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At Davos Forum, Cardinal Parolin urges Europe toward constructive engagement with migrants

January 19, 2017

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Vatican’s Secretary of State told the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations that “we have to learn the lesson of history” in approaching the question of migration.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that the influx of migrants into Europe is “not a new phenomenon,” although he conceded that the scale of migration today is history. He lamented that some Europeans are “living with fear and a sense of malaise,” worried about the loss of their national identity. The cardinal argued that the “encounter between cultures” is a constant facet of world history. He said that the challenge for political leaders is “how to make differences not a cause of conflicts, and clashes, and divisions, but a source of mutual enrichment.”

Cardinal Parolin told the Davos Forum that the Holy See will continue to play an active role in international affairs, although “we ave very limited in a certain sense.” The Vatican, he said, will always work for peace, against poverty, and for the building of bridges between nations and societies.

In particular, the cardinal said, the Vatican will work “to protect, to defend, to promote religious freedom,” which is “the first human right.” He explained: “The centrality of the person is transcendence, and the fact that the person is called to be the brother of other human beings.” Without that understanding, he remarked, “other objectives will prevail, and will in the end damage and destroy the person and the community.”

 
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  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Jan. 20, 2017 1:48 PM ET USA

    The lesson of history : Vienna. Now Marseilles and Londonestan. It is not the Christian that needs to learn but the Secularists who have no children to occupy their homeland and their formerly Christian culture. Europe is suffering a kind oft blood cancer and now it needs some new blood to take care of the architecture and the Western World's monuments while the rest of the West moves forward with its struggle to retain its heritage. For me, Europe is a Greek tragedy.

  • Posted by: padrebill - Jan. 19, 2017 5:55 PM ET USA

    Amen "feedback." Sometimes fear is irrational, but sometimes the worry of citizens is rational. At least the Cardinal conceded that the current scale of immigration today is "history." I think some might rightly see it as an invasion.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 19, 2017 11:42 AM ET USA

    It's good to keep in mind that when reality is confronted by delusion in the form of political correctness, the reality always wins in the end.