Welcome migrants and refugees: share the journey campaign

Catholics resisting the acceptance of migrants and refugees into their communities is a worrying trend says Pope Francis.

To help counter this, at his weekly audience on Wednesday Francis launched a two-year education campaign “Share the Journey” which is about the plight of migrants.

Aimed especially at countering mounting anti-immigrant sentiment in the US and Europe, the campaign urges the world: “Don’t be afraid!”

Spearheaded by the Vatican’s Caritas Internationalis charity, the campaign encourages people to meet with migrants and listen to their stories rather than treat them as statistics clouded by negative stereotypes.

It focuses particularly on providing practical ways for Catholics to meet migrants and refugees, and help families forced to leave their countries.

“Brothers, don’t be afraid of sharing the journey. Don’t be afraid of sharing hope,” Francis told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square.

“Even hope, like all good things in this world, has enemies.”

Francis went on to explain hope is “the most divine thing that exists in the heart of man,” because it allows people to believe that tomorrow will be better despite the pain and disappointment of today and “…it is a two-way street when it comes to migration.

“It’s also the push in the heart of those who welcome: the desire to encounter, meet, talk together … hope is the push to share the journey.”

Francis posed for selfies, shook hands, kissed babies and hugged migrants at the end of his weekly general audience, teaching by example that “others” are not to be feared but embraced.



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News category: World.

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