This picture shows Pope Francis during the visit to the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in Assisi, where the Franciscan order was founded. Credit: EPA/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO
This picture shows Pope Francis during the visit to the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in Assisi, where the Franciscan order was founded. Credit: EPA/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

The Catholic Order of the Franciscans is reaffirming its effort in support of migrants and refugees worldwide, saying that migrants don't constitute "a threat," but are rather "an opportunity for well-being".

The Order of the Fransiscans recently dedicated its Assembly of Provincial Ministers and Custodians in Europe to the topic of migrants and refugees. 


"If the migrant influx is supported, it can create a great opportunity for development and well-being for all - in the countries of origin and the destination countries," said General Vicar Julio Cesar Bunader in his speech at the Assembly.

"Migration isn't a threat, although it is a complex situation, a global challenge," he said, adding, "[Migrants] are victims of an asymmetrical and exclusive process of globalization, but they are also leaders of new paths and new times. They are also the privileged spokespeople for globalization."

Bunader also said that deep socio-economic disparities between countries and regions invited the poorest to dream and search for a better future in foreign lands. In a world that is rapidly changing, the refugee influx was a question of faithfully accepting the current situation not as a catastrophe, but as a mystery full of callings that make up God's plan.

The Church's effort for refugees

The relaunching of the Franciscan initiative in the field is another example of the effort the Church, under the impulse of Pope Francis, is putting into one of the crucial themes in current events, which is also at the centre of social and political debate.

"Migration makes up the largest worldwide movement of people of all time and it's a structural reality in our society," Bunader said. Millions of people are "forced to flee from violence, from war, from persecution and from poverty or from the environmental emergency. They are men and women, children, families whose lives have been destroyed, to the point of losing their homes, work, and loved ones. We also know that emigrating means searching for new opportunities to improve living conditions," he said.
 

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