(NewsGlobal.com)- Pope Francis attacked the rise of populism last week, calling for a commitment to the poor, homeless, and immigrants coming into Italy, according to Newsmax. He showed a commitment of his own by celebrating the Catholic Church’s World Day of the Poor by inviting 1,300 migrants to the Vatican for a special Mass and luncheon.
He railed against those who treat these migrants with indifference, calling them “prophets of doom” who spread conspiracy theories for personal gain.
“Let us not be enchanted by the sirens of populism, which exploit people’s real needs by facile and hasty solutions,” Francis said.
The Pope’s words come amid Italy’s new immigration posture after electing the first woman to the premiership. Premier Giorgia Meloni is also the country’s far-right prime minister since World War II.
The election sparked hope among Italians for a new “rebirth,” according to a report by the conservative magazine American Pigeon. Experts on Italian politics allege that Italy’s new government has a mix of both pro-Western and far-right policies, creating some ambiguity about the country’s future.
Professor Piero Garofalo, working at the University of New Hampshire, explained that Italy’s centrists are shifting to the right to “chase the electorate,” hence bringing about a right-wing government. He also said that this change is not limited to Italy but can be found in other Western countries, including the U.K., Germany, Poland, France, Sweden, and Austria.
Meloni recently went toe-to-toe with France over migrants rescued in the Mediterranean. Italy reportedly kept four rescue boats out at sea for days before finally allowing them to disembark, and when they did, Italy forced France to take in the fourth. The alleged standoff frustrated France which reinforced border crossings with Italy and suspended its participation in a European redistribution program as a result.
The Pope believes that the war in Ukraine is also contributing to the fall of those who are most in need, specifically the poor, homeless, and immigrants. He said that today there are so many of our “brothers and sisters” migrating in their search for hope while facing insecurity and unjust working conditions.
The Vatican restarted its free medical checks in St. Peter’s Square last week, reportedly providing free checkups, vaccines, blood tests, electrocardiograms, and tests for hepatitis C, tuberculosis, and HIV.