Message from Pope Francis – Week 3

Why so many refugees and migrants?


As he looked to the Great Jubilee marking the passage of two thousand years since the proclamation of peace by the angels in Bethlehem, Saint John Paul II pointed to the increased numbers of displaced persons as one of the consequences of the “endless and horrifying sequence of wars, conflicts, genocides and ethnic cleansings” that had characterized the twentieth century.  To this date, the new century has registered no real breakthrough: armed conflict and other forms of organized violence continue to trigger the movement of people within national borders and beyond.


Yet people migrate for other reasons as well, principally because they “desire a better life, and not infrequently try to leave behind the ‘hopelessness’ of an unpromising future.”  They set out to join their families or to seek professional or educational opportunities , for those who cannot enjoy these rights do not live in peace.  Furthermore, as I noted in the Encyclical Laudato Si , there has been “a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation.”