rejection of migrants,

Populism fueling self-centered rejection of migrants, pope says

A refugee couple from Eritrea tell Pope Francis about their journey to safety during a meeting Feb. 21 at the Vatican with participants in the International Forum on Migration and Peace. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Indifference, fueled by populist rhetoric in today’s world, fans the flames of rejection that threaten the rights and dignity of migrants, Pope Francis said.

Refugees escaping persecution, violence and poverty are often shunned and deemed as “unworthy of our attention, a rival or someone to be bent to our will,” the pope told participants of the VI International Forum on Migration and Peace.

“Faced with this kind of rejection, rooted ultimately in self-centeredness and amplified by populist demagoguery, what is needed is a change of attitude to overcome indifference and to counter fears with a generous approach of welcoming those who knock at our doors,” he said Feb. 21.

The Feb. 21-22 conference, “Integration and Development: From Reaction to Action,” was organized by the Scalabrini International Migration Network and sponsored by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

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