Fratelli tutti

We began Chapter 4 last week. We look at the first of the sub-sections in that chapter today: ‘Borders and their Limits’. In this sub-section, Pope Francis acknowledges that the ideal situation would be that “unnecessary migration ought to be avoided; this entails creating in countries of origin the conditions needed for a dignified life and integral development”. Recognising that the ideal doesn’t exist, in the section he looks at the different situations of migrants and how they should be treated in the circumstances in which they find themselves. In n.130 the pope refers to those who are ‘fleeing grave humanitarian crisis’. He mentions a number of things that could be improved with regard to the needs of those caught in these circumstances. They are far from the direct provision system we have had here for years. Regarding those who have already settled into ‘the fabric of life’ he suggests moving towards offering citizenship and moving away from a tendency to speak about minorities but recognise all with equal rights and dignity. In n.132 he suggests how this should be ‘the fruit of a common effort’: ‘Thus, there is ‘a need for mid-term and long-term planning which is not limited to emergency responses. Such planning should include effective assistance for integrating migrants in their receiving countries, while also promoting the development of their countries of origin through policies inspired by solidarity, yet not linking assistance to ideological strategies and practices alien or contrary to the cultures of the peoples being assisted. ’

If alien or contrary strategies to the cultures are applied it is just a new form of colonialism and leads to repression of the people who are supposedly being given aid.