Society must not close its heart to migrants in search of a better life, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said on Sunday, calling for a culture of community.

The Archbishop was delivering homily during the celebration of the feast of Christ the King, at the basilica of Christ the King in Paola. 

He reflected on some of the points raised in Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (All Brothers), published in October. In the document, the Pope reflects on the themes of fraternity and social friendship and laments the lack of cohesion and sense of solidarity in the world. 

Expanding on the Pope’s themes, Scicluna said that if the people of Malta and Gozo had to reflect on the teachings, they would find that this would include enhancing solidarity with foreigners and migrants who cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life. 

“Love asks of us not to build walls when we say we are going to welcome someone. The Pope challenges us to welcome everyone,” Scicluna said. 

“For us people of Malta and Gozo, this might include not only foreigners, but people who at this very moment may be crossing the Mediterranean in search of a better alternative to their lives, which are in danger.” 

“We can never close our hearts to them. While it is our right to ask for solidarity from other countries, especially from Europe,  we cannot close off our hearts and must help where and when we can.” 

The Archbishop said that the Pope’s message insisted on a culture of community and welcoming.

“The temptation is to take care of ourselves and stop there. But if we start thinking like a community, the perspective changes,” Scicluna said.  

Reflecting on the roles of leadership, the Archbishop said that the Pope called for politicians to have a concrete spirit of solidarity and said that the State must be the actor that facilitates solidarity between nations and people. 

“We have to open our hearts to the whole world and not find our corner, close ourselves off and forget that we are members of a big family,” Scicluna said. 

“We discover the beauty of our roots when we understand that we are but one tree in a very large garden. We are not alone.” 

He said that good politics in the spirit of solidarity served the common good of all, did not look only to secure votes, helped people grow, promoted a sustainable, productive and creative economy with an open mind for dialogue and social friendship. 

The Archbishop also spoke on social media and urged all to show restraint when commenting and talking about others online. 

“To really dialogue means to be close to one another and express ourselves, to listen and look at each other, to truly get to know one another and search for the things which connect us,” Scicluna said.

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