Pope Francis said Friday he dreamed of a Europe in which “being a migrant is not a crime”, as he urged EU leaders to “tear down the walls” and build a fairer society.
Invoking the memory of the EU founding fathers’ pursuit of integration in the aftermath of World War II, the pontiff said they inspired because they had “dared to change radically the models” that had led to war.
“Today more than ever, their vision inspires us to build bridges and tear down walls,” he told a Vatican audience including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been at the centre of the EU’s attempts to resolve its biggest refugee crisis since the war ended in 1945.
And in a rhetorical flourish with echoes of Martin Luther-King’s legendary ‘I have a dream’ speech, the pope said he dreamed of a new European humanism that embraced the poor, the elderly, the young and the sick.
“I dream of a Europe where being a migrant is not a crime but a summons to greater commitment on behalf of the dignity of every human being,” he said.