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Avoiding political involvement, Pope declines meeting with migrant occupying basilica

June 23, 2014

Pope Francis declined to meet with undocumented migrants who have sought asylum in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major, because he did not want to be seen as interfering in Italian politics, the Tablet has reported.

The Tablet quoted Father Thomas Rosica, a spokesman for the Vatican press office, as saying that the Pope has not responded to a plea from the migrants for a meeting because it would be “manipulated to put pressure on Rome authorities.”

The migrants had vowed to remain in the basilica until there was action to change current immigration policies. They left the building, however, when Roman officials offered them space in a city building.


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  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 24, 2014 7:02 AM ET USA

    The whole USCCB could take a lesson from Pope Francis about being involved in politics. What is it the bishops don't understand about "give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's (like reasonable taxes) and to God the things that are God's (like the care of immigrants and the poor)".

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Jun. 23, 2014 6:24 PM ET USA

    Is not the Pope's action here rather more sensible and prudential than the behavior of certain American prelates at the Mexican border a few weeks ago?