Pope calls for 'sensitivity, justice' on migrants

In speech to visiting Slovakian bishops

(ANSA) - Vatican City, November 12 - Pope Francis said Thursday the ongoing asylum seeker crisis must be dealt with in a spirit of justice and sensitivity.
    "We must exercise sensitivity and a sense of justice in tackling migration, an opportunity that has become a sign of the times," he said in a speech to visiting Slovakian bishops.
    The clergymen are at the Vatican for an ad limina visit, which means bishops' obligation of visiting the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul and of meeting with the pope to report on the state of their dioceses every five years.
    "In view of an ever more extensively multicultural environment, we must take on attitudes of respect in order to foster mutual contact," Francis said.
    Slovakia is one of four countries - along with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania - staunchly opposing an EU plan to share out incoming asylum seekers among member states.
    Under the plan to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers who are now in Greece and Italy, Slovakia would reportedly have to take in 802 people.
    Also on Thursday, the pontiff received 5,000 followers of Father Luigi Guanella (1842-1915), who was beatified in 1964 by Pope Paul VI and canonized a saint on October 23, 2011, by Pope Benedict XVI.
    The northern Italian priest founded several institutes and religious communities catering to the needs of the poor.
    "Misery can't wait," the pope told Guanella's followers. He urged them to trust that God is a father not a master, and to avoid focusing only on immediate concerns or conversely, to help those distant while overlooking those nearby.
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