Pope Francis – Message on Migrants and Refugees. January 201422/01/2014
‘Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity.
They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their
homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having,
but above all for being more.
Contemporary movements of migration represent the largest movement of
Individuals, if not of peoples, in history.
As the Church accompanies migrants and refugees on their journey,
she seeks to understand the causes of migration,
but she also works to overcome its negative effects,
and to maximize its positive influence on the communities of origin, transit and
While encouraging the development of a better world,
we cannot remain silent about the scandal of poverty in its various forms.
Violence, exploitation, discrimination, marginalization, restrictive approaches to
whether of individuals or of groups:
these are some of the chief elements of poverty which need to be overcome.
Often these are precisely the elements which mark migratory movements,
thus linking migration to poverty.
Fleeing from situations of extreme poverty or persecution in the hope of a better
future, or simply to save their own lives,
millions of persons choose to migrate.
A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees
is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes
of defensiveness and fear,
indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture —
towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter,
the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world.