Populorum Progressio 67-69: Welcoming The Stranger

When Pope Paul VI speaks of “Welcoming the Stranger,” we are speaking of humane immigration policy:

67. We cannot insist too much on the duty of giving foreigners a hospitable reception. It is a duty imposed by human solidarity and by Christian charity, and it is incumbent upon families and educational institutions in the host nations.

Form new generations well: good advice here:

Young people, in particular, must be given a warm reception; more and more families and hostels must open their doors to them. This must be done, first of all, that they may be shielded from feelings of loneliness, distress and despair that would sap their strength. It is also necessary so that they may be guarded against the corrupting influence of their new surroundings, where the contrast between the dire poverty of their homeland and the lavish luxury of their present surroundings is, as it were, forced upon them.

More dangerous than that would be the traffickers and corruption in some homelands.

And finally, it must be done so that they may be protected from subversive notions and temptations to violence, which gain headway in their minds when they ponder their “wretched plight.” (Cf. Rerum Novarum 11) In short, they should be welcomed in the spirit of (familial) love, so that the concrete example of wholesome living may give them a high opinion of authentic Christian charity and of spiritual values.

I suspect the antigospel witness of nationalism and racism is dong incalculable damage to the notion authentic charity can be found in so-called Christian nations.

68. We are deeply distressed by what happens to many of these young people. They come to wealthier nations to acquire scientific knowledge, professional training, and a high-quality education that will enable them to serve their own land with greater effectiveness. They do get a fine education, but very often they lose their respect for the priceless cultural heritage of their native land.

What Pope Francis laments as a loss of one’s cultural roots.

69. Emigrant workers should also be given a warm welcome. Their living conditions are often inhuman, and they must scrimp on their earnings in order to send help to their families who have remained behind in their native land in poverty.

Fifty years later, we are still in the same situation. First worlders accept the labor they themselves would not do, and the products of such work. But not the people.

This encyclical letter is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and can be found in its entirety at this link.

The image is of Lady Justice at the Central Criminal Court of London.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Populorum Progressio, social justice. Bookmark the permalink.

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