Pope Francis described migrants and refugees as the world’s “weakest and most needy” in his traditional New Year’s address in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. His speech meant to “give voice” to the marginalized people and urge leaders to act and help more. Pope Francis reminded the about 40,000 people gathered at the Vatican square that he had chosen the plight of migrants and refugees as the theme for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace, which is celebrated annually on 1 January.
“For this peace, to which everyone has a right, many of them are willing to risk their lives in a journey which is often long and dangerous, they are willing to face strain and suffering. Please, let us not extinguish the hope in their hearts, let us not suffocate their hopes for peace!” Pope Francis has made migrants and refugees a central theme of his papacy in opposition to the negative sentiment against migrants around the world. During his 2017 trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, he met Muslim refugees and urged world leaders to take decisive steps to address the political problems that are oftentimes the major root causes of migration.
Pope also criticized US President Donald Trump for his intention to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. In Francis’s message published in November, he said that the politicians who incite hate speech and stoke fear of migrants were sowing violence and racism. In a homily before pope’s yesterday speech, Pope Francis said everyone should look after their soul by taking a moment of silence every day, “to keep our freedom from being corroded by the banality of consumerism, the blare of commercials, the stream of empty words and the overpowering waves of empty chatter and loud shouting”.