Countries should make it as easy as possible for migrants and refugees to cross their borders legally, Pope Francis has said.
In a message issued ahead of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which is due to take place on January 18 next year, the Pope called on governments to relax their immigration laws and to be more welcoming to people entering their territories.
“The principle of the centrality of the human person, firmly stated by my beloved predecessor, Benedict XVI, obliges us to always prioritize personal safety over national security,” the Pope said.
He added that, for Catholics, “every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age.”
“The Lord entrusts to the church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future,” the Pope wrote.