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Top Vatican diplomat: Pope seeks balance between needs of migrants, legitimate concerns of states

January 12, 2016

The Vatican’s top foreign-policy official has said that Pope Francis sought to balance the legitimate concerns of governments with the rights of migrants in his January 11 address to the Vatican diplomatic corps.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States, told Vatican Radio that the Pope acknowledged the problems created by the flood of migrants, particularly the danger of terrorism. But he hoped that world leaders will address those problems in ways respect the human dignity and needs of migrants. “We have to be careful that fear doesn’t enter into our hearts,” Archbishop Gallagher said.

The archbishop added that while affluent nations should care for those in extreme need, the migrants also have a moral obligation to respect the laws and customs of the countries to which they have moved.

In his address to the diplomatic corps, Pope Francis concentrated primarily on the crisis in Europe. When questioned about how Pope Francis might address the question during his upcoming visit to Mexico, Archbishop Gallagher predicted that the Pontiff would use the opportunity to call attention to the “terrible dangers which migrants consistently expose themselves to.”


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