Probably not. But sometimes you take what you can get.

Pope Francis seems like he’s measuring his words on immigration a tad more carefully. Hey, anytime Pope Francis measures his words is a good thing, if you ask me.


Pope Francis returned to the topic of immigration Monday, insisting that migrants have an obligation to respect the laws of their host country as well as its cultural identity.

Those who are welcomed, the Pope said in his yearly address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, “must necessarily conform to the rules of the country offering them hospitality, with respect for its identity and values.”

Francis also recognized that it is not the place of the Vatican to try to tell nations how to fashion their immigration policies, or how many migrants to take in.

“The Holy See has no intention of interfering in decisions that fall to states, which, in the light of their respective political, social and economic situations, and their capacities and possibilities for receiving and integrating, have the primary responsibility for accepting newcomers,” he said.

While reiterating his frequent call for a welcoming attitude toward strangers in need, the Pope peppered his address with welcome dashes of realism as well as acknowledgement of the difficulties faced by nations overrun by immigrants.

In this vein, Francis recognized that not all migrants are “always guided by the best of intentions,” while also underscoring the primary responsibility of political leaders toward their own citizens.

“Leaders have a clear responsibility towards their own communities,” he said, “whose legitimate rights and harmonious development they must ensure, lest they become like the rash builder who miscalculated and failed to complete the tower he had begun to construct,” in reference to a biblical parable where Jesus warned against imprudence.

Welcome words.