Pope Living Behind Wall: We Mustn’t Hide Behind Walls From Migrants

On Monday, Pope Francis denounced the “vilification” of immigrants, calling for a common obligation among European countries to welcome them.

Vatican City is a Fort

“We cannot remain indifferent or hide between fences and razor wires under the pretense of safeguarding security or a way of life,” the Pope said in his annual address to employees.

“I appreciate all those people and organizations who work to ensure immigrants are accepted and safeguarded, as well as to assist their human development and assimilation in the nations where they have been received.”

“I’m aware of the challenges some states confront when dealing with massive influxes of migrants,” he remarked.

“No one can be compelled to do what they cannot do, but there is a clear distinction between accepting, although in a limited fashion, and absolutely refusing.”

Francis underlined, as he has in the past, that everybody is accountable for welcoming immigrants and no government should wipe its hands of the crisis.

“The repercussions of this strategy are visible in the demonization of immigrants congregated in regions. Here, they become an easy target for criminal organizations and human smugglers, or participate in frantic attempts to flee that sometimes end in death,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we must also recognize immigrants are frequently used as a tool of political blackmail, serving as a sort of ‘negotiating tool’ that strips them of their dignity,” he continued.

The Migrant Pope?

The Pope took use of the opportunity to express his gratitude to the Italian authorities for allowing him to bring back a number of immigrants from Cyprus and Greece.

This came after his visit to both countries in early December, calling it a “simple, yet profound gesture.”

Francis rejected the notion that sovereign nations should create independent policies on refugee reception in his speech, instead advocating for a coordinated, international approach.

“I believe it is critical for the European Union to achieve internal cohesiveness in coping with migration flows, just as it did in coping with the pandemic’s impacts,” he said.

“A cohesive and comprehensive framework for integrating immigration and asylum policy is required.”

“This needs a view to taking responsibilities for the reception of immigrants, the evaluation of asylum requests, and the reassignment and reintegration of those who can be admitted.”

“One of the European Union’s strong features is its ability to negotiate and discover shared solutions; it offers a sound template for a long-term approach to the global difficulties we face,” he claimed.

“The influx of refugees, like the pandemic and global warming, has plainly proved we cannot save ourselves; the main issues of our day are all global,” he said.

“It’s so concerning that as problems become more interconnected, we’re seeing an increasing fragmentation of remedies.”