Pope continues to inspire acceptance, love


Emily Howard | The Appalachian

Lauren Burrows

Pope Francis addressed a crowd of thousands in Naples, Italy, on Saturday, honing in on anti-immigration sentiment being one of the country’s largest problems.

Francis, elected in March 2013, has often been known for his open-minded spiels regarding issues that the church typically turns its face from, including homosexuality, non-gender conforming identity, AIDS and HIV and immigration. Once again, Francis exhibited great love toward a group of people marginalized by society.

In a message given in July 2014, to the Mexico-Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development, the Pope spoke against the “racist and xenophobic attitudes” that most immigrants have to face on a daily basis, according to The Huffington Post.

Emily Howard | The Appalachian
Emily Howard | The Appalachian

He also embraced migrant children, asking prime ministers and clergy to protect them where they are able.

“Whether they travel for reasons of poverty, violence or the hope of uniting with families on the other side of the border, it is urgent to protect and assist them, because their frailty is greater and they’re defenseless…they’re at the mercy of any abuse or misfortune,” said Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin while Francis was speaking elsewhere.

On a trip home from the Philippines in January, Francis spoke about how the next time he visits Mexico, he would like to cross the United States–Mexico border in homage to immigrants. He said that the imagined escapade would be a “beautiful gesture,” according to The Huffington Post.

The Pope crossed yet another line drawn by conservatives of the religion Saturday in Naples, saying that any anti-immigration sentiment  is corruption in and of itself.

“If we close the door to immigrants, if we take away people’s work and their dignity, what do you call this? It’s called corruption!” Francis said in Naples. “Corruption is a dirty thing! A corrupt society stinks!”

Not only has Francis stood up for immigrants in Italy, but also in the United States and other countries.

During a border crisis in summer 2014, Francis urged President Barack Obama and the U.S. to welcome the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied child migrants.

With his stance on anti-immigration, Francis took a dangerous but worthwhile step when condemning hatred and instituting mercy, one of the greatest of the biblical values, among immigrants.

The Bible says in Luke 6:36 that believers should act with mercy, and in this Francis represents the Catholic church exceptionally. However, one does not need to be Catholic or of the Christian faith in order to love others and be sympathetic to their needs as human beings.

Mercy has been accounted for afresh by many immigrants this week by the hands of the Pope.

Burrows, a freshman journalism major from Mint Hill, is an opinion writer.

STORY: Lauren Burrows, Opinion Writer
CARTOON: Emily Howard, Cartoonist