Pope Francis met with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in a private audience at the Vatican on Friday and discussed issues linked to the movement of people. Source: Vatican News.
Mr Grandi praised the Pope for his holistic approach to problem of global displacement of people and the needs of the most vulnerable, including those forced to flee their homes, as expressed in the encyclical letter, Fratelli Tutti.
After the audience, Mr Grandi said it was a very important meeting because the Holy Father “is probably today, in the world, one of the greatest champions of the cause of the most vulnerable”, particularly refugees and migrants.
The two discussed challenges regarding the protection of refugees around the world, such as the current difficult context, increasing conflicts and other causes of people fleeing. They spoke about specific areas, such as Central America, Venezuela and Lebanon.
“This and others were the topic of our conversation but most importantly, I found once again in the message of the Pope the inspiration that we all need to be better in how we deal with others, especially the poor,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees told Vatican News.
Mr Grandi said he highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation between the Holy See and the UNHCR, in welcoming, protecting and integrating asylum-seekers and refugees.
“Pope Francis is the voice of the most marginalised people: refugees, the forcibly displaced and migrants,” Mr Grandi said. “His tireless commitment has made a concrete difference in the response to those who are fleeing major humanitarian crises, by providing a safe place and effective assistance for integrating the most vulnerable in receiving countries.”
Pope and UN refugee agency chief discuss people on the move (Vatican News)