Pope scathes migrant-blaming discourse in governments


VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has decried the political rhetoric that accuses migrants of “all ills” in a message, released on Tuesday, that has been written for the upcoming 52nd World Peace Day on Jan. 1.

 A day after celebrating his 82nd birthday, the pontiff published a message entitled ‘Good politics is at the service of peace’ in which he criticised the discourse that “deprives the poor of hope” and focusses on blaming migrants, branding it “unsustainable.”

 “The terror inflicted on the most vulnerable contributes to the exile of entire populations in search of peace,” he wrote, adding, “peace is based on respect for every person, regardless of their history.”

 The statement, which will be translated into four languages and sent to every government in the world, including Italy, also explored the dangerous vices that political life includes, “whether due to personal incompetence or to flaws in the system and its institutions.”

 “Xenophobia, racism, lack of concern for the environment, the plundering of natural resources for the sake of quick profit and contempt for those forced into exile,” are cited by the Pope as examples of such vices, alongside “corruption in its various forms.”

 “Clearly these vices detract from the credibility of political life overall, as well the authority, decisions and actions of those engaged in it,” he continued.

 The most pressing danger, the Pope argues, is that the role of politics as a “fundamental vehicle for building nationality” will denigrate and instead become “an instrument of oppression, marginalisation and even destruction.”