Holy Father Pope Francis called the Churches in Europe to combat intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia against migrants and refugees, during a meeting with national migration directors under the auspices of the Council of European Bishops Conferences or CCEE. His Holiness highlighted his deep concern to see that Catholic communities in Europe were also defensive and unwelcoming towards migrants.

As reported by Vatican Radio, Holy Father Pope Francis remarked that “We must recognize and understand the sense of unease, in light of the economic crisis which has left deep wounds in society, also the governments and communities have been ill-prepared to cope with large influxes of migrants, highlighting the limits of the European unification process.” Further, His Holiness added, “But from an ecclesiological perspective, the arrival of so many Christian brothers and sisters offers the Church in Europe an opportunity to become ever more Catholic.”

His Holiness Pope Francis concluded the message by highlighting the role of constructive dialogue with governments and reflected that the action plan should be shared with all European Bishops Conferences