Pope Francis talks to reporters on the plane returning to Rome from France. He stressed that good immigration management is an asset and expressed his views on euthanasia, warning against ideological colonization that destroys human life. Regarding Ukraine, he said they cannot joke about their martyrdom.
(Vatican News Network) Pope Francis ended his visit to Marseille on September 23 and returned to Rome. In a traditional in-flight press conference, Pope Francis spoke to reporters on three topics: immigration, euthanasia and the crisis in Ukraine. The Pope stressed that Marseille is a multicultural city that welcomes and respects all cultures, which is a message to Europe.
Pope Francis says good immigration management is an asset. He noted that while the issue of immigration may not have received enough attention in the past, it is now better understood. He mentioned former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s view that one way to solve the immigration problem is to go to Africa and reduce immigration by improving the living standards of African people. The Pope reiterated that “immigrants should be received, accompanied, promoted and integrated”. We cannot play ping pong with sending migrants back because doing so would leave them in the hands of ruthless human traffickers.
From another perspective, “Europe also needs labor. Well-guided immigration is an asset. Let us think about immigration policy and make it more productive, which will be of great benefit to us.”
Returning to Marseille, the city he visited this time, the Pope said that Marseille is a civilized city with multiculturalism and a port of immigration. From there prisoners used to travel to Cayenne. “Muslims, Jews, Christians coexist, it’s a culture of mutual help. This is a port that sends a message to Europe: Marseille welcomes you, it accepts and respects you, and integrates without denying the identity of each people.”
In a conversation with reporters, Pope Francis delved into the issue of euthanasia. Pope Francis made it clear that life should not be played with, and that euthanasia is not only a matter of faith, but also a matter of human nature, and there is an “ugly empathy” behind it. Pope Francis has warned that people may choose “humane euthanasia” because of the desire for a pain-free life. He cited Robert Benson’s book “The Lord of the World” to illustrate this point. The book describes a future world in which all difference and suffering are eliminated, including selective reproduction and euthanasia.
“Today,” the Pope said, “we must be wary of the colonization of ideologies that destroy human life and oppose it. For example, today the value of the life of the elderly is ignored; when the real wealth of humanity lies in the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. In dialogue… it is ignored: they are old and no longer important.” For this reason, the Pope emphasized that “life must not be played with”.
The last topic was Ukraine, and the Pope confessed to feeling some “frustration” even though the Vatican Council of State was doing everything it could to help resolve the issue. Here, the Pope is particularly concerned about the impact of the arms trade on Ukraine. He quoted an economist as saying: “Today the most profitable investment is the arms factory, that is, the factory of death!” The Pope finally said that the Ukrainian people “suffered They have suffered many, many sufferings, and they are a martyred nation. But we cannot make fun of their martyrdom, we must help them solve their problems in the most realistic possible way.”
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