Papal Praise for Action on Behalf of Border Migrants
Years of actions to make “humane, just and workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality” finally attracted notable attention. Kino Border Initiative, a Jesuit initiative, received papal praise. Pope Francis, also a Jesuit, sent a letter to commend Kino Border Initiative’s work. In his letter and public comments, Pope Francis decried that the conditions during border crossing to be inhuman while lauded Arizonan teens’ effort as “touched my heart.” This move by pope is timely and interesting for immigration debate in the United States.
Issuing letter to fellow members in the order of Jesuit should surprise no one. Though Pope Francis is the first Jesuit ever, and many popes have written many letters to his own order within the Catholic church. However, the selection of this particular group is quite telling. The Pope wishes to show care for the inhuman condition (prevalent in many parts of the world and the United States) and migration issues at the U.S.-Mexico order. As a religious leader, his way is to reach out to students, the body and souls of this humanitarian initiative, and express support in spirit.
By showing support to the students in Arizona, Pope Francis fulfilled expectation of his role as a Jesuit, world leader and a religious leader. As the first Jesuit Pope, he should show some support. As a world leader, he should care for humanitarian conditions in other parts of the world, especially where disparity between advanced standard of living and poverty is sharp. U.S.-Mexico border is such a place. As a religious leader, he, of all people, should articulate concern of humanity and charity in Catholic terms. Issuance of his letter fulfilled all three goals.
According to the Guardian on Feb. 5, 2015, had been invited to address the Congress on September 24, 2015. The same article further reported that Pope Francis currently plans to enter the United States through Mexico.
He sure will be the first pope to enter the U.S. through Mexican border. Immigration concern, reasonably, may be mentioned, or even discussed, in his speech. Given the ISIS crisis, which will only worsen at least in the near future, however, such an expectation may be unrealistic.