Vatican City, Jan 14, 2018 / 04:45 am
At a special Mass Sunday for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said that while it is normal to be afraid of the unknown, we can't let this direct how we respond to newcomers in our midst, who should be treated with respect and generosity.
It's not easy to put ourselves in another person's shoes, especially those very different from us, and this can cause us to have doubts and fears, Francis said Jan. 14.
"These fears are legitimate, based on doubts that are fully comprehensible from a human point of view. Having doubts and fears is not a sin."
"The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection," he continued. "The sin is to refuse to encounter the other, to encounter the different, to encounter the neighbor, when this is in fact a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord."