Cardinal Ribat – Immigrants should be welcome but they must show respect

Cardinal John Ribat of Papua New Guinea is all for policies of compassion and welcome for immigrants around the world. But he says immigrants for their part have to show respect for their host societies.

“As a visitor to a country, or even to a home, you’re always conscious you’re a visitor,” he told Crux in a lengthy on June 13.

“You go there with a sense of respect, and you appreciate what they’re offering you.”

“You remain there on those terms, in order to maintain that relationship.”

Ribat is in Rome to take part in a conference sponsored by Pope Francis’s new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, intended to present a set of recommendations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees towards a proposed “Global Compact” on refugees to be presented later this year.

“Many countries are ready to help, but when all they see [of immigrants] is the negative side, it doesn’t help,” Ribat said. “People become less ready to accept others.
“People who are arriving at the doorstep of different cultures … have to accept the fact that people are ready to receive them, but they have to behave in a way that they will be welcomed and accepted,” he said.

Ribat said the matter of immigrants and refugees is a challenging issue. “The Church speaks about caring for, loving and accepting [new arrivals].”

“But on the other hand, there’s also a challenge that’s there, a reality people face, which is fear.”

“That’s what always comes up, and some recent happenings have deepened these fears in people in countries who are receiving [migrants].”

“They see migrants as criminals, and then there’s the problem of ISIS and so on, which creates fear around security and terrorism.”

“That makes it more difficult to receive people peacefully.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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