Pope Says ‘Mere Tolerance’ Towards Migrants not Enough
Tue 23 Sep 2014 at 17:22
NNA – Pope Francis on Tuesday said “mere tolerance” toward migrants and asylum seekers is not enough and he called for a “globalization of charity” towards those fleeing warzones and poverty.
“It is necessary to respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation, in such a way as to make the conditions of migrants more humane,” the pontiff said in a message to mark the World Day of Migrants and Refugees next January.
“Large numbers of people are leaving their homelands, with a suitcase full of fears and desires, to undertake a hopeful and dangerous trip in search of more humane living conditions,” he said in the text of an address he will give January 18.
“Often, however, such migration gives rise to suspicion and hostility, even in ecclesiastical communities, prior to any knowledge of the migrants’ lives or their stories of persecution and destitution,” he said.
The Argentine-born pontiff, who has vowed to make protecting the poor and marginalized a cornerstone of his papacy, said “achieving mere tolerance that respects diversity and ways of sharing between different backgrounds and cultures is not sufficient.”
He called for the creation of “a universal network of cooperation” to fight trafficking and enslavement, and reminded the international community that “no country can single-handedly face the difficulties associated with this phenomenon”, as Italy struggles to deal with thousands of new boat migrant arrivals and deadly shipwrecks.
Earlier this month, 500 migrants and asylum seekers were feared drowned after their boat sank off Malta, leaving just 10 survivors, who said the traffickers in charge of organizing the dangerous crossing from North Africa had intentionally sunk their boat. —AFP