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   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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Pope to diplomats: Migrants present challenges,

but don't forget their dignity

Vatican City, Jan 11, 2016 / 07:05 am (CNA/EWTN News) - On Monday Pope Francis gave his first major speech of the year to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, focusing on the hot-button topic of migration and the need to find dignified solutions to the problem.

While the increasing number of migrants certainly poses a challenge, Francis said that the basic human dignity of those seeking a better life shouldn’t be overshadowed by the problems that come with them.

“Over the past year Europe has witnessed a great wave of refugees – many of whom died in the attempt – a wave unprecedented in recent history, not even after the end of the Second World War,” the Pope told diplomats Jan. 11.

Migrants coming from Asia and Africa see Europe as “a beacon” for principles such as equality before the law as well as for values “inherent in human nature,” like the recognition dignity and equality of each person, respect for others regardless of origin or affiliation, freedom of conscience and solidarity, he said.

The Pope acknowledged that the massive number of arrivals on European shores “appear to be overburdening the system of reception painstakingly built on the ashes of the Second World War.”

“Given the immense influx and the inevitable problems it creates, a number of questions have be raised” about what is realistically possible in terms of accepting and accommodating so many people.

Along with these questions come concerns regarding changes in the cultural and social structures of the countries who receive migrants, as well as the reshaping “of certain regional geopolitical balances,” he said.

Fears about safety and security are “exacerbated” by the growing threat of terrorism, Francis observed, explaining that the wave of migration appears to be “undermining the foundations of that humanistic spirit which Europe has always loved and defended.”

However, in the midst of so many challenges and concerns, Pope Francis said that the basic principles of dignity and respect shouldn’t be forgotten.

“There should be no loss of the values and principles of humanity, respect for the dignity of every person, mutual subsidiarity and solidarity, however much they may prove, in some moments of history, a burden difficult to bear,” he said.

Francis then reaffirmed his conviction that Europe “has the means to defend the centrality of the human person and to find the right balance between its twofold moral responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens and to ensure assistance and acceptance to migrants.”

Pope Francis spoke to the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See as part of his traditional exchange of New Year’s greetings with the diplomats. There are currently 180 ambassadors of other countries to the Holy See, 86 of whom reside in Rome.

An annual occurrence, the Pope’s speech to diplomats is one of the most important that he gives at the beginning of the year just begun, and sets the Holy See’s diplomatic tone for the rest of the year.

In his lengthy speech, Francis pointed to several important agreements of 2015, in particular to two fiscal agreements reached with Italy and the United States, as well as the Holy See’s agreement with the State of Palestine, which recently went into effect.

He then recapped his five apostolic voyages to Sri Lanka and the Philippines; Bosnia and Herzegovina; his tour of South America, which took him to Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay; Cuba and the United States, and his recent visit to Africa.

Family was also a major theme for 2015, he noted, adding that it is “the first and most important school of mercy, in which we learn to see God’s loving face and to mature and develop as human beings.”

However, he warned that the family is being “threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life.”

Today there is “a widespread fear of the definitive commitment demanded by the family,” he said, explaining that and that those who pay the price “are the young, who are often vulnerable and uncertain, and the elderly, who end up being neglected and abandoned.”

Francis also cautioned the diplomats of developing an individualistic attitude, which he said “is fertile soil for the growth of that kind of indifference towards our neighbors which leads to viewing them in purely economic terms.”

The lack of concern for their humanity, he said, ultimately leads to feelings of “fear and cynicism,” and noted that this is the attitude frequently adopted toward society’s poor and marginalized populations.

A prime example of these persons are migrants, who “with their burden of hardship and suffering” daily search for a place to live in peace and dignity, “often in desperation,” he said.

Regarding the “grave crisis of migration” the world is currently facing, Francis noted that in 2015 it most heavily impacted Europe, as well as certain regions of Asia and North and Central America.

He turned to the Bible, explaining that the issue of migration is nothing new, but is in fact a key element throughout all of scripture. The Bible as a whole, he said, recounts the history “of a humanity on the move, for mobility is part of our human nature.”

“Human history is made up of countless migrations, sometimes out of an awareness of the right to choose freely, and often dictated by external circumstances,” he observed.

The Pope then decried “the arrogance of the powerful” who exploit the weak, forced to leave their homes, “reducing them to means for their own ends or for strategic and political schemes.”

“Where regular migration is impossible, migrants are often forced to turn to human traffickers or smugglers, even though they are aware that in the course of their journey they may well lose their possessions, their dignity and even their lives,” he lamented.

Francis again repeated his frequent appeal for an end to human trafficking, saying that “the image of all those children who died at sea, victims of human callousness and harsh weather, will remain forever imprinted on our minds and hearts.”

“Those who survive and reach a country which accepts them bear the deep and indelible scars of these experiences, in addition to those left by the atrocities which always accompany wars and violence.”

Among these people, he noted, are many Christians abandoned their homelands by the thousands over the past few years, despite the fact that they have been there since the earliest days of Christianity.

Many migrants would willingly stay in their homeland if they were able to find security and sustenance, he noted, and pointed specifically to Christians in the Middle East as examples.

Pope Francis lamented the fact that many of the root causes behind today’s migration crisis “could have been addressed some time ago,” and “so many disasters could have been prevented, or at least their harshest effects mitigated” had there been the will by those in power.

He encouraged the diplomats to make efforts in building peace, but said that doing so would mean “rethinking entrenched habits and practices,” beginning with the arms trade, financing and sustainable development policies, the provision of raw materials and energy, investment, as well as “the grave scourge of corruption.”

Both short-term and long-term planning is needed in order to find solutions, he observed, saying such plans shouldn’t be limited to just “emergency responses.”

Francis also pointed to the role of religious affiliation in the migration issue. Both extremism and fundamentalism, he said, “find fertile soil not only in the exploitation of religion for purposes of power but also in the vacuum of ideals and the loss of identity – including religious identity – which dramatically marks the so-called West.”

“This vacuum gives rise to the fear which leads to seeing the other as a threat and an enemy, to closed-mindedness and intransigence in defending preconceived notions,” he said.

The phenomenon of migration raises what the Pope called a “serious cultural issue” that demands a response.

Accepting migrants provides an opportunity to broaden the horizons of both the people who come, as well as the countries who receive them, he said.

Those who are accepted into a new society “have the responsibility to respect the values, traditions and laws of the community which takes them in,” while those who welcome them “are called to acknowledge the beneficial contribution which each immigrant can make to the whole community,” the Pope affirmed.

He then pointed to several “important international agreements” that took place in 2015, which he said “give solid hope for the future.”

Specifically, Francis mentioned the Iran nuclear deal, “which I hope will contribute to creating a climate of détente in the region,” and the climate agreement reached at the recent summit in Paris.

“It is now essential that those commitments prove more than simply a good intention, but rather a genuine duty incumbent on all states to do whatever is needed to safeguard our beloved earth for the sake of all mankind, especially generations yet to come,” he said.

Francis then stressed that the role of the international community is “of fundamental importance” in ending global conflicts, such as those in Burundi, the Democratic Repuclic of the Congo, South Sudan and Ukraine.

“The support which the international community, individual states and humanitarian organizations can offer the country from a number of standpoints, in order to surmount the present crisis,” is essential, he said.

Francis closed his speech by affirming that the Holy See will never cease to work for peace on a diplomatic level, and encouraged further cooperation.

He expressed his hope that the Jubilee of Mercy will be “a favorable occasion for the cold indifference of so many hearts to be won over by the warmth of mercy, that precious gift of God which turns fear into love and makes us artisans of peace.”

Past Issues

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Dec. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Celebrate Christmas 'unplugged'; Msgr. Matthew Smith; Klan; Catholic Charities Annual Appeal; Fr. Larry Rosebaugh; A Guadalupe Encounter; Laci and Joe Salazar; A Christmas Wish; Adoption; Confession; Advent; EWTN; Christmas Blues; Tilma; Pittsburgh; PSR

 

Dec. 3, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2017 NCYC; Wheel of Balance; Marita Rother; Stanley Rother; slavery; trafficking; Windthorst water damage; martyred priests; confession; reconciliation; How to go to confession; recipe for codfish cakes; Catholic schools; appeal

 

Nov. 19, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Saints; Father Kola; Black Elk; Giving Tuesday; velvet Elvis; a Slice of Time; Dani Sandoval; Mexican Village; Father Tim Hickey; New faces at chancery; priests share thoughts on confession; Wheel of Balance

 

Nov. 5, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Matrimony Anniversary Mass, 2017; Riebel; Faith and Light; Scripture Day; Sex in the Bible; Quilt, Mexican Village Story; Finance; Fatima pilgrimage; Fowler church window renovation; Medicare; Crazy Glue


Oct. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Father Francis Jordan; Sister Renee Kirmer; Father Rother beatified; religious liberty; RCIA Kansas; V Encuentro; Bishop Weisenburger; Daughters of Isabella; Bishop Gerber Science Center


Oct. 1, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: De Colores; Rebein; Dreamer; Pies; Kellner; Code Quilts; Sister Crucita; Feezor; Formed.org; Sin and pain

 

 Sept. 17, 2017

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Sister Lucy Fidelis; Underground Railroad; Sister Irene Hartman; DACA; new priests; teachers; Volunteer of the Year; Golf Classic; St. Francis Xavier; St. Nicholas Parish Center, Kinsley; seminarians; Knights Lite; Stewardship Day 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 13, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Coronado Cross; Masada; Moody Gardens; Elders; Rother; undocumented children; cages; year of mercy; Kumi; Hollywood makeup artist; New Mexico; refugee women.

July 16, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Summer camp; tithing and almsgiving; Bill Baalmann; Nathan Schaller; Jubilarian Sisters; Sister Hortencia Rodriguez; Sister Petrona Stockemer; Sister Denise Sevart; Convocation of Catholic Leaders; Mother talks about her son entering seminary; Arcoiris; Youth group travels to Colorado Springs; Major Phillip Roth

June 11, 2017 (Updated)

Ordination; Mark Brantley; Jacob Schneider; Father's Day; Thanks, Dad!; Appeal; Sister Mary Martin Weaver; Bishop Maralit; Budget; Trafficked women; Deacon Michael Brungardt; Dead Sea Scrolls; softball; Father Urban retirement; Sister Kravec retirement; Father Mazouch retirement; Authentic Joy; Pris Climate Accord; Jack Schramm; Pieta.

May 28, 2017 (Updated)

 

Grateful Hearts; MSFS Provincial; Reddy; Reif; Opossum; Dead Sea Scrolls; Our Lady of Fatima; Jorge Herrera, Jr.; Cursillo; Kough; First Communion; Confirmation

May 14, 2017

Esteban Hernandez; citizen; Lilly Ann Rein, Amberly Jimenez, Mother's Day; peacock; Quattrocchi; President Kennedy; Teen Moms; Junior High Youth Rally; Encounter With God's Call; granny/nanny; seniors' contributions; tornado anniversary; harvest; healthcare; Mr. Brown; Store-bought teeth; Louis and Zelie Martin; Father John Sullivan; Irish priest whose prayers could heal; Mexican beauty queen; Esmaralda Gonzalez; religious life

April 30, 2017

   KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; bully; TEC; Father Marvin Reif; Bet'sie; What makes a hero?; St. Mary of the Plains; tornado

Easter, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar

March 26, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: From the heart; kidney; Rother; Friar Carmelo; Schnauzer; Lauren Seachris; Lauren's Treat; fire; Guatemala; immigration; Lenten Regulations 1888; Hot Cross Buns; budget; Trump; Forkuoh; Seiwert; South Sudan; hot ashes

March 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Refugees; immigrants; Gilbert Herrman; When you give alms'; Lent; Call to Continuing Conversion, Rite of Election; Charell and Jeremy Owings; adoption; Our Growing Church; Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; water; creation; Sudan; Darlow Lampe

Feb 26, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Night to shine; Immigration; immigrants; Knights of Columbus; Pete Gomez; this foreign mission; Creole; Robin Doll; Eagle Scout; Quest

Feb 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; March for Life; Pro-life; Executive Order; Secular Franciscan Order; teachers; Down Syndrome; Eagle Scout; Bronze Pelican

Jan. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Thank you, religious; SEEK 2017; homeless man to priest; Fourth Sunday; Secret Service to Sacred Heart; Dr. Gerard Brungardt; Martin Luther King; 110 year old nun; Toddler miracle; Letter from undocumented immigrant; health care; immigration

Jan. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Mary helps us share; Tighe donates home to Birthright; Pro-life billboard; Theobald Hattrup; Helen and Steve Eck; Pearl Harbor; Reigning Grace

Dec. 18, 2017

KEYWORDS: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2016; Pope Francis Christmas schedule; 2016 high school youth rally; Aerospace engineer; Father Stanley Rother; Radio station; Dying girl's letter; Scout nominations; 12 days of Christmas

Dec. 4, 2016

KEYWORDS: Vocations Day; Pope Advent advice; Ex-prostitute; Spearville mission; Pilgrims v. Zombies; Face of God; Mission bazaar; Ness City fall festival; Rural health care; Archbishop Gomez; Bishops congratulate Trump

Nov. 20, 2016

Nov. 6, 2016

Oct. 23, 2016

Oct. 9, 2016


Sept. 25, 2016


Sept. 11, 2016

 
Aug. 7, 2016

July 10, 2016

June 12, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 8, 2016


 April 24, 2016

 April 10, 2016

 March 27, 2016

March 13, 2016

Feb. 28, 2016

 

Feb. 14, 2016


Jan. 31 , 2016

Jan. 17, 2016

Dec. 20, 2015

Dec. 6, 2015

Nov. 15, 2015

Nov. 1, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Oct. 4, 2015

Sept. 20, 2015

Sept. 6, 2015

August 9, 2015

July 12, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 3, 2015

April 19, 2015

Easter, 2015

 

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