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Pope Wants Immigrant Awareness

November 20, 1997

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ The media should use their power to foster greater understanding of immigrants and the problems they face getting settled in their new lands, Pope John Paul II said Thursday.

``The situation of migrants and refugees in the world seems ever more precarious,″ he said in a statement marking the church’s International Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The pope said Christians have a duty to help ``their brothers and sisters arriving from far away″ and he urged parish churches to make ministering to the newcomers a ``pastoral priority.″

He said the media can do a lot to dismantle the barriers immigrants face, particularly hostility and discrimination.

Hundreds of churchmen from South, Central and North America are meeting at the Vatican, with Latin American bishops repeatedly raising the problems of immigrants settling in the United States.

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