ROME — Pope Francis said that it is a “Christian duty” to welcome migrants, insisting that doors should be opened to them rather than closed.
In a wide-ranging interview published Friday by the Italian daily, La Stampa, the pope fielded several questions on immigration, reiterating his belief that Christians need to be on the side of open doors.
“Criteria should be followed,” the pope said, among which the first is “to receive, which is also a Christian, evangelical duty. Doors must be opened, not closed.”
Many in Italy have understood the pope’s words to refer, at least in part, to the policies of interior minister Matteo Salvini, who ran for office on campaign promises to curb illegal mass migration. While greatly reducing migrant sea deaths, Mr. Salvini’s decision to close ports to migrants has faced fierce criticism from the Italian Catholic hierarchy.
“Second: to accompany,” the pontiff continued. “Third: to promote. Fourth, to integrate. At the same time, governments must think and act prudently, which is a virtue of governments. Those in charge are called to think about how many migrants they can take in.” – READ MORE