Vatican City, Nov 4, 2017 / 04:38 am
Echoing strains of the 1979 hit "Refugee" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pope Francis on Saturday told representatives from Catholic universities that just because people are often forced into becoming migrants and refugees, they don't have to live like it – at least, not where education is concerned.
Among other things, he said the phenomenon of forced migrations is a "sign of the times," and urged Catholic universities to find more opportunities for migrants and refugees to study, even if it means creating distance programs for people living in camps or welcome centers.
He also encouraged universities to conduct in-depth studies on both the causes of forced migration, as well as the "discriminatory" and "xenophobic" attitudes that traditionally Christian countries can at times have toward incoming migrants.
Catholic universities, he said Nov. 4, have the task of carrying out "a scientific, theological and pedagogical reflection" of the topic which is rooted in Catholic social teaching, and which looks to "overcome the prejudices and fears linked to a lack of knowledge about the migratory phenomenon."