In a recent homily for a Mass he wished to celebrate for migrants, Pope Francis spoke to migrants and said that they must work out integration together with respect for the culture and laws of the country that hosts them.
Pope Francis made these statements in his homily during Mass celebrated last Friday at Saint Peter’s Basilica in honor of migrants. The Director of the Holy See Press Office announced the news of the Mass coinciding with the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis visiting the island of Lampedusa in July of 2013.
The Mass was a time of prayer for the deceased, the survivors, and those who assist migrants. Around two hundred people were present, including refugees and caregivers. In his homily, the Supreme Pontiff called for treating migrants and refugees as Jesus had treated the poor and underprivileged but also affirmed that migrants should be properly integrated. Pope Francis said he is “well aware” of the tragedies they are fleeing:
“I ask you to keep being witnesses of hope in a world increasingly concerned about the present, with little vision for the future and averse to sharing. With respect for the culture and laws of the country that receives you, may you work out together the path of integration.”
This is not the first time Pope Francis has spoken out about treating migrants as Jesus had, but also understanding the need for integration and respect of the countries that host them.
In a meeting with he held in January of 2017 last year with the Vatican Diplomatic Corps, Pope Francis said that “this would involve respecting the right of every human being … to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there,” but that “immigrants themselves must not forget that they have a duty to respect the laws, culture, and traditions of the countries in which they are received.”
You can read the whole homily by Pope Francis during his Mass celebrated for migrants here.