Pope Francis: Migrants Must ‘Conform to the Rules of the Country’ Hosting Them

Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart, January 9, 2018

Pope Francis returned to the topic of immigration Monday, insisting that migrants have an obligation to respect the laws of their host country as well as its cultural identity.

Those who are welcomed, the Pope said in his yearly address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, “must necessarily conform to the rules of the country offering them hospitality, with respect for its identity and values.”

Francis also recognized that it is not the place of the Vatican to try to tell nations how to fashion their immigration policies, or how many migrants to take in.

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While reiterating his frequent call for a welcoming attitude toward strangers in need, the Pope peppered his address with welcome dashes of realism as well as acknowledgement of the difficulties faced by nations overrun by immigrants.

In this vein, Francis recognized that not all migrants are “always guided by the best of intentions,” while also underscoring the primary responsibility of political leaders toward their own citizens.

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Welcoming migrants can entail “new and complex situations that at times compound numerous existing problems, to say nothing of resources, which are always limited,” Francis said.

As on other occasions, the pontiff counselled government leaders to cultivate the virtue of prudence, which will help them take practical measures regarding immigration “within the limits allowed by a correct understanding of the common good.”

In November 2016, Pope cautioned nations against taking in more immigrants than they could reasonably assimilate, suggesting that harboring unassimilated migrants can lead to a dangerous “ghettoization.”

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“What is the danger when a refugee or migrant is not integrated?” he asked. “He is ghettoized, that is, he enters a ghetto. And a culture that does not develop in relation with another culture, that is dangerous,” he said.

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“Europe should be proud of this legacy, grounded on certain principles and a vision of man rooted in its millenary history, inspired by the Christian conception of the human person,” he said.

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