Pacem In Terris 103-104: The Problem of Political Refugees

Pope John calls out political powers (one hesitates to call it leadership) who have oppressed people to the point of making migration from home a necessity:

103. The deep feelings of paternal love for all (hu)mankind which God has implanted in Our heart makes it impossible for Us to view without bitter anguish of spirit the plight of those who for political reasons have been exiled from their own homelands. There are great numbers of such refugees at the present time, and many are the sufferings—the incredible sufferings—to which they are constantly exposed.

104. Here surely is our proof that, in defining the scope of a just freedom within which individual citizens may live lives worthy of their human dignity, the rulers of some nations have been far too restrictive. Sometimes in States of this kind the very right to freedom is called in question, and even flatly denied. We have here a complete reversal of the right order of society, for the whole raison d’etre of public authority is to safeguard the interests of the community. Its sovereign duty is to recognize the noble realm of freedom and protect its rights.

This condemnation is about right. The interests of the greater community are paramount–the whole reason authority exists in the first place.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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