Marcelo Suárez-Orozco: Commentary in U.S. News & World Report on Pope Francis’s Meeting with President Trump

Writing from Vatican City, the Wasserman Dean observes the need to build bridges, not walls in addressing the global migration and refugee crisis.

Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco has written a commentary for U.S. News & World Report on the meeting of Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Vatican this week. Suárez-Orozco, who is currently participating in a meeting at the Vatican on the global crisis of migrants and refugees, highlighted the metaphors of walls and bridges as “the defining metaphors for our times.”

“The emotional center of Trump’s electoral campaign was building the wall,” writes Suárez-Orozco. “In the president’s world of walls, immigrants and refugees are menacing criminals, rapists and terrorists; bad hombres to be kept away, banned and banished. Beyond that the president’s wall and his capricious travel ban codify the logic of exclusion and the practice of indifference.

“For Francis, building bridges reveals an entirely different ethic. When he appealed to “the parishes, the religious communities, the monasteries and sanctuaries of all Europe to … take in one family of refugees,” he invoked a 2,000-year–old habitus of care – caritas in the biblical tradition.”

In January, Suárez-Orozco and the Pontifical Academies of Science and Social Science hosted an international Workshop on Humanitarianism and Mass Migration at UCLA. A book on findings from the workshop is to be released this fall.

To read, “Build Bridges, Not Walls” in U.S. News & World Report, click here.
Above: The Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica from the Ponte Umberto I on the Tiber River.

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