(NCR Online) Pope Francis launched a two-year campaign led by the Catholic church’s global confederation of social service agencies to encourage better understanding of the plight facing the world’s record numbers of migrants and refugees Sept. 27. He called on Catholics to welcome those coming to their countries with “arms wide open.”
Dedicating his entire general audience in St. Peter’s Square to Caritas Internationalis’ new “Share the Journey” campaign, the pope said Jesus asks Christians to welcome migrants with arms that are open and ready to give an “affectionate and embracing hug” to people escaping war and violent conflict.
In a reflection on the value of hope, Francis said hope is “the push in the heart” of both the migrant who leaves his or her homeland in search of a better life and the person who welcomes them and wants to “encounter them, to know them, to dialogue together.”
“Hope is the desire to share the journey of life, as the Caritas campaign that we inaugurate today reminds us,” he said. “Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to share the journey! Do not be afraid to share hope!” [More]