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The Pope on World Refugee Day: “Let us touch each other”

The Pope on World Refugee Day: “Let us touch each other”

On the occasion of World Catholic Refugee Day this Sunday, the Pope calls for solidarity with refugees and sympathy with their plight.

“Let us allow ourselves to be moved by the story of so many brothers and sisters in need who have the right to emigrate or not to emigrate, and let us not close ourselves into indifference,” Francis said in a tweet. September 24 – A day that focuses on the freedom to stay or go.

Maintaining human dignity as a basic standard

The difficulties in welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating unexpected people are clearly visible, the Pope wrote in a second tweet this Sunday. Francis, who adopted the appeal he made to Europe and the world on Saturday from the city of Marseille on the Mediterranean, said: “The main criterion cannot be preserving the prosperity of the individual, but rather preserving human dignity.”

In his message on World Refugee Day, the Pope calls on the international community to: Advocating for the right not to emigrate and combating the causes of flight. In the text published by the Vatican on May 11, 2023, he stressed that “immigration must always be a free choice.” But today, migration is in many cases forced: “Conflicts, natural disasters, or simply the impossibility of living a dignified and prosperous life at home, force millions of people to leave.”

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Combating the causes of forced migration

The Pope calls for a “common commitment from all” to address the causes of forced migration. Persecution, wars and poverty must end. The fight against climate change is also part of this commitment, the Pope said, “which begins by asking ourselves what we can do, but also what we are no longer allowed to do.” “We must strive to end the arms race, economic colonialism, theft of other people’s resources, and the destruction of our common home.”

The World Catholic Day of Migrants and Refugees is being held for the 109th time this year. This year’s slogan for September 24 is: Freedom to decide whether to migrate or to stay. Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) first proclaimed this day in 1914. Pope Francis moved the previous date from January to September. During his apostolic trip to Marseille (September 22-23, 2023), the Pope called for a change in mentality regarding how to deal with Mediterranean refugees.

-Updated at 9:54 a.m.: Second tweet from the Pope-

(Vatican News – Public Relations)