Christmas is a time for giving and this year, Pope Francis did something for poor immigrants that a conservative wouldn’t be caught dead doing here in America.
Pope Francis gave a special Christmas gift to 2,000 poor immigrants.
On December 14th, Pope Francis had a special Christmas gift delivered to 2,000 poor immigrants at a shelter operated by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Rome. According to Catholic News Agency,
“Each practical gift package consisted of a small envelope containing a Christmas card signed by Pope Francis, postal stamps, a pre-paid international calling card, and a free day-pass for Rome’s metro.”
The presents will help each immigrant contact loved ones during the holiday season. Pope Francis literally gave them the gift of family for Christmas.
The world has watched as Pope Francis has set an incredible example of compassionate Christianity. He has made love, sharing, and caring the prime focus of his tenure since becoming the pontiff in March. So, a generous act such as this probably comes as no surprise to those who have been following Pope Francis’ words and actions.
“The immigrants received the presents with love and were thankful for the opportunity to call and write their loved ones during the Christmas season,” stated Sister Michelle of the Dono di Maria shelter, which is located close to the Vatican.
Catholic News Agency says most of the immigrants “come in total poverty, fleeing from regions in Africa plagued by armed conflict or from the scourge of poverty and human trafficking in Asia and Eastern Europe.”
Pope Francis has been a strong voice in support of immigrants.
A Christmas present from the pontiff means a lot to a person who has had to flee their homeland in fear and desperation with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. And Pope Francis has done more than simply give gifts to them. Since becoming Pope, he has consistently called for better treatment of immigrants.
In September, Pope Francis said:
“Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.”
Pope Francis made a similar plea on behalf of immigrants in July.
“We have become used to the suffering of others. Has any one of us wept for these persons who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who were looking for a means of supporting their families? We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion… the church is with you in the search for a more dignified life for you and your families,” Pope Francis said.
Conservatives in America wouldn’t be caught dead doing what Pope Francis did for immigrants.
Of course, what Pope Francis has done is in stark contrast to what conservatives have done to help immigrants in the United States- which is absolutely nothing.
A major immigration reform bill that gives undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship currently awaits a vote in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. The comprehensive immigration reform bill would grant a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants who currently live in this country. Furthermore, the bill would also grant citizenship opportunities to undocumented children who were brought to America by their parents. And as an added bonus, the bill would give 250,000 deportees the chance to reunite with their families.
The greatest gift House Republicans could give to immigrants for Christmas this year would be the passage of this bill. It would reunite families, help families stop living in fear, and give them hope for the future. But they have decided not to pursue the matter this year, which means immigrants will have to wait at least until 2014 for Republicans to grow hearts. It’ll be a sad holiday season for many families across this nation.
Republicans need to grow hearts quickly.
This is another reason why Pope Francis is so important. He is one of the most vocal supporters of immigrants and is a symbol of hope among those who only seek a better life for themselves and their families. Republicans here in America may not give a damn, but the Vicar of Christ does. And given that the Pope is way more popular than the GOP right now, and the fact that 70 percent of hispanics identify as Catholic, Republicans should treat immigrants better. Especially since 71 percent of hispanics voted for Democrats in 2012. President Obama, Pope Francis, and the great majority of hispanics support compassion for immigrants and their families, while Republicans bury their hearts in hate. Clearly, Republicans do not know the meaning of Christian and family values. They certainly don’t understand the meaning of Christmas. Thankfully, Pope Francis is around to help teach them.