Vatican City, Apr 19, 2016 / 05:09 am
Pope Francis has offered his praise to the Jesuits in Italy for their longstanding work with refugees, but asked the foreigners for their pardon on behalf of all who have been closed-minded and indifferent to their plight.
"I was a stranger and you welcomed me," the Pope said in a video message directed to refugees and workers who help them, calling to mind Chapter 25 of Matthew's Gospel.
"Too often we have not welcomed you! Forgive the closure and indifference of our societies, who fear the change of life and mentality that your presence requires," he said.
Francis noted that after coming to a new country, refugees are frequently treated as burdens and problems which only bring more cost. However, "you are instead a gift."