December 8, 2021

Pope Francis Urges World to Follow ‘Golden Rule’ in Dealing With Refugee Crisis in Historic Address to Congress

th-49Pope Francis became the first-ever pontiff to deliver a speech before Congress on Thursday morning, imploring Democrats and Republicans, alike, to follow the “golden rule” in dealing with the ongoing refugee crisis.

The pontiff spoke of immigrants, telling the bi-partisan congressional audience to reject a “mindset of hostility” and to see immigrants as individuals, listening to their stories and responding in appropriate and humane ways.

He invoked the “golden rule,” urging individuals to treat others as they would want to be treated.

“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions,” he said. “On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children?”

He began his sweeping address by imploring politicians to look to the biblical character of Moses when looking for an example of how they should conduct their work.

“Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation,” he said. “On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being.

He continued, “Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.”

Pope Francis’ message included a warning as well as a call for cooperation, as he highlighted his fears over the “disturbing social and political situation of the world today,” and said that everyone has a responsibility to cooperate in an effort to help chaos.

“Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism,” the pontiff said. “This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.”

He encouraged everyone to respond with “hope and healing” and through “peace and justice,” calling for courage and smarts to solve the dire issues facing the world today.

“If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance,” he said. “Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good.”

The pope went on to note that his first trip to the U.S. comes at a time during which several anniversaries of Americans who helped pave a better future for the United States are being celebrated, specifically citing Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, invoking King’s march in Selma that was aimed at granting full rights to African Americans.

“That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of ‘dreams,’” he said. “Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people.”

As for Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, Pope Francis called her a “servant of God” for her “social activism” and her search for justice for those who were “oppressed.”

“Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God,” he said. ”Four representatives of the American people.”

The pope also implored everyone listening to reach out and help the poor and those in need, highlighting their challenges.

“I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope,” he said. “The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.”

And he questioned why deadly weapons are sold to those who plan to inflict suffering, noting that it all boils down to money.

“Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood,” he said. “In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”

Pope Francis then transitioned to the subject of the death penalty, affirming support for the efforts of U.S. bishops to see it abolished and instead calling for “hope and the goal of rehabilitation.”

A familiar and expected theme in the address was the environment, citing challenges that need to be addressed and calling for individuals to work against the “most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.”

Source: The Blaze