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“Well-being” can actually be a dangerous state to aim for, warned Pope Francis during an audience with members of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo on October 29 at the Vatican.
While he had a prepared text, the Sovereign Pontiff left it aside to improvise an entire speech centered on welcoming foreigners.
Migrants, he insisted, also participate in the construction of their host countries. For example, the pope’s country of birth, Argentina, is a “cocktail of migrants,” explained this “son of migrants” in his own words.
However, in the current climate of “closure” towards foreigners, we must teach people to welcome them better, said the Successor of Peter. He then warned against a society of “suicidal well-being,” which leads to “closing the doors” to migrants in order “not to be disturbed.”
And beyond that, warned the pontiff, “well-being” can oppose fertility, which is shown in particular by the decline of the birth rate in developed countries.
The head of the Catholic Church thanked the congregation for their service to migrants. He noted in particular that he knew and benefited from the help of the Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina), from 1998 to 2013.
These religious have been working alongside migrants in some 30 countries since 1887.