Today every Christian is “called to reflect God’s gaze towards our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters,” declared Francis. The pope went on to say that we are called “to live and spread the culture of encounter, an equal encounter between migrants and the people of the country that welcomes them.”
This, he said, “is an enriching experience, as it reveals the beauty of diversity.” It is also fruitful, he asserted, “because the faith, hope and tenacity of migrants can be an example and a spur for those who want to commit themselves to building a world of peace and well-being for all.”
On Sunday, Francis had condemned Europe’s “scandalous” rejection of migrants, asserting that “the exclusion of migrants is criminal, it kills them right before our eyes. And that’s how the Mediterranean has become the largest cemetery in the world. The exclusion of migrants is disgusting, sinful and criminal, by not opening doors to those in need.”
Instead of welcoming them, Europe sends them “to concentration camps, where they are exploited and sold like slaves,” he stated. “Brothers and sisters, today let us call to mind these migrants, especially those who are dying,” he said. “And those who are able to come in, do we welcome them as brothers and sisters or do we exploit them?”
And what about the tsunami of migrants overwhelming Europe’s cultures and economies? Do they want to assimilate as fellow Europeans, or to exploit their new hosts?