Pope defends immigrants on Christmas Eve, says faith demands that foreigners be welcomed

Login   |  Register Now

Follow us with

Pope defends immigrants on Christmas Eve, says faith demands that foreigners be welcomed

Posted on : Monday 25th of December 2017

Total 1 News Image

Vatican City: Pope Francis strongly defended immigrants at his Christmas Eve Mass yesterday, comparing them to Mary and Joseph finding no place to stay in Bethlehem and saying faith demands that foreigners be welcomed.

Francis, celebrating his fifth Christmas as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, led a solemn Mass for about 10,000 people in St. Peter's Basilica while many others followed the service from the square outside.

Security was stepped up, with participants were checked as they approached St. Peter's Square even before going through metal detectors to enter the basilica. The square had been cleared out hours earlier so security procedures could be put in place.

The Gospel reading at the Mass in Christendom's largest church recounted the Biblical story of how Mary and Jesus had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be registered for a census ordered by Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. "So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary. We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away, but driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones," Francis said.

Even the shepherds who the Bible says were the first to see the child Jesus were "forced to live on the edges of society" and considered dirty, smelly foreigners, he said. "Everything about them generated mistrust. They were men and women to be kept at a distance, to be feared."

New social imagination

Wearing white vestments in the flower-bedecked church, Francis called for a "new social imagination ... in which none have to feel that there is no room for them on this earth."The 81-year-old pope, who was born of Italian immigrant stock in Argentina, has made defense of migrants a major plank of his papacy, often putting him at odds with politicians.

Austria's new chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, has aligned himself with central European neighbors like Hungary and the Czech Republic in opposing German-backed proposals to distribute asylum seekers around EU member states.

In elections in Germany in September, the far-right and anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party made significant gains, with electors punishing Chancellor Angela Merkel for her open-door policy and pushing migration policy to the top of the agenda in talks to form a coalition government.

Italy's anti-immigrant Northern League, whose leader Matteo Salvini often gives fiery speeches against migrants, is expected to make gains in national elections next year. A law that would give citizenship to children born in Italy to migrant parents is stalled in parliament.

In his homily, Francis said, "Our document of citizenship" comes from God, making respect of migrants an integral part of Christianity."This is the joy that we tonight are called to share, to celebrate and to proclaim. The joy with which God, in his infinite mercy, has embraced us pagans, sinners and foreigners, and demands that we do the same," Francis said.

Francis also condemned human traffickers who make money off desperate migrants as the "Herods of today" with blood on their hands, a reference to the Biblical story of the king who ordered the killing of all newborn male children near Bethlehem because he feared Jesus would one day displace him.

More than 14,000 people have died trying to make the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean to Europe in the past four years.

On Christmas Day, Francis will deliver his twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (To the City and to the World) blessing and message from the central balcony of St. Peters Basilica.

Courtesy : Manorama

Disclaimer: The contents or any information provided here is strictly personal and way4indians.com does not hold any responsibility or liability on them. We shall endeavor to upload/publish as many of the comments that are submitted as possible within a reasonable span of time, but we do not guarantee that all comments that are submitted will be uploaded/published. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libelous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the editors. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.

More Articles

Garbage, waste items litter many areas..

A number of residents of Abu Halifa expressed concern about the bad condition of the streets in the area as well as t...

PM to inaugurate Indian Science Con..

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Indian Science Congress at Jaland...

MoH obtains approval to extend the ..

The Ministry of Health has obtained approval from supervisory authorities to exten...

CSC examines university degrees of all..

The Civil Service Commission (CSC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education, has formed a team to run a ...

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen passes ..

One of the most prolific filmmakers in the country and the pioneer of new wave cinema in India, Mrinal Sen passed awa...

Happy Holidays: Google wishes the w..

Keeping up with the festive spirit, Google on Tuesday came out with a colourful Ch...

Labor department to directly issue wor..

The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) issued an administrative circular which allows labor departments to directly ...

MoE finalizing list of expat workers t..

The Administrative Sector at the Ministry of Education is finalizing the list of expatriate employees whose service w...

819 cameras to monitor flow of traf..

Sicora, a company specialized in video monitoring systems, has provided Kuwait wit...

Leadership must own up to defeat al..

"Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan, as when there is success,...

‘I’ll definitely contest in the..

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, who founded his own party Makkal Needhi Maia...

His Highness Crown Prince attends Jana..

Representing His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Naw...

Advertisements

Copyright © 2012-2019, All rights Reserved   |  www.way4indians.com  |  This Logo is a trademark of Way4Indians. For Enquires, please contact : info@way4indians.com