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Pope urges nations to protect refugee children

Catholic World News - January 19, 2010

Recalling that the child Jesus was a refugee in Egypt, Pope Benedict urged the nations of the world to protect refugee children. He made his remarks during his Angelus address on January 17, the 96th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

“Jesus Christ, who as a newborn lived through the dramatic experience of being a refugee because of Herod’s threats, taught his disciples to welcome children with great respect and love,” Pope Benedict said. “The child too, in fact, whatever his nationality or the color of his skin, must first of all and always be considered a person, the image of God, to promote and protect against every marginalization and exploitation. In particular, it is necessary to take every care that minors who live in a foreign country are protected by legislation and above all watched over in the countless problems that they must face.”

The Pontiff also discussed his impending visit to the Synagogue of Rome and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25). Referring to Jewish-Catholic relations, he said that “we breathe an air of great respect and dialogue, which testifies to how much the relationships have matured and the common commitment to value what unites us: faith in the one God, first of all, but also the protection of the life of the family, the aspiration to social justice and peace.” Pope Benedict then urged parishes, religious communities, and ecclesial movements to “pray unceasingly, in a special way during Eucharistic Celebrations, for the complete unity of Christians.”

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