Pope Francis in Assisi, Italy, Sept. 20. The World Jewish Congress said on Sept. 26 that Pope Francis said in a meeting its delegation that integration of migrants is crucial. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope tells World Jewish Congress that integration of migrants is crucial

By  Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
  • September 27, 2016

VATICAN CITY – Leaders of the World Jewish Congress said that Pope Francis told them everyone needs to speak out against brutality and help ensure that migrants are better integrated.

The Pope welcomed a delegation of the international advocacy organization, which represents Jewish communities in 100 countries. They met Sept. 26 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where the pope lives.

While the Vatican only announced that the Pope had the early evening meeting, the congress issued a statement Sept. 27.

The congress' statement said the Pope talked to them about the challenges of promoting peace and about the refugee crisis, commenting that Europe has closed itself up and forgotten it is enriched by migrants. It said the Pope told them integrating migrants in their host communities was important and that those behind the March terrorist attacks in Belgium were not properly integrated.

The Pope said that Christians and Jews need to speak out against brutality, advocate for peace and bring more kindness and friendliness to the world, according to the congress' statement.

It also said the Pope wished all Jewish people a "sweet" New Year ahead of the start of Rosh Hashanah Oct. 2.

Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said he told Pope Francis: "We Jews have all been immigrants. We understand the situation the immigrants find themselves in." Lauder also added, "We pray for peace. We need to live in peace."

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