Pope Francis traveled to the island of Lampedusa on July 6, to pray for the thousands of refugees and migrants who have died trying to reach Europe, and to "challenge our consciences lest …
His statements will be a challenge for many an American Catholic, esp on the southern border.
I LOVE this Pope!
I would hope that Catholics on the southern border would not share the prejudices of their Protestant neighbors. Certainly one finds very pro-migrant views the mainstream approach for Catholics in my neck of the woods.
Speaking to the issue directly, I wonder what concrete steps we can take, in both North America and Europe, to prevent these kinds of tragedies.
Here is word for word what the Holy Father said.
He did not, in any place, say a word about immigration laws. In fact, he did not call for any government action…he called for personal action from each of us.
His main point: *In this world of globalization we have fallen into a globalization of indifference. We are accustomed to the suffering of others, it doesn’t concern us, it’s none of our business…The globalization of indifference makes us all “unnamed,” leaders without names and without faces. *
More from his homily:
*So many of us, even including myself, are disoriented, we are no longer attentive to the world in which we live, we don’t care, we don’t protect that which God has created for all, and we are unable to care for one another. And when this disorientation assumes worldwide dimensions, we arrive at tragedies like the one we have seen. *
Today no one in the world feels responsible for this; we have lost the sense of fraternal responsibility; we have fallen into the hypocritical attitude of the priest and of the servant of the altar that Jesus speaks about in the parable of the Good Samaritan: We look upon the brother half dead by the roadside, perhaps we think “poor guy,” and we continue on our way, it’s none of our business; and we feel fine with this. We feel at peace with this, we feel fine! The culture of well-being, that makes us think of ourselves, that makes us insensitive to the cries of others, that makes us live in soap bubbles, that are beautiful but are nothing, are illusions of futility, of the transient, that brings indifference to others, that brings even the globalization of indifference.
… we ask forgiveness for the indifference towards so many brothers and sisters, we ask forgiveness for those who are pleased with themselves, who are closed in on their own well-being in a way that leads to the anaesthesia of the heart, we ask you, Father, for forgiveness for those who with their decisions at the global level have created situations that lead to these tragedies. Forgive us, Lord!
You can read the whole homily at the link above.
A very powerful message, but not just one that applies to people on the “Southern Border”. It is a message that each one of us has an obligation to his brother.
I would encourage you to review his homilies from the following dates:
Is there an application toward refugees and migrants? Certainly. But his point was a whole lot larger than that and I certainly hope that the impact of this homily is not sub-optimized.
Other popes have spoken out on numerous occasions about the need for just laws that protect the rights of migrants. This is not simply a matter for personal charity but a matter of social justice.
As I see it, Pope Francis is turning out to be a wonderful Pope. He is reminding us that we have a responsibility to those less fortunate than us. When we stand before God on judgment day we will all have to give an account for how we treated the less fortunate. “When I was hungry you gave me to eat….” We can all join in. We should not expect the government to do our job for us. I have been inspired by our new Pope when he decided not to use the Papal apartments he said that there is enough room in them to house 30 people. I thought that it would be wonderful if he would assign those apartments to visiting Priests who are there for studying or whatever. During WWII Pope Pius XII sheltered many Jews protecting them from the holocaust. I think perhaps our new Pope is like him. There are many suffering Italians. On another thread I posted:
For quite some time I have been thinking thoughts along same line. It seems to me that it fits in with Pope Francis’ thinking. Apparently he has chosen not to live in the Papal apartment because it is too big for one person. I seem to remember that when he first saw it he said something like 30 people could live in there. When I heard this I thought that since he isn’t using it maybe priests who are living temporarily at the Vatican or Italy for study could use those rooms. The people of Italy most of whom are Catholics are having a difficult time financially. The grounds at Castel Gondolfo are very large. I thought that apartments could be built and the poor of Italy could move in. My own Bishop is supportive of undocumented immigrants to the United States. Many if not most of them are Catholic. We should after all take care of our less fortunate. I don’t know how big his residence is but I’m thinking maybe he can take in a family or two. If the property is large enough maybe he could build on to take in more. Then on to the unoccupied or undeveloped land owned by the Vatican or the Local Diocese; I think it might be worth a try for all the Catholics who are in agreement with the undocumented immigrants to try to lobby the State and Federal governments to allow the church to build apartment buildings for these folks on that land. Of course they need food and clothing too but that can be worked with parishioners later.
I still think that it is a wonderful idea. As was pointed out before, legal issues will have to be dealt with but I am persuaded that there are ways to make this happen. We may even have to hire a lawyer to help us or better yet perhaps a good Catholic lawyer would offer his services pro bono.
BTW I live on the Southern Border (California)
I don’t think we need more laws. We need more Catholics rolling up their sleeves and get to work. Follow the lead of Pope Francis.