Pope Francis urges all to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees

ICMC's Secretary General, Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, meets Pope Francis at the International Forum on Migration and PeaceICMC's Secretary General, Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, meets Pope Francis at the International Forum on Migration and Peace. Photo: L'Osservatore Romano Vatican City, 22 February 2017 - On 21 February, while attending the 6th International Forum on Migration and Peace in Vatican City, Pope Francis voiced deep concern at the forced nature of many contemporary migratory movements, which intensify current political challenges and generate urgency for a transnational response.

Addressing representatives from international organizations and governments, faith-based organizations, NGOs and migrants’ associations, the Pope commented that “our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate". He then went on explaining that the challenges presented to global peace cannot be solved without addressing development needs and integration issues; that guaranteeing “integral human development” means providing fair opportunities of growth and choice to migrants, exiles, and refugees. He called for “a change of attitudes of migrants and refugees” in which everybody should reject fear of the other and embrace a culture of encounter.

The Forum, organized by the Scalabrini International Migration Network, aimed to stimulate a high-level dialogue and deliberate on concrete actions to be undertaken to manage migration flows as well as the integration of migrants in hosting communities.

Read the full address on the Vatican website.