Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace
Pope Francis’ message for the celebration of the 2018 World Day of Peace was released during a press conference at the Holy See Press Office.
The message entitled Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in search of Peace is divided into six sections with the first offering heartfelt good wishes for peace and inviting people of good will to embrace those fleeing war, hunger and persecution.
The message also poses the question, why so many migrants and refugees? Pope Francis answers this by considering the many conflicts forcing people to leave their homelands, but he notes also the desire for a better life.
The Holy Father notes that some people consider the growth in migration as a threat. But, “for my part, he says, I ask you to view it with confidence, as an opportunity to build peace.”
From the Holy Father’s 2018 message:
Heartfelt good wishes for peace:
Peace to all people and to all nations on earth! Peace, which the angels proclaimed to the shepherds on Christmas night, is a profound aspiration for everyone, for each individual and all peoples, and especially for those who most keenly suffer its absence. Among these whom I constantly keep in my thoughts and prayers, I would once again mention the over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees.
In a spirit of compassion, let us embrace all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands.
We know that it is not enough to open our hearts to the suffering of others. Much more remains to be done before our brothers and sisters can once again live peacefully in a safe home. Welcoming others requires concrete commitment, a network of assistance and goodwill, vigilant and sympathetic attention, the responsible management of new and complex situations that at times compound numerous existing problems, to say nothing of resources, which are always limited. By practicing the virtue of prudence, government leaders should take practical measures to welcome, promote, protect, integrate and, “within the limits allowed by a correct understanding of the common good, to permit [them] to become part of a new society.”
To read the full text of Pope Francis’ message: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/peace/documents/papa-francesco_20171113_messaggio-51giornatamondiale-pace2018.html