After the General Audience on Wednesday, 22 December, the Holy Father made an appeal for urgent and concrete political action to tackle migration issues. The Pope’s reiterated appeal comes in the wake of yet another migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean that saw at least 160 people drown in the stretch of sea between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa. The following is a translation of the Holy Father’s appeal.
During my visit to Cyprus and Greece, I was able to once again personally touch wounded humanity in refugees and migrants. I also noted how only some European countries are bearing most of the consequences of this migratory phenomenon in the Mediterranean area, while in reality, it demands the shared responsibility of all, from which no country can exempt itself because it is a human issue.
In particular, thanks to the generous openness of the Italian authorities, I was able to bring to Rome a group of people I met during my journey: some of them are here among us today. Welcome! As a Church, we will take care of them during the coming months. This is a small sign that I hope will serve as a stimulus for other European countries, so that they might allow the local ecclesial communities to take care of other brothers and sisters who are in urgent need of being relocated, accompanied and integrated.
In fact, there are many local Churches, religious congregations and Catholic organizations that are ready to welcome and accompany them toward a fruitful integration. All that is needed is to open a door, the door to the heart. Let us not fail to do so this Christmas.