2018 WORLD DAY OF PEACE MESSAGE
Every year since Pope Paul VI began the tradition in 1968 the Holy Father has offered an annual World Day of Peace message on the beginning of the year. This year Pope Francis offers the message to migrants and refugees as men and women in search of peace. The message highlights a social concern for our church on the causes of displacement and global immigration as well as a call to action for the global Catholic community to “embrace all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands.”
Pope Francis’ message offers a powerful reminder to us of the principle of solidarity which is part of our Catholic social tradition.
“The wisdom of faith fosters a contemplative gaze that recognizes that all of us “belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth, whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.”
In the spirit of solidarity Pope Francis asks us to adopt the following response to the migrant and refugee community:
- A spirit of “Welcoming” that “calls for expanding legal pathways for entry and no longer pushing migrants and displaced people towards countries where they face persecution and violence.
- A spirit of “Protecting” that “has to do with our duty to recognize and defend the inviolable dignity of those who flee real dangers in search of asylum and to prevent their being exploited.”
- A spirit of “Promoting” that “entails supporting the integral human development of migrants and refugees… ensuring access to all levels of education for children and young people.”
- A spirit of “Integrating” “…allowing refugees and migrants to participate fully in the life of the society that welcomes them.”