VATICAN CITY (IANS/AKI) To truly welcome migrants, host nations must know how many they can integrate, Pope Francis said on Tuesday.
“Each country must know the number of migrants it is capable of receiving,” Francis said in an interview with a magazine sponsored by Catholic charity Caritas.
“We cannot welcome people if we are not able to integrate them,” he told ‘Scarp de tenis’ (Sneakers) magazine for homeless people living in Milan.
Integrated migrants take part into the life of the host country and enrich it while respecting its culture and receiving reciprocal respect for their own, the pontiff said.
“Integration is a very difficult task,” Francis stated.
He urged Catholics to put themselves in the other person’s shoes even if they find this hard, as it is a way of freeing ourselves from egoism.
“In the shoes of the other, we learn to have a great capacity for understanding, for getting to know difficult situations.
“Those arriving in Europe are fleeing war or hunger… they have the right to emigrate and to be welcomed and helped,” the pontiff said, claiming that wealthy nations are also blame for their plight.
“In some way, we are guilty, because we exploit their lands but do not make and kind of investment from which they may benefit,” Francis said.