Pope Tells Congress: We Must View Immigrants As ‘Persons’ Not ‘Numbers’

AP

Pope Francis on Thursday urged people to address immigrants and refugees as people, not merely a problem in his speech before Congress.

“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities,” he said.

“Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation,” he continued. “To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome.”

As the pontiff mentioned Catholicim’s Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” he was met with cheers in the House chambers.

“This rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves,” the pope said. “In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.”

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