Walls aren't answer to people fleeing war, climate change

Continuing focus on mercy

Closing doors to immigrants and refugees is not the answer. In fact, it only helps encourage the crime of human trafficking, Pope Francis said in his weekly audience yesterday, reports the Catholic News Service.

"The only way for resolution is through solidarity," where everyone pitches in because "all together we are a powerful force of support for those who have lost their homeland, family, work, and dignity."

In his talk, the Pope continued his series of reflections on the works of mercy, focusing on welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked.

He said clothing the naked is about caring for those whose dignity has been stripped from them and helping restore and protect that dignity.

So in addition to providing clothing to those in need, be on the lookout for and ready to help victims of human trafficking and those, including children, whose bodies are being bought and sold like some kind of commodity, he said.

Not having a home, a job, or fair wages and being discriminated against because of race or faith are all forms of nakedness that "as Christians, we are called to be on the alert (for), vigilant, and ready to act."

While voluntary or forced migration has been part of human history, the call to welcome the stranger is even more necessary than ever given that so many people today are on the move because of economic crises, armed conflict, and climate change, he said.

There have been many "great expressions of solidarity" over the centuries, even though there have been social tensions, too, Francis said.

Photo: CNS

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Walls aren't answer to people fleeing war, climate change, Pope says

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