“Don't lose your memory," the Pope replied. “You’re a nation of migrants, of Irish migrants and Italian migrants. The Irish brought you whiskey and the Italians brought you the mafia.”
In order for migrants not to be seen as “a pebble in the shoe,” the Pope called for their integration through education and insertion into the labor force. He spoke on this subject while receiving a delegation of the “Global Solidarity Fund” Catholic network on May 25, 2022, at the Vatican. “Europe needs migrants” for its development, he said during the audience.
A non-integrated migrant is half-way on along the road… and that’s dangerous.
“A non-integrated migrant is half-way on along the road… and that’s dangerous,” the pope said in an impromptu speech to religious and business leaders committed to sustainable development. “It’s dangerous for him, poor man, because he will always be a beggar. It’s also dangerous for everyone,” explained the 85-year-old pontiff, citing once again the attack in Zaventem, Belgium (2016), perpetrated by “children of migrants who are not integrated, ‘ghettoized.'”
“The majority of us are children or grandchildren of migrants,” the pope then observed, recounting an anecdote: “Once, someone from the United States told me, ‘But no, we aren’t migrants; we’re already rooted here!’” “Don’t lose your memory,” the Pope replied. “You’re a nation of migrants, of Irish migrants and Italian migrants. The Irish brought you whiskey and the Italians brought you the mafia.”
“Europe needs migrants”
“Today Europe needs migrants for serious development,” the Bishop of Rome insisted again, worrying about the demographic winter of the continent, where the future looks “ever more restricted.” Welcoming migrants is not a matter of “giving alms” but of “brotherhood,” he said.
Finally, the head of the Catholic Church wished for “a new type of economy” that is neither a legacy of the Enlightenment nor a legacy of communism. This economy must be “shared by the people,” “communitarian,” and finally “Christian,” he said, paying homage to the economist Mariana Mazzucato, to whose work he referred.
Inspired by Pope Francis’ teaching and founded in 2019, the “Global Solidarity Fund” promotes partnerships between Catholic communities, businesses, investors, and international organizations. The network is currently present at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, held May 22-26.