Pope Francis urges communities to set aside fears and welcome immigrants
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Pope Francis urged communities to welcome migrants and refugees during a special Mass on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

He said that while both established communities and immigrants may have fears of the other, it was important to welcome migrants and to help them integrate into communities, HuffPost reported.


“Local communities are sometimes afraid that the newly arrived will disturb the established order, will ‘steal’ something they have long labored to build up,” Francis said, adding that the “newly arrived ... are afraid of confrontation, judgement, discrimination, failure.”

“Having doubts and fears is not a sin. The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection,” he said.

The pope said that immigrants must “know and respect the laws, the culture and the traditions of the countries that take them in.”

At the same time, Francis urged communities “to open themselves without prejudices to [newcomers’] rich diversity, to understand the hopes and potential of the newly arrived as well as their fears and vulnerabilities.”

Francis has repeatedly spoken out in support of migrants and refugees. Last year, he called on the Catholic Church to help defend the rights of immigrants.

And in November he slammed politicians who spread fear, violence and racism around immigrants and  said they should adopt “practical measures” to welcome them instead.

Francis has also spoken out against President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE’s promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the proposal is “not Christian."