Pope Francis again took up the cause of migrants during a press conference urging European countries to take action and responsibility for illegal immigrants trying to enter the continent. “No country can exempt itself” from receiving migrants, Francis said.
All European countries must feel responsible and welcome migrants and even help them integrate, the Pope said on Wednesday, Dec. 22, urging nations to open “the door of the heart,” Reuters reported.
In his usual weekly audience, the highest authority of the Catholic Church again demonstrated his interest in promoting the easing of borders, encouraging the entry of millions of illegal immigrants seeking to enter the European continent in search of a better future.
He also warned that European countries are dealing with the situation unequally, causing the responsibility to fall on a few.
In this regard, he said, “I also noted how only some European countries are bearing most of the consequences of this migratory phenomenon in the Mediterranean area, while in reality, a shared responsibility is necessary from which no country can exempt itself.”
Francis congratulated Italy for its migration policies and encouraged others to follow suit.
The Pope recently traveled to Cyprus and Greece, where he said he experienced firsthand the issue of immigration and refugees. Such was his impression that he decided to take with him a group of refugees he met during his tour, whom he promised to care for in the coming months until they were able to integrate into society.
“In particular, thanks to the generous openness of the Italian authorities, I was able to bring to Rome a group of people I met during my journey: some of them are here among us today.” The rest of the group will arrive in the coming weeks, reports said.
By his “example,” he urged religious communities throughout Europe to do the same and “take care of other brothers and sisters who urgently need to be cared for,” the Pope said.
Some 54,000 migrants have arrived in Italy during 2021, almost doubling last year’s figure of 30,000.
The Pope has generated friends among leftist sectors and enemies among conservatives with his flexible borders speech and actions.
For example, in September, Francis met with Hungary’s conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose refugee policies clash with the Pope’s continued call for the reception and integration of Muslim immigrants arriving every day from the Middle East and Africa.
While migration was not on the stated agenda, Orban wrote on Facebook, “I asked Pope Francis not to let Christian Hungary die.” Orban has often described his government as a defender of Christian civilization in Europe and a bulwark against migration from Muslim-majority countries.
By contrast, Pope Francis has expressed solidarity with migrants and refugees and criticized a “Christian populism” promoted by governments like Hungary.
Despite criticism from Pope Francis and globalist organizations such as the European Union pressuring Hungary to soften its stance against unrestricted immigration to Europe, Orbán remains firm in his conservative stance, assuring that he will maintain his migration policy.