Pope Francis Refugees Quotes

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But never forget that your life of prayer and contemplation must not be lived as a form of self-absorption; it must enlarge your heart to embrace all humanity, especially those who suffer. Through intercessory prayer, you play a fundamental role in the life of the Church. You pray and intercede for our many brothers and sisters who are prisoners, migrants, refugees and victims of persecution. Your prayers of intercession embrace the many families experiencing difficulties, the unemployed, the poor, the sick, and those struggling with addiction, to mention just a few of the more urgent situations. You are like those who brought the paralytic to the Lord for healing (cf. Mk 2:2-12). Through your prayer, night and day, you bring before God the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters who for various reasons cannot come to him to experience his healing mercy, even as he patiently waits for them. By your prayers, you can heal the wounds of many.
Pope Francis
In 2000, the National Gallery in London put on a millennial exhibition entitled “Seeing Salvation.” That was a case in point—especially remembering that European countries tend to be far more “secularized” than the United States. It consisted mostly of artists’ depictions of Jesus’s crucifixion. Many critics sneered. All those old paintings about someone being tortured to death! Why did we need to look at rooms full of such stuff? Fortunately, the general public ignored the critics and turned up in droves to see works of art, which, like the crucifixion itself, seem to carry a power beyond theory and beyond suspicion. The Gallery’s director, Neil McGregor, moved from that role to become director of the British Museum, a job he did with great distinction and effect for the next decade. The final piece he acquired in the latter capacity, before moving to a similar position in Berlin, was a simple but haunting cross made from fragments of a small boat. The boat, which been carrying refugees from Eritrea and Somalia, was wrecked off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, on October 3, 2013. Of the 500 people on board, 349 drowned. A local craftsman, Francesco Tuccio, was deeply distressed that nothing more could have been done to save people, and he made several crosses out of fragments of the wrecked vessel. One was carried by Pope Francis at the memorial service for the survivors. The British Museum contacted Mr. Tuccio, and he made a cross especially for the museum, thanking the authorities there for drawing attention to the suffering that this small wooden object would symbolize. Why the cross rather than anything else?
N.T. Wright (The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion)
These brothers and sisters of ours were trying to escape difficult situations to find some serenity and peace; they were looking for a better place for themselves and their families, but instead they found death.” Standing at an altar assembled from remnants of wooden refugee boats, Pope Francis looked out over the port of Lampedusa and asked his audience, “Has any one of us grieved for the death of these brothers and sisters? Has any one of us wept?” He went on to ask, “Who is responsible for this blood?”—observing that “today no one in our world feels responsible. . . . We have become used to the suffering of others. . . . The globalization of indifference makes us all ‘unnamed,’ responsible, yet nameless and faceless.
Francisco Cantú (The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border)
The neo-Darwinist ideology of the survival of the fittest, underpinned by an unfettered market obsessed with profit and underpinned by an unfettered market obsessed with profit and individual sovereignty, has penetrated our culture and hardened our hearts. The successful growth of the technocratic paradigm so often demands the sacrifice of innocent lives: the child abandoned in the streets, the underage sweatshop worker who rarely sees the light of day; the worker dismissed because his company has been asset-stripped to generate dividends for shareholders; the refugees denied the chance to work, the elderly abandoned to their fate in underfunded care homes.
Pope Francis
Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited. For example, changes in climate, to which animals and plants cannot adapt, lead them to migrate; this in turn affects the livelihood of the poor, who are then forced to leave their homes, with great uncertainty for their future and that of their children. There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation. They are not recognized by international conventions as refugees; they bear the loss of the lives they have left behind, without enjoying any legal protection whatsoever. Sadly, there is widespread indifference to such suffering, which is even now taking place throughout our world. Our lack of response to these tragedies involving our brothers and sisters points to the loss of that sense of responsibility for our fellow men and women upon which all civil society is founded.
Pope Francis
Pope Francis hasn’t changed the faith, but he has changed the conversation,” Barron says. “What Francis has done in terms of public conversation about the Church is to make it clearer to people we’re not just about sex. That’s been extremely helpful in our wider outreach.” By placing such an emphasis on humility and simplicity, on service to the poor, on concern for the environment and social justice, on immigrants and refugees, on opposition to war and the arms trade, and with his ardent outreach to the “peripheries” of the world, Barron believes, Francis has succeeded in lifting up aspects of the Church’s thought and life that were always there but that sometimes got lost amid a myopic focus on sex and the culture wars.
Robert Barron (To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age)