Pope: Helping refugees means converting hearts hardened against them
With so much suffering, poverty and exploitation in the world, missionary work must also include reaching out to people whose hearts are closed to receiving immigrants and refugees, Pope Francis told Jesuits in Myanmar.
“Unfortunately, in Europe there are countries that have chosen to close their borders. The most painful thing is that to take such a decision they had to close their hearts,” he said during a private audience on 29th November in the chapel of the archbishop’s house in Yangon.
“Our missionary work must also reach those hearts that are closed to the reception of others,” he told 31 Jesuits from different parts of Asia and Australia, who are based in Myanmar.
The Rome-based Jesuit-run journal, La Civilta Cattolica, published a transcript on 14th December from the private meeting in Myanmar and the pope’s private meeting on 1st December at the apostolic nunciature in Dhaka with Jesuits based in Bangladesh.
In both meetings, the pope listened to and answered their comments, concerns and questions, and the journal provided an English translation of the original Spanish remarks.
Picture: A mother and daughter are seen at a refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on 22nd October. (CNS photo/Hannah McKay, Reuters).