05/06/2021, 15.05
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Pope: Borders that are not walls, but places of encounter

Message of Francis for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. "The Catholic faithful are called to commit themselves, each starting from the community in which he lives, so that the Church becomes ever more inclusive". "Our societies will have a “colourful” future, enriched by diversity and by cultural exchanges".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Borders that are no longer walls, but “privileged places of encounter " between all the components of a "colourful" society, capable of "dreaming together" to build a common future through "more sustainable development, balanced and inclusive.”

This is the vison of Pope Francis contained in his message for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees - which will be celebrated on Sunday 26 September 2021 - entitled "Towards an ever wider we", made public today.

The title chosen for the message, explained during the presentation of the document Father Fabio Baggio, CS, under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for integral human development, is "an appeal to ensure that" there may be more 'others', but only one 'we' "(Fratelli tutti, 35). And this universal 'we' must become a reality first of all within the Church, which is called to make communion in diversity ".

“It is an invitation to everyone, because we are committed to restoring our human family”. Thus the Pope, in the video on the next day, shown for the first time today in the Vatican press office on the occasion of the presentation of the message. "We are like many grains of sand, all different and unique but which together can form a beautiful beach, a true work of art".

The "we", Francis writes, is that of God's creative plan who "created us male and female, different yet complementary, in order to form a “we” destined to become ever more numerous in the succession of generations. ".

“The present time, however, shows that this “we” willed by God is broken and fragmented, wounded and disfigured.  This becomes all the more evident in moments of great crisis, as is the case with the current pandemic.  Our “we”, both in the wider world and within the Church, is crumbling and cracking due to myopic and aggressive forms of nationalism (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 11) and radical individualism (cf. ibid., 105).  And the highest price is being paid by those who most easily become viewed as others: foreigners, migrants, the marginalized, those living on the existential peripheries.”

"In reality, we are all in the same boat and we are called to commit ourselves so that there are no more walls that separate us, no more others, but only one us, as big as all of humanity".

Hence a twofold appeal. The Pope asks believers to commit themselves to making the Church more and More Catholic, to "all men and women of the world" to transform walls into bridges.

"The Catholic faithful are called to work together, each in the midst of his or her own community, to make the Church become ever more inclusive ". “In our day, the Church is called to go out into the streets of every existential periphery in order to heal wounds and to seek out the straying, without prejudice or fear, without proselytising, but ready to widen her tent to embrace everyone.  Among those dwelling in those existential peripheries, we find many migrants and refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking, to whom the Lord wants his love to be manifested and his salvation preached.  “The current influx of migrants can be seen as a new “frontier” for mission, a privileged opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ and the Gospel message at home, and to bear concrete witness to the Christian faith in a spirit of charity and profound esteem for other religious communities.  The encounter with migrants and refugees of other denominations and religions represents a fertile ground for the growth of open and enriching ecumenical and interreligious dialogue” (Address to the National Directors of Pastoral Care for Migrants, 22 September 2017)".

To all men and women of the world the appeal is "to recompose the human family, to build together our future of justice and peace, ensuring that no one is excluded. The future of our societies is a 'colourful' future, enriched by diversity and intercultural relations. This is why we must learn today to live together, in harmony and peace”.

"To achieve this ideal, however, we must make every effort to break down the walls that separate us and, in acknowledging our profound interconnection, build bridges that foster a culture of encounter.  Today’s migration movements offer an opportunity for us to overcome our fears and let ourselves be enriched by the diversity of each person’s gifts.  Then, if we so desire, we can transform borders into privileged places of encounter, where the miracle of an ever wider “we” can come about.”

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