Pope Francis meets with migrants at a regional Migrant Center, in Bologna, Italy ANSA/L'Osservatore ROMANO Oct 1. 2017
Pope Francis meets with migrants at a regional Migrant Center, in Bologna, Italy ANSA/L'Osservatore ROMANO Oct 1. 2017

Pope Francis has asked the world in 2018 to welcome migrants who "are asking for peace" in their future. He also urged "not to extinguish hope in their hearts." Tonight is an Epiphany concert dedicated to pope's message.

In a message for the New Year, the pontiff asked the world to put itself at the service of every human life: ''Each life, from the one in the mother's womb to the elderly, suffering and sick, the troublesome and even the repugnant, must be welcomed, loved and helped''.

'Don't extinguish their hope'

 Speaking about migrants, the pope said he wanted ''once more, to give a voice to these brothers and sisters of ours who are invoking a horizon of peace for their future. For this peace, which is a right for everybody, many of them are willing to risk their lives in a trip that, in the majority of cases, is long and dangerous, to endure hardships and suffering.''

Pope Francis launched an appeal: ''Please, let's not extinguish hope in their hearts; let's not stifle their expectations of peace! It is important for everybody, civil institutions, educational, assistance and religious institutions, to work to ensure that refugees, migrants, everybody has a future of peace''. The reaction of Italian politicians Italian President Sergio Mattarella spoke along similar lines, saying that ''sparking fear'' towards migrants ''doesn't help the cause of peace.''

''The phenomenon will commit the international community for decades'', Mattarella said and, referring to the pope's message, said his words ''opportunely exhort all to contemplate migrants and refugees with a more caring and trusting regard, as an opportunity to build a future of peace''.Matteo Salvini, leader of nationalist Northern League party criticized the pontiff's message: ''I read in the pope's Christmas letter: 'beware of those fomenting fear and racism'.But is there someone racist in here? I don't believe I am better than anyone else but I also don't want to look stupid.''

Epiphany concert dedicated to pope's message

Indonesian singer and song-writer Anggun will be a guest of honor at the 2018 Epiphany concert on Thursday, January 4 in Naples to be broadcast by the first channel of State broadcaster Rai Uno on Saturday, January 6, at 9.35 am.The thirteenth edition of the concert is dedicated to pope's message urging the international community to welcome migrants. 

       

 

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