Thomas D. William, Breitbart, June 16, 2018
The WCC said it is partnering with the Vatican department for Promoting Integral Human Development in preparing the conference to be held September 17-20 as part of ongoing work toward “peace-building and migration.”
The General of the WCC, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, said the meeting would be a “very useful and significant workshop to dig a bit deeper” into the problems of xenophobia as an expression of populism, as well as its links to racism, conflict, and violence in countries around the world.
Last September, the Vatican launched a two-year campaign to change people’s minds about migrants and to encourage a more welcoming attitude toward them worldwide.
The global Catholic charities network Caritas Internationalis spearheaded the campaign in its aim to promote awareness and action on behalf of migrants and refugees, assisting them in building connections with local communities.
The stated goal of the project is to shed light on both the challenges and effects of migration at every stage of the journey to provoke a “shift in thinking” on the issue.
Part of this shift in thinking involves dispelling common “myths about migration,” the organization declared, before laying out “some common myths around migration and the facts behind the myths.”
Caritas said these myths include the idea that there are more migrants than ever before, that migrants live off welfare benefits and steal jobs from citizens, that closing borders will stem migrant flows, and that “people from poor countries migrate to rich ones.”
Last Thursday, Francis called for a “change in mindset” regarding immigration, insisting in a message that migrants are not a threat to society but, rather, a source of enrichment.
The pontiff also sought to counter a negative narrative on mass migration, calling for a shift in priorities and mentality.
“This demands a change in mindset,” he said. “We must move from considering others as threats to our comfort to valuing them as persons whose life experience and values can contribute greatly to the enrichment of our society.”