Pope Francis – Message on Migrants and Refugees. January 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

fundamental freedoms,

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.



John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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1 Response to Pope Francis – Message on Migrants and Refugees. January 2014

  1. Avatar Lynne Newington says:

    It’s hard to believe that not that long ago in the scheme of things, the then Vatican secretary Angelo Sodano [the same one who put Condaleesa Rice on the spot by asking support to squash sex abuse law suits hitting the church] supported the call of a brother cardinal, to discriminate in favour of immigrants from Catholic populations in fear of the Muslims taking over the world, “being one of the serious and biggest assaults on Christianity that history remembers”.

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