The attitude towards migrants and refugees is ''sounding an alarm bell for the moral decline we will face if we continue to give ground to this throw-away culture'', Pope Francis has said in his message for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be celebrated on September 29. In fact, if these attitudes continue, "anyone who does not fall within the accepted norms of physical, mental and social well-being is at risk of marginalization and exclusion."
Italy and the rest of Europe are preoccupied with discussing the outcome of the European elections. In some countries, like Italy, nationalist and anti-migrant parties grew in strength. Many Catholics also voted for these parties. At this time then, the Pontiff reaffirmed his principles regarding migration and how our attitudes towards it measure the extent of "our humanity."
'Migrants and refugees an emblem of exclusion'
The pope said that ''the poorest of the poor and the most disadvantaged'' are paying the price of conflicts and society's lacerations amid a "globalization of indifference." He continued: "Migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking have become emblems of exclusion. In addition to the hardships that their condition entails, they are often looked down upon and considered the source of all society's ills."
The Pontiff wants to communicate that we are focusing on the wrong things, that it is "not just about migrants." He sees the biggest problem we face is our own "doubts and fears." He thinks that these doubts and fears "condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and perhaps even - without realizing it - racist." The Pontiff thus urged that no one be excluded in a world that is increasingly elitist and cruel towards marginalized people.
'Developing countries drained of their resources'
"Developing countries continue to be drained of their best natural and human resources for the benefit of a few privileged markets," Pope Francis said. Wars only affect some regions of the world, yet weapons of war are produced and sold in other regions which are then unwilling to take in the refugees produced by these conflicts, he continued.
According to the Pontiff, "the response to the challenges posed by contemporary migration can be summed up in four verbs: welcome, protect, promote and integrate." He feels it is not just the welfare of migrants at stake but that of everyone on the planet. "It is not just about them, but about all of us, and about the present and future of the human family," he concluded. "Through them, the Lord is calling us to conversion, to be set free from exclusivity, indifference and the throw-away culture," in order to build a world "more and more in accordance with God's plan."