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Pope Francis: “migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking” are “emblems of exclusion”. “Throw-away culture” is “moral decline”

“Violent conflicts and all-out wars continue to tear humanity apart; injustices and discrimination follow one upon the other; economic and social imbalances on a local or global scale prove difficult to overcome. And above all it is the poorest of the poor and the most disadvantaged who pay the price”. Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, scheduled for 29 September on the theme “It is not just about migrants”, starts with this geopolitical analysis. “The most economically advanced societies are witnessing a growing trend towards extreme individualism which, combined with a utilitarian mentality and reinforced by the media, is producing a ‘globalization of indifference’”, Pope Francis lamented, adding that “in this scenario, migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking have become emblems of exclusion. In addition to the hardships that their condition entails, they are often looked down upon and considered the source of all society’s ills”. “That attitude is an alarm bell warning of the moral decline we will face if we continue to give ground to the throw-away culture”, the Pope warned. “In fact, if it continues, anyone who does not fall within the accepted norms of physical, mental and social well-being is at risk of marginalization and exclusion”. “For this reason, the presence of migrants and refugees – and of vulnerable people in general – is an invitation to recover some of those essential dimensions of our Christian existence and our humanity that risk being overlooked in a prosperous society”, Pope Francis remarked: “When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays”.

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