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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis on Migrants and Refugees Day: Let us not close the doors to their hope

At the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that the Church was celebrating World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

That's why he invited people gathered in the Square to turn their attention to the sculpture in the Square. It shows a boat full of migrants from different religions and different time periods.

"I invite you to go over to the monument over there—where Cardinal Czerny is—the boat with the migrants, and to look closely at the expressions of those people and grasp in that look the hope that every migrant has, to start living again. Go over there and look at that monument. Let us not close the doors to their hope."

The Pope also turned his attention to the devastating volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries.

"I think in particular of those who have been forced to leave their homes. For these people who have been so affected and for those helping them, let us pray to Our Lady, venerated on that island as Nuestra Señora de las Nieves."

During his reflection on the day's readings, the Pope warned of the temptation of closing ourselves within our own beliefs. He said this is harmful to any entity, organization or country, and that the Church has to be especially careful not to fall into this trap.

"Sometimes we too, instead of being humble and open communities, can give the impression of being the “top of the class” and keeping others at a distance; instead of trying to walk with everyone, we can display our “believer's license”: “I'm a believer,” “I'm Catholic,” “I belong to this association, to that one,” and the others, poor things, do not. This is a sin."

Pope Francis warned of another temptation: that of holding others to impossibly high standards while being permissive with ourselves.

Javier Romero