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Migrants are persons, not numbers, Pope tells Latin American lawmakers

June 12, 2017

As the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament met in Panama, Pope Francis said in a message to the body’s president that migrants are persons, not numbers.

Reflecting on “reality, dialogue, and commitment” in relation to migrants, the Pope called for “contact with people, that is to say with real faces.”

“Behind every emigrant there is a human being with a history of his own, with a culture and ideals,” the Pope continued. “Aseptic analysis produces sterile measurements; on the other hand, a relationship with a person in the flesh helps us to perceive the deep scars that he carries with him, caused by the reason, or the unreason, of his migration.”

The message—dated June 7, and released June 10—concluded:

I encourage you in this task that you are carrying out, and I implore the intercession of the Holy Virgin. May she, who also experienced migration in the flight to Egypt with her spouse and her Son Jesus (Mt 2: 13), keep and sustain you with her maternal care. Please, I ask you to pray for me; and I ask the Lord to bless you.

 
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