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Pope Francis condemns aggressive nationalism as harmful to migrants

Pope Francis decried Thursday aggressive nationalism in announcement of his message for this year's World Day of Migrants and Refugees. File Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI
Pope Francis decried Thursday aggressive nationalism in announcement of his message for this year's "World Day of Migrants and Refugees." File Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | License Photo

May 6 (UPI) -- Pope Francis condemned aggressive nationalism Thursday as especially harmful to vulnerable foreigners, migrants and refugees.

The pope delivered the remarks in his announcement on the theme, "Towards an Ever Wider 'We,'" for his annual message for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be commemorated on Sept. 26, Vatican News reported.

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Francis emphasized that a fracturing of the collective purpose of "we" has become evident amid the COVID-19 pandemic and "aggressive forms on nationalism."

According to Bloomberg's COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, the vaccination rate is about 25 times faster in countries with the highest incomes compared with the lowest.

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The sense of "we" the pope noted "is crumbling and cracking due to myopic and aggressive forms of nationalism and radical individualism" with foreigners, migrants, and the marginalized experiencing the most harm as they are vulnerable to "become viewed as others."

"We are all in the same boat and called to work together so that there will be no more walls that separate us, no longer others, but only a single 'we,' encompassing all of humanity," the pope stressed, appealing to people in the Catholic faith "to advance together towards an ever wider 'we.'"

"I also make this appeal to journey together towards an ever wider 'we' to all men and women, for the sake of renewing the human family, building together a future of justice and peace, and ensuring that no one is left behind," Francis added.

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Francis further explained the theme expressed his hope that "we will think no longer in terms of 'them' and 'those,' but only 'us.'"

"Ours must be a personal and collective commitment that cares for all our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer, even as we work towards a more sustainable, balanced and inclusive development," the pope stated. "A commitment that makes no distinction between natives and foreigners, between residents and guests, since it is a matter of a treasure we hold in common."

Vatican News reported last month the pope condemned those who denied aid to 130 migrants who "for two whole days begged in vain for help. Help that never came," and died attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea, as a "moment of shame."

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