On World Day of Immigrants and Refugees

Pope Calls for a “Proper Balance” Vis-à-vis Identity of Peoples

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 16, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today when praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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1. Today the Church celebrates the World Day of Immigrants and Refugees. In the message that I wrote for this occasion I wished to emphasize the importance of integration among peoples, which calls for a proper balance between respect for their own identity and recognition of that of others.

To all immigrants I send a cordial greeting and I wish that through dialogue, sympathy and comprehension between cultures grows.

2. Preceded by the important Day for Judeo-Christian Dialogue, the day after tomorrow, Jan. 18, will begin the annual Week of Pray for Christian Unity, that has as its theme “Christ, Only Foundation of the Church” (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:1-23).

I invite every community to offer significant gestures of meeting and ecumenical dialogue and to implore God for the gift of full unity among all the disciples of Christ.

3. Let us confide in Holy Mary these important ecclesial events. May her maternal intercession help Christians to be of one heart and one soul (cf. Acts 4:32) and that all people grow in solidarity to build a world of peace.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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