Pope: 'The Lord Has a Particular Concern For Foreigners Without Rights'
Pontiff celebrates World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Pope Francis emphasized his stance on mass immigration while celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in the Vatican Sunday, asserting the “moral duty” to welcome the stranger with the compassion as God himself.
Speaking at his homily at morning Mass in St. Peter’s Square, the Pontiff said:
"The Lord “upholds the stranger as well as the widow and the orphan among his people."
“The Lord has a particular concern for foreigners, widows, and orphans, for they are without rights, excluded, and marginalized. This is why God tells the Israelites to give them special care.”
Francis said that God of Israel is the one who “executes justice for the fatherless and the widow and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing" - citing the biblical book of Exodus.
“This loving care for the less privileged is presented as a characteristic trait of the God of Israel and is likewise required, as a moral duty, of all those who would belong to his people,” he said.
Yet this message “is not only about foreigners; it is about all those in existential peripheries who, together with migrants and refugees, are victims of the throwaway culture,” the pope explained.
Francis then added that society is not becoming kinder toward outcasts but more severe.
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“Today’s world is increasingly becoming more elitist and cruel towards the excluded,” he said.
“This is a painful truth; our world is daily more and more elitist, more cruel towards the excluded.”
“Overly concerned with preserving our own well-being, we too risk being blind to our brothers and sisters in difficulty,” he said.
Last month, Francis installed a new archbishop to lead the Catholic Church in Marseilles, France: A pro-Islam bishop best known for his commitment to "Islamo-Christian dialogue."
The Pope recently named the new archbishop for the major French city on the Mediterranean coast as 60-year-old Bishop Jean-Marc Aveline.
The choice of nomination is a clear message to the large Muslim community of immigrants in Marseille, both North African and Sub-Saharan.
In France, the city's northern districts have become infamous for the high levels of poverty and insecurity, violent crime, and drug-trafficking.