Mary and Joseph, he said, were immigrants, who struggled to find a safe place to stay in Bethlehem.
“They had to leave their people, their home and their land,” Francis told an audience at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. “This was no comfortable or easy journey for a young couple about to have a child … At heart, they were full of hope and expectation because of the child about to be born; yet their steps were weighed down by the uncertainties and dangers that attend those who have to leave their home behind.”
“So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary,” Francis said Sunday.
“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.”
Pope Francis called for a “new social imagination … in which none have to feel that there is no room for them on this earth.”
according to the United Nations.
support for far-right political parties.
Rather than react to migration and those seeking refuge with hostility, Francis said, people should work to create a “new social imagination … in which none have to feel that there is no room for them on this earth.”
While some far-right parties in Europe have made Christian identity part of their platforms, often in opposition to Muslim immigrants or refugees, Francis said respect for migration is an integral part of Christianity, as the faithful’s “document of citizenship” comes from God, not any specific country.
“True power and authentic freedom are shown in honoring and assisting the weak and the frail,” he said.
“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.”
recent trip to Myanmar, the first ever by a pontiff.
did not use the term “Rohingya,” which is politically sensitive but widely accepted outside the country.
The Vatican defended that decision on the grounds using the term would be needlessly divisive while Francis was in Myanmar to improve diplomatic relations with the predominantly Buddhist country.
the Pope did use the term, saying the “presence of God today is also called Rohingya.”