Pope Francis urged European countries to tear down fences meant to keep migrants out and instead commit to “an open and multicultural society.”
Francis made the remarks Friday during his acceptance speech in Rome for receiving the Charlemagne Prize of Aachen for his services to Europe. Speaking in front of some the European Union’s leaders, the pontiff took the opportunity to once again denounce some countries’ handling of the crisis.
“I dream of a Europe where being a migrant is not a crime but a summons to greater commitment on behalf of the dignity of every human being,” he said. “Europe should be an open and multicultural society, welcoming refugees and helping young people start a family by offering adequate job opportunities.”
The Pope is particularly skeptical of the highly successful approach of erecting razor-wired fences to keep migrants out. The most notable examples where fences have reduced, and almost eliminated, migrant influx are in Hungary and Macedonia.
Francis reminded the audience of the EU’s founding principal: to build and maintain peace on the continent.
“Today, more than ever, their vision inspires us to build bridges and tear down walls,” he said. “What has happened to you, the Europe of humanism, the champion of human rights, democracy and freedom?”
Cross-posted from The Daily Caller.
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