Pope Francis: Migrants Are Today's ‘Emblems of Exclusion’
Pontiff says ‘globalization of indifference' is occurring
Pope Francis said that migrants and refugees today have become the representations of those who are excluded, oppressed, and marginalized in modern society.
Francis, in his annual message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, offered a series of reflections revolving around the theme: “It is not just about migrants.”
It’s not just about migrants, he said.
“The most economically advanced societies are witnessing a growing trend towards extreme individualism which, combined with a utilitarian mentality and reinforced by the media, is producing a ‘globalization of indifference,’” the pope said.
“In this scenario, migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking have become emblems of exclusion,” he said.
“In addition to the hardships that their condition entails, they are often looked down upon and considered the source of all society’s ills.”
“That is why it is not just about migrants,” he said.
“When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays.”
The pope repeated his opinion that people who resist mass migration is fuelled by fear.
“The signs of meanness we see around us heighten our fear of ‘the other,’ the unknown, the marginalized, the foreigner,” he said.
“We see this today in particular, faced with the arrival of migrants and refugees knocking on our door in search of protection, security, and a better future.”
He added that the fears “condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed, and perhaps even – without realizing it – racist."
In this way, fear deprives us of the desire, and the ability to encounter the other, the person different from myself.”
“Migrants, especially those who are most vulnerable, help us to read the ‘signs of the times,’” he said in conclusion.
“Through them, the Lord is calling us to conversion, to be set free from exclusivity, indifference, and the throw-away culture.”
The Pope, along with other European bishops, have long pushed welcoming migrants, a narrative shared by the global ideals of left-leaning European leaders.
But Francis's ideas aren't shared by all religious leaders.
Vatican Cardinal Robert Sarah warned last month that he believed the West "will disappear" because of mass migration, saying that Western countries are being "invaded" by migrants.
Sarah warns that “Islam will invade the world” and “completely change the culture, anthropology, and moral vision.”
The Catholic clergy member's book is causing debate in Europe because it explicitly distinguishes migration from "predominantly Muslim" nations as a harbinger of the continent’s collapse.
“If the West continues in this fatal way, there is a great risk that, due to a lack of birth, it will disappear, invaded by foreigners, just as Rome has been invaded by barbarians,” said Sarah, adding, “My country is predominantly Muslim. I think I know what reality I’m talking about.”