Vatican City, Feb 28, 2017 / 09:29 am
In an interview published Tuesday, Pope Francis spoke about what it means to care for and be present to the people in our communities – whether they are widows, orphans, migrants, or the homeless – and why this is important.
“It is very tiring to wear the shoes of others,” he said, “because often we are slaves of our selfishness. On one level we can say that people prefer to mind their own problems without wanting to see the suffering or the difficulty of another.”
“There is another level, however. To wear the shoes of others means to have a great capacity to comprehend, to understand the circumstance and difficult situations.”
The Pope’s latest interview was published Feb. 28 in “Scarp de tenis,” a monthly periodical supported by Caritas Ambrosiana and Caritas Italiana. Based out of Milan, Italy, Caritas Ambrosiana interviewed Francis ahead of his planned trip to the diocese on March 25.
We all need understanding, companionship, and advice, the Pope noted. This is why even though it is difficult, we should try to put ourselves in another’s place and to understand what they are going through. To do so means to perform acts of service with humility and magnanimity.
In the case of migrants and refugees, Francis said that they are fleeing wars or famines that are often in part our fault, because we have exploited their land but not invested in it in a helpful way.
“They have the right to emigrate and are entitled to be welcomed and helped,” he said.
Regarding how many migrants a country should accept, he said that governmental leaders should practice the virtue of prudence: accommodating, in regards to numbers, however many they reasonably can.