(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday told the bishops of Slovakia the Church is called to receive migrants “in a spirit of charity and respect for the human person,” while, at the same time, necessarily observing the law.
The Holy Father was meeting the bishops as part of their ad limina visit to Rome. He held an informal discussion with them, while presenting them his speech in written form.
“It is desirable for the Slovak people to maintain their cultural identity and heritage of ethical and spiritual values, which is closely linked to the Catholic tradition,” Pope Francis said.
He said this was necessary for the country to contribute to a “sincere and fruitful dialogue” on the continent and in the world, including on such issues as the dignity of human life and the essential role of the family.
“Faced with the prospect of an ever-expanding multicultural environment, we must assume an attitude of mutual respect in favour of encounter,” Pope Francis said.
“In our day, it is even more necessary to illuminate the path of people with Christian principles, seizing the opportunity the current situation offers to develop a new evangelization, which, with a new language, makes it easier to understand Christ’s message,” he continued.
Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for what the bishops are doing to support the family, “which faces many difficulties, and is subject to many dangers.”
He encouraged the establishment of family ministries at the national and diocesan level, which helps even broken families, especially where there are children.
“As part of the pastoral care of the family, it is necessary to appreciate young people, the hope of the Church and society,” said the Holy Father. “In them, there beats a strong desire to serve others and to work for solidarity, which requires the guidance and confidence of their pastors for it to become a living encounter with Christ, in a committed project to spread the Gospel.”
Pope Francis added that despite the temptations to “hedonism, mediocrity, and instant success,” young people do not allow themselves to be easily intimidated by difficulties, and are particularly sensitive to unreserved commitment, when presented with the true meaning of life.
“Therefore, they need to have from you a clear instructions about doctrine and morals, to build in the city of man, the city of God,” he said.