|(Photo: Daniel Schwen)|
In Emma Lazarus' poem The New Colossus, which graces the Statue of Liberty's pedestal, Lazarus compares the compassionate and welcoming Lady of the Harbor with the proud and arrogant Colossus of old.
Whereas Lazarus dubs the original Colossus a "brazen giant of Greek fame," she heralds Lady Liberty as the "Mother of Exiles." The poet then continues with this now-famous plea: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…
Pope Francis is now issuing his own plea for today's "huddled masses." Reuters reports that during a private audience with refugees at Rome's Jesuit Astalli Centre, the Pope stated: Empty convents and monasteries should not be turned into hotels by the Church to earn money… (the buildings) are not ours, they are for the flesh of Christ, which is what the refugees are.
The Pope has also emphasized that refugees "must be embraced rather than feared." Along with that, he has condemned the indifference that often occurs towards those "seeking a better life."
Copyright September 11, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved