~ By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY – As countries become more culturally and ethnically diverse, their Catholic communities become more “catholic” and their societies can increasingly reflect the fact that all people are brothers and sisters, Pope Francis said.
“In encountering the diversity of foreigners, migrants and refugees, and in the intercultural dialogue that emerge from this encounter, we have an opportunity to grow as church and to enrich one another,” the Pope wrote in his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees which will be marked on September 26 in most countries.
The message called on all Catholics to build up the church by welcoming and getting to know Catholic migrants and refugees and reaching out with a witness of charity to members of other religious, and it called on all people to enrich the diversity of their countries by accepting newcomers and ensuring they are not left languishing in poverty.
The theme the Pope chose for the day is “Toward an ever side ‘we,’” and it builds on the teaching in his encyclical , “Fratelli Tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship.”
In the encyclical, his message said, “I expressed a concern and a hope that remain uppermost in my thoughts: ‘Once this health crisis passes, our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism and new forms of egotistic self-preservation.’ God willing, he said, after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those’ but only ‘us.’”
The global movement of people, he said, means “our societies will have a ‘colorful’ future, enriched by diversity and by cultural exchanges. Consequently, we must even now learn to live together in harmony and peace.” To read the full account please click here