Being indifferent to or excluding migrants is a sign of a deteriorating morality that will soon spread and risk marginalizing everyone who fails to fit in, Pope Francis said.
In fact, the Christian response of welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating does not apply only to migrants and refugees, but to all people living on the “existential peripheries,” he said.
Today’s challenge is not just about migrants, “but about all of us and about the present and future of the human family,” the Pope said. Through migrants, refugees and all vulnerable people, “the Lord is calling us to conversion, to be set free from exclusivity, indifference and the throw-away culture,” and embrace more fully an authentic Christian life, building a world “that is more and more in accord with God’s plan.”
In his message, the Pope said, “The most economically advanced societies are witnessing a growing trend toward extreme individualism which, combined with a utilitarian mentality and reinforced by the media is producing a ‘globalization of indifference.’”
As a consequence, migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking experience exclusion and hardship and are sometimes “considered the source of all society’s ills,” he said.
“That attitude is an alarm bell warning of the moral decline we will face if we continue to give ground to the throw away culture. In fact, if it continues, anyone who does not fall within the accepted norms of physical, mental and social well-being is at risk of marginalization and exclusion,” the Pope warned.
The presence of migrants, refugees and vulnerable people in general, he said, is an invitation to recover some of those essential dimensions of our Christian experience and our humanity that risk being overlooked in a prosperous society.”
At a news conference to present the pope’s message, Jesuit Fr. Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugee Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, said, “migration is not an unexpected, unprecedented crisis or emergency,” but, is a fact of human life.
Today’s society and “popular media” instead tend to ignore people on the move, “caricature them, keep them invisible or make them disappear.”
“Today’s world is increasingly becoming more elitist and cruel toward the excluded. Developing countries continue to be drained of their best natural and human resources for the benefit of a few privileged markets,” the Pope wrote. “Those who pay the price are always the little ones, the poor, the most vulnerable, who are prevented from sitting at the table and are left with the ‘crumbs’ of the banquet,” he said.
To read the full article: https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-chronicles/exclusion-migrants-red-flag-society-moral-decline-pope-says