ROME — Pope Francis expressed vocal gratitude Sunday to a town in southern Italy that has allowed the Catholic Church to register migrants as parish residents so they can obtain legal documents.
“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the municipality and the diocese of San Severo in Puglia for the signing of the memorandum of understanding that took place on Monday 28 October,” the pope said after his Angelus message in Saint Peter’s Square, “which will allow the day laborers of the so-called ‘Capinata Ghettos’ in Foggia, to obtain a residence in parishes and registration in the municipal registry.”
“The possibility of having identity and residency documents will give them new dignity and will allow them to escape a condition of irregularity and exploitation,” the pontiff added. “Thank you so much to the city council and to all those who worked on this plan.”
As Breitbart News reported, the mayor of San Severo signed an agreement with local Bishop Giovanni Checchinato granting every Catholic parish the power to let migrants use its street address as their residence to help them get identity papers.
The scheme was orchestrated by Vatican Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, acting on behalf of Pope Francis, who reportedly told the cardinal “he cares about that deal dearly.” Krajewski said that the pope had intervened to persuade Mayor Francesco Miglio to establish this deal.
“What we achieved today is a milestone for migrants and refugees,” said Krajewski, who is the Papal Almoner, responsible for the pope’s charitable works.
San Severo is located in the region of Puglia, where there are thousands of migrants and refugees seeking permission to remain in Europe.
“Technically the bishop, through the parish pastors, is giving them the address [necessary to register] —which is the street of Guardian Angel, that’s what we agreed on — and with that confirmation they go to the city hall, get the paperwork and are free to live a normal life,” the cardinal said.
“We restored the human dignity of those people. This is what they were refused,” the cardinal said.
“I told the mayor of the city this is what the courage of the Gospel is about,” said Krajewski. “We usually want to help the poor in the way we think is good for them. But they don’t need musical concerts. They need to take a shower. They need to have a bank account.”
Immigration into Italy has experienced a new resurgence under the nation’s unelected leftist government, which has opened its ports, reversing efforts by former interior minister Matteo Salvini to curb illegal immigration.