We note this item from the Catholic Tablet:
“Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has said that defending migration was a misinterpretation of Gospels by priests and bishops ‘bewitched’ by political and social issues.
“His interview with the French magazine ‘Valeurs Actuelles’ appeared last weekend, around the same time as Pope Francis spoke up for migrants during his visit to Morocco and said politicians who build walls to keep them out would become prisoners of those barriers.
“’It is better to help people flourish in their culture than to encourage them to come to a Europe in full decadence,’ he said. “It is a false exegesis to use the word of God to promote migration. God never wanted these heartbreaks.’”
And so let us ask ourselves: might we be more charitable helping people where they are, aiding them in their own land, if possible, in development of agriculture, hygiene, and local economics, in education, in Christianity, than in simply letting them into countries that already have worked with diligence at establishing orderly environs? Borders should be honored.
One must consider that some are meant to migrate — yes — but that instead of fleeing countries, impoverished and chaotic countries often can be rebuilt, with Western ingenuity (and generosity — which has been missing: thus the influx).
Let’s be fair both to migrants and residents of lands to which they are migrating: if by coming across the border, they are further developing themselves, to the point of contributing to those societies, or fleeing dangerous untenable starvational situations, yes: let us embrace them with Christian love, no matter the number. If, as in other cases, migrants are taking advantage of host nations, committing crime, littering the landscape, and looking to tap into public funds, this is unfair to those who have diligently (and in a Christian way) built working lives in advanced nations. Their living places should not be compromised. At the same time, our rich should not be hoarding wealth in a way that has become almost inconceivable — with single multi-billionaires able, if they wanted, to feed entire starving nations); none of us should be. We could have helped third-world nations much more than we have. And now it is heartbreaking to see the images of kids in caravans.
A balance is needed here, a compromise between Cardinal Sarah’s camp of justice and the camp of the Holy Father and mercy.
Both Mercy and discipline — justice — seem like the right recipe. Sometimes the greatest mercy is in discipline. The key word, along with love, is balance, in all things. Balance. Let us always pray for Christian love and the balance of the Cross.