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Pope Francis tells migrants: ‘You MUST respect the laws and culture of host countries’

In a very unusual step Pope Francis said indigenous populations should not feel threatened and the migrants have to respect the laws of the countries they have sought shelter in.

In a speech to the diplomatic corps, the 80-year-old Argentinean, also accepted that religious fundamentalism is responsible for the chaos that has been unleashed around the world by terrorists.

The Pope said: “Unfortunately we are aware of how religion, even today, rather than opening doors, can sometimes be used as a pretext to closures, marginalisation and violence.

“I am talking about the fundamentalist terrorism, which claimed last year many victims around the world.”

The Pontiff had a number of points to make as he addressed the diplomatic corps

And he said that individual governments must adequately address whether they are capable of hosting migrants and should not do so at the expense of their citizens.

He added: “[Governments must] assess the extent to which their country is able, without damaging the common good of the citizens, to provide a decent life to migrants, especially those who have a real need of protection.

“We cannot reduce this dramatic crisis to a simple number.

“Countries can’t be indifferent when it comes to the immigration issue, while others take the humanitarian burden, often with considerable stress and heavy disruption, trying to cope with an emergency that does not seem to end.”

Pope Francis says country's must assess whether they are capable of providing homes for migrants

The speech was unusually political for the Pope who is known for his diplomacy.

However it comes against a backdrop of serious threats to the Christian population of Europe and around the world who have been directly targeted by Islamic extremist terrorism.

In a truly horrific attack last July, two ISIS recruits entered a church in Normandy, France and slit the throat of 84-year old priest Fr Jacques Hamel’s while he conducted morning mass.

It also comes at a time when Catholic churches have been made a target of terrorists intent on destroying Christian values.

The Pope told his audience that more has to be done to humanise the crisis and that there will never be “true peace” until individuals are not reduced to statistics.

He added: “Migrants are people with names, histories, families, and there will never be true peace as long as even one human being sees how his personal identity is violated and reduced to a mere statistical number or object of economic interest.

“[There is a] need to know how to combine the right of every human being, to immigrate to another political community and settle there and at the same time ensure the possibility of integration of migrants in the social fabric in which they are, without feeling like their security, cultural identity and their own political and social equilibrium is being threatened.

“On the other hand, migrants themselves shouldn’t forget that they have the duty to respect the laws, culture and traditions of their hosting countries.”

Pope Francis also seemed to hint that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy on migrants could very well backfire adding that country leaders’ political capacity will be measured on how they can create “open and welcoming societies towards foreigners and at the same time, secure and peaceful.”


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