Pope to migrants: You are at the centre of the Church’s heart

Pope Francis meets with migrants at the diocesan Caritas centre in Rabat.

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis addressed the ongoing phenomenon of mass migration on Saturday, during a meeting with migrants at the diocesan Caritas centre in Rabat.

"A wound that cries to heaven"

The Pope said the encounter gave him “the chance once more to express my closeness to all of you, and together with you to discuss a great and deep wound that continues to afflict our world at the beginning of this twenty-first century. A wound that cries out to heaven”.

In his address, Pope Francis spoke about the Global Compact, adopted at an Intergovernmental Conference held in Marrakech in December 2018. He stressed the importance of the document as “an important step forward for the international community”, saying the Compact helps us see that “it is not just about migrants”, but about the face we want to give our society, and about the value of human life”.

At the centre of the Church's heart

Speaking directly to the migrants present, the Holy Father said, “You are not the marginalized; you are at the centre of the Church’s heart”.

Pope Francis suggested four words – welcoming, protecting, promoting, and integrating – which he said, “can help us find shared strategies to create… spaces for conferring dignity”. These four words “form a frame of reference for us all”, he said. “For we are all involved in this effort… and all of us are needed in the work of building a more dignified, safe, and fraternal life”.

Every person has a right to the future 

Concluding his address, Pope Francis once again addressed migrants directly. “Dear migrant friends, the Church is aware of the sufferings that accompany your journey, and she suffers with you”, he said. “Every human being has the right to life”, the Pope insisted, “every person has the right to dream and to find his or her rightful place in our ‘common home’!”

“Every person has a right to the future”.

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30 March 2019, 19:48