The situation around the world with the displacement of many refugees seeking new lives to escape political and religious persecution illustrates how interwoven our global society has become. The vast distances between countries has been mitigated in recent years with advances in transportation and the reduction of countries borders to merely symbolic geographic designations on GPS indicators. The great migrations taking place across the Middle East and in some areas of Asia indicates the great necessity towards a evolving global awareness that unites all peoples not just by religious creed or political beliefs, but a unity based upon fundamental human principles of life and freedom. Thousands of refugees are flooding into Europe because of persecution based on multiple reasons that are extremely complex to understand. However, in addition to persecution based on Islamic extremism against Christians, the most precious resources of human life, food and the right to live in freedom are the greatest factors being deprived from all of the migrating peoples towards new lives in Europe. The ongoing and growing situation of crisis is a global prompt that demands the attention of all global rights organizations and action of all faiths and denominations to act accordingly with charity towards everyone and humanitarian aid to feed, shelter and assist fleeing refugees in developing new lives after their political and social displacement from their countries of origin. The ignominious sufferings and ordeals imposed on all of the suffering peoples of the Middle East through political and theocratic warfare signifies not just an upheaval for those directly affected, it resounds as a worldwide urgency that demands resolution immediately. Persecution of minority groups because of race, creed or ethnic persuasion is nothing new to the world community. What is new is the increasing terror and senseless violence that permeates this modern forced migration of refugees because of religious intolerance. The situation in the Middle East has always preserved a modicum of precarious peace and tranquility. However that precious balance between polite tolerance and outright injustices is broken, perhaps permanently. Recently, Pope Francis called upon all European countries to welcome persecuted refugees to the European community with open arms and open hearts. Both aspects of the papal request come at a most appropriate time, namely just prior to Pope Francis’ address to the United Nations during his apostolic journey to visit the United States. The plights of the poor and the disenfranchised are the vanguard of Pope Francis’ papacy and the recent mass migration of refugees into Europe is perhaps the most obvious example of a modern Exodus of peoples because of their faith, diminishing natural resources and increasing political and cultural instability in a part of the world that cries out for justice and stability.
Increasingly, the message of the global Catholic community under the papacy of Pope Francis has been one that proclaims the need to recognize the global community as a family despite our external differences. This message is no surprise as Pope Francis visits Philadelphia to celebrate the human family with his presence. Most significantly is the transcendence of Francis’ message to the entire world, we are indeed a global family and critically in need of a father’s voice to make the world aware of the horrific transgressions that effect the global family of nations on a daily basis. Poverty, depletion of natural resources, violence between cultures and the increasing disassociation of humanity from humanity is the hallmark of a world that is experiencing broken promises, fragile peace and fading hopes because of society’s inhumanity against itself. The tragedies of the events of the Second World War were the monumental initiatives that inspired the United Nations. Seventy years have passed since the end of the Second World War and despite the best efforts of society, genocide and humanitarian degradation continue to proliferate our global village. With certitude in light of the past, the experiences of the present and with positive expectations of the future the world needs to embrace the message that demands global peace and unity for all peoples before the ignominious realities of religious, cultural and social differences poise the world once again for a showdown with global disharmony and violence. In anticipation of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, his unprecedented address to a joint session of the American Congress and as the fourth Pope to address the United Nations let all of us join in solidarity with the poor and suffering of the world and offer tangible solutions towards peace and justice. The world needs the message Pope Francis brings of hope, not one that dwells on fragile peace and broken promises.