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Rome Reports

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Pope: I am worried about the xenophobia some Catholics have toward emigrants

The pope held a meeting with the national migration directors from the Council of European Bishops Conferences. In a direct speech, he told them he is concerned about racism.


"I do not hide my concern in the face of signs of intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia in different regions of Europe. These are often motivated by distrust and fear of each other, those who are different, the stranger.”

The pope is concerned that many Catholics also have these racist attitudes toward emigrants.


"I am even more worried about the sad fact that our Catholic communities in Europe are not free from these defence reactions and rejection, justified by an unspecified 'moral duty' to preserve the original cultural and religious identity."

Pope Francis said this state of mind is a mistake because the Christian message is "for people of all cultures" and also "the Catholic Church has spread on all continents thanks to the migration of missionaries."

Pope Francis explained that the Christian attitude is to always protect the weak and that the arrival of illegal emigrants does not negate their human rights, but means their situation requires attention.