Author: TAN Lizhu, Director, Center for Theology Studies of the Chinese Catholic Church
Caring for and receiving the refugee has long been a tradition in the Catholic Church. In 2016, European countries were deeply troubled by refugee issues, which affected all aspects of politics, economy, culture and religion. While European countries gradually tightened their refugee policies, Pope Francis delivered speeches concerning refugee issues. In these speeches Pope called on European Catholic churches and European society to be open and generous in welcoming refugees. Based on the texts of Pope Francis’ 2016 speeches, this paper argues that Pope Francis’ attitude is closely related to his ecclesiology, and that for him, the refugee problem is a touchstone for the current church which claims to be founded on the compassion of Jesus Christ. Contemporary thinker Giorgio Agamben’s geopolitical theory can help us understand how Pope Francis is working to form a new political view and understanding of faith among the Catholic Church through his speeches on refugee issues.
Refugee, Pope Francis, the Catholic Church, Geopolitics, Giorgio Agamben
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