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Catholic World News

Papal theme for World Day of Migrants: freedom to leave or stay

May 11, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: In his message for the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis chose the theme: “Free to choose, whether to migrate or to stay.”

The freedom of migrate should be coupled with a freedom to remain in one’s native land, the Pope said in his message, released by the Vatican on May 11. He lamented: “Conflicts, natural disasters, or more simply the impossibility of living a dignified and prosperous life in one’s native land,” have forced many to leave their homes.

To enable people to continue living in their native lands, the Pope said, world leaders must end warfare and exploitation. He said: “We need to make every effort to halt the arms race, economic colonialism, the plundering of other people’s resources, and the devastation of our common home.”

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