VATICAN CITY, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI is urging the world's peoples to be more welcoming of immigrants and refugees to their countries.
In a message released Wednesday in Vatican City, the Roman Catholic pontiff said "special attention" should be given to refugees and exiles, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
The pontiff also exhorted people to "live fully in fraternal love without distinction of type and without discrimination, in the conviction that anyone who needs us is our fellow man and we can help them," Vatican officials said.
Benedict's message was presented by the president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino. He told ANSA that "the problem of immigration is not resolved by closing borders.
"There are over 200 million people who live outside their countries of origin, driven by misery, hunger, violence, wars, ethnic rivalries, but also by the desire for a better life."