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Pope Francis: audience, “I don’t like the word ‘migrants’, it’s an adjective”. “Migrant persons” sounds better

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

“I don’t like the word ‘migrants’, I prefer the phrase ‘migrant persons’”. This was said by the Pope, off the cuff, at today’s audience, which was focussed on his recent trip to Morocco, a country where “the Church is very busy supporting migrants”. “Migrants is an adjective, people are substantives”, Francis went on, off the cuff: “We have fallen into the culture of the adjective, we use lots of adjectives, and so many times we forget substantives, that is, substance”, he warned. “Adjectives have to be linked to persons”, said the Pope, who asked everyone to say: “A migrant person”. “So, this is respectful – he commented – so we won’t fall into this culture of the adjective, which is too liquid, too gaseous”. In his trip to Morocco, Francis pointed out, “I focussed on the migration crisis both by speaking with the authorities and, above all, at a specific meeting about migrants. Some of them testified that the emigrant’s life changes and becomes human again when he finds a community that accepts him as a person. This is essential”. “It was actually in Marrakech, in Morocco, that the ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’ was ratified last December”, pointed out the Pope, defining it as “an important step for the international community to start taking responsibility”. “As the Holy See, we have given our contribution, which can be summed up in four verbs: accepting migrants, protecting migrants, valuing migrants, and including migrants in society”, he went on: “This is not about patronising them with our support programmes, this is about walking together through these four steps to build cities and countries that, while preserving their own cultural and religious identities, can embrace diversity and value them in the name of human fraternity”.


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