” I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials, and to help them flourish in their new home. This, indeed, is what your fellow countrymen have done for generations. From the beginning, they have opened their doors to the tired, the poor, the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” (cf. Sonnet inscribed on the Statue of Liberty). These are the people whom America has made her own.”

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Pope Benedict XVI

Address to the US Bishops

Apr 16th, 2008

35 Shares

7 Responses

  1. Avatar Marie says:

    The Pope’s message in 2008 is simple, we must welcome those in need. My son shared a few observations he and his friends had from their recent backpacking adventure through Europe. Aside from the absolute beauty of the countries he visited, he noted some differences. He was taken back by the the presence of armed police in Rome. Another observation was he didn’t see this great diversity of people that is causing so many to reject the acceptance of migrants. That caused me to check some statistics. I was shocked to read these stats from 2016 (just a quick Wikipedia search) Percentage of population that is foreign born: USA 14%, Germany 14.9%, UK 13%, Canada 21.9% France 11 %, Italy 8.3%, Hungary 4.7%. Wow, I’m simply shocked, considering all the fuss, and the attitude in Italy and Hungary in particular. Is the problem migrants, or is the problem how we treat them? The only issue in Canada I am aware of is in Toronto, where so many live in projects, massive apartment buildings, one after the other, and some schools with populations of 2500+ students. Well that is just a no brainer to me. We’ve known that for 40 some years, so any country housing and schooling people in that way should not be surprised they will have conflict. Obviously that invites problems. Those however, who are welcomed and integrated into the population, as opposed to separated from the population, bring so much to a country. Why don’t we look at the success in some countries instead of feeding off of the fear? Less than 15 % of the population is foreign born and people want to stop migrants from coming? How does anyone reason that? We are obliged to open our arms.

    • Avatar carn says:

      “How does anyone reason that?”

      Cause anyone caring about reason would look how integration worked so far in Europe; and if integration failed so far, there is little reason to presume that further similar immigration finding similar conditions would not again lead to failure of integration.

      Here multiple articles by different sources about integration failure in Europe.

      For example here Spiegel in 2004 saying that integration failed:

      https://www.spiegel.de/international/integration-in-europe-how-germany-has-failed-its-immigrants-a-333899.html

      “How Germany Has Failed Its Immigrants”

      and here Foreign Affairs from 2019 saying again that integration has failed:

      https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/western-europe/2019-02-18/failure-multiculturalism

      “The United Kingdom has sought to give various ethnic communities an equal stake in the political system. Germany has encouraged immigrants to pursue separate lives in lieu of granting them citizenship. And France has rejected multicultural policies in favor of assimilationist ones. The specific outcomes have also varied: in the United Kingdom, there has been communal violence; in Germany, Turkish communities have drifted further from mainstream society; and in France, the relationship between the authorities and North African communities has become highly charged. But everywhere, the overarching consequences have been the same: fragmented societies, alienated minorities, and resentful citizenries.”

      in Germany, France and GB.

      Here Guardian saying in 2017 that European countries are failing at integration:

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/07/europe-integrate-refugees-migration-greek-island-tilos-integration

      “Europe has failed to integrate its refugees”

      If you would actually care about reason, two thoughts would enter your consideration:

      1. There has been decades long integration failures among many different European countries with different approaches to integration.

      2. If integration is often failing, then maybe one should understand why it is failing so often before discounting any scepticism about immigration in Europe as stupid racism.

      “Less than 15 % of the population is foreign born and people want to stop migrants from coming?”

      And if integration is succesful only with 2/3 you have 5% of population living in parallel societies; if integration failure was also 2/3 30 years ago and if integration failure is expected to stay that way, you will quickly have 10-20% of population living as if they were part of a different society.

      It really does not occur to you that – independent upon what causes these integration failures – that this might be a problem for societies?

      “Why don’t we look at the success in some countries instead of feeding off of the fear?”

      Cause one looks at success and at failure to estimate, whether current trends are pointing towards failure or towards success. That is what people using reason do.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        I think the important thing is it is possible to both integrate immigrants and respect and enjoy their unique cultures in the small communities they create with a larger community. Obviously Europe has its own unique challenges, but I have to assume attitude plays a part. Perhaps it has been easier in Canada because we are all considered recent immigrants regardless of when our ancestors arrived. Perhaps it is because we have always crossed cultures in marriage here. I really don’t know for certain. The flag of Montreal is a coat of arms that represents the five founding cultures that built the city; The French, British, Irish ,Scottish and the First Nations Indigenous People. Maybe this is why immigration works far better here, as no one can really lay claim to this land, at least not honestly.

        Even if it is a far greater challenge in Europe, to know it can be done, and is not only successful but welcomed in percentages far more than in Europe, a solution, and an open attitude absent of fear is likely the best approach to begin to turn failure to success.

      • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

        I do not have much time to answer these concerns but I would like to point out something to you, as a way of a thought experiment

        When you started your commenta on this blog, you were concerned about Pope Francis apparent lukewarmness on
        Pro-life teachings. When I did a 3-part series showing that that was not the case, you replied that it was not enough, and he should just spend more time talking about pro-life issues than other political issues

        During the Vigano controversy, when I pointed out that the Pope had allegedly told Vigano that the bishops should not be “ideologized”, you claimed you did not know what that meant

        In the meantime you have made many comments in many different articles stating clearly that you disagree with the Pope in many instances, and you actually think that what he says is stupid. You claim (as you did here), that you did extensive research on those topics (and, for the record, I don’t doubt that, even if I question the conclusions you have arrived at, for the reason I will tell you below)

        I have taken note of the political topics you disagree with the Pope on account of your research (I can enumerate, at the top of my head, capitalism and economic freedom; immigration and integration of immigrants; the efficacy of non-lethal means of containment turning the death penalty unnecessary; existence of anthropogenic climate change)…

        Now, what I wished to point out is this:

        Don’t you think it’s rather strange that in every single instance of disagreement with the Pope, you are in agreement with political ideologies and parties that are circumstantial allies with the pro-life movement?

        I don’t say this as an accusation, but to try to point out something that concerns me. Have you ever thought that your research on these topics might be biased? Because it is quite a coincidence if those parties and ideologies were able to “get it right” in every single instance where the Pope has allegedly said stupid things.

        And if there might be a bias somewhere, don’t you find it risky that it might be preventing your from full communion with the Vicar of Christ? I sincerely believe you would need to tackle this, otherwise you might not be able to understand Francis, no matter how much you read it

      • Avatar carn says:

        Missed that comment and the questions therein:

        “Don’t you think it’s rather strange that in every single instance of disagreement with the Pope, you are in agreement with political ideologies and parties that are circumstantial allies with the pro-life movement?”

        It would be rather strange, but i am not in every single instance in agreement with “political ideologies and parties that are circumstantial allies with the pro-life movement”. For example i am not in agreement with the Republican Party about the welfare state, various issues of worker rights, health care and generally the extent the state may regulate economy as far as i am aware about their respective positions.

        But regarding all these topics i might also be in favor of policies which Pope Francis might dislike.

        “Have you ever thought that your research on these topics might be biased?”

        Yes. But i have had enough instances in which i started from a “OMG another stupid leftist idiocy promoted by someone” and in which a single fact was in minutes sufficient to overcome that stance, cause it showed one premise i had to be wrong.

        So the best thing to do is look at the facts and compare them to one’s own premises; that reduces likelihood of bias.

        “And if there might be a bias somewhere, don’t you find it risky that it might be preventing your from full communion with the Vicar of Christ?”

        I am not aware that i am not in full communion with the Vicar of Christ. Last time i talked to some priest about my issue with some people in hierarchy, the priest did not see therein any issue of lack of communion.

        Just because i do not understand someone or consider things he says as stupid, does not mean the other person and me are in separated churches.

        “I sincerely believe you would need to tackle this, otherwise you might not be able to understand Francis, no matter how much you read it”

        I think i am well aware, which bias i would have to let go off. And i am trying, but its one of the more resistant types.

      • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

        “It would be rather strange, but i am not in every single instance in agreement with “political ideologies and parties that are circumstantial allies with the pro-life movement””

        Please note that’s not what I said. You have left aside a very importante part.

        What I said was “IN EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE OF DISAGREEMENT WITH THE POPE, you are in agreement with political ideologies and parties that are circumstantial allies with the pro-life movement.” And then proceeded to enumerate some issues which seem, for me, to be representative of what I’m talking about.
        *******************************
        “Just because i do not understand someone or consider things he says as stupid, does not mean the other person and me are in separated churches”

        I never said you were in a separated church. You seem to think that “not being in communion” means “excommunicate”, while I mean that “not being in communion” is “not communing with what someone else is saying”

        It is for me difficult to understand how you can say you are in communion with someone whose views you call “stupid”. At least, in those issues, you are not in communion, at least not in the way I understand the term.
        ************************************
        “I think i am well aware, which bias i would have to let go off. And i am trying, but its one of the more resistant types.”

        I’m glad that you are aware. And don’t worry. Just because you are aware of it, it does not mean you will overcome it overnight. But being aware of it is very good indeed.

        I will reply to the other comment I promised an answer as soon as I can. God bless.

      • Avatar carn says:

        @Pedro Gabriel

        “What I said was “IN EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE OF DISAGREEMENT WITH THE POPE, you are in agreement with political ideologies and parties that are circumstantial allies with the pro-life movement.” And then proceeded to enumerate some issues which seem, for me, to be representative of what I’m talking about.”

        I am in disagreement with the Pope – as far as i can tell – about:

        welfare state
        worker rights
        economic system
        health care

        And i am in disagreement with the US Republican Party (which are a circumstantial ally of pro-life) – as far as i can tell – about:

        welfare state
        worker rights
        economic system
        health care

        Accordingly, i have given four counterexamples to your claim.

        As one counterexample is enough for disproving “every”, your claim is false.

        “It is for me difficult to understand how you can say you are in communion with someone whose views you call “stupid”.”

        I use the Catholic definition of the term.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_communion#Full_and_partial_communion

        (wiki list the sources)

        According to that definition, i am in full communion with the Pope; especially, the definition has nothing that indicates that me considering some papal words to be stupid is in itself a problem, as long as i adhere to however best i can understand the stupid words.

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