of an ongoing conflict to which we risk becoming ever more resigned and even indifferent,” he said.
Now is instead the time for a renewed commitment for a political solution able to respond to people’s legitimate hopes for freedom, peace, and justice, confront the humanitarian crisis and favor the secure re-entry of the homeless, along with all those who have taken refuge in neighboring countries, especially Lebanon and Jordan.
Just a week ago, head of the Lebanese Maronite Church, Patriarch Bechara Raï, also requested the immediate return of Syrian refugees to their home country.
The patriarch stated that refugees have become “the victims of two wars, the one fought with weapons, which destroyed their homes, and one of the politics of ‘wait and see,’ which will destroy their cultural identity and their history.”
“Easter makes us keep our eyes fixed on the Middle East, torn by continuing divisions and tensions,” Francis said.
“May the Christians of the region patiently persevere in their witness to the Risen Lord and to the victory of life over death.”
The Pope added:
“The people of Yemen, especially the children, exhausted by hunger and war.”
He then added that Easter might “illumine all government leaders and peoples in the Middle East, beginning with Israelis and Palestinians, and spur them to alleviate such great suffering and to pursue a future of peace and stability.”
A stark contrast to last year.
Last year, Francis called on migrants to flood the United States and other Western nations while urging world leaders to "forget about national security" concerns as immigrant's needs are "more important" than borders.
The head of the Catholic Church is calling on political leaders to drop their country's current screening and deportation policies and give precedence to migrant's requirements over the safety of their legal citizens.