ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
Wednesday, 13 March 1946
The question of immigration, which your esteemed Chairman has entrusted to your practical study at this critical period of world history, is one in which your countrymen have large experience and competency. For centuries the shores of America offered a generous, hospitable haven to peoples of other lands oppressed by tyranny or forced by poverty or religious persecution to seek safety in exile. And the country did not lose thereby.
Even a casual student of American history is familiar with the valuable contribution made by foreign immigration to the defence and growth of the nation: and knows how those who came from over-seas aided conspicuously in building the new country intellectually, socially, religiously.
Yet it is not surprising that changing circumstances have brought about a certain restriction being placed on foreign immigration. For in this matter not only the interests of the immigrant but the welfare of the country also must be consulted. However it is not too much, We are sure, to expect that in the process of restriction, Christian charity and the sense of human solidarity existing between all men, children of the one eternal God and Father, will not be forgotten. Immigration can help in solving one of Europe's saddest human problems, - a problem which is being aggravated inhumanely by the enforced transfer of helpless, innocent populations.
As a token of Our pleasure in greeting you here this morning and of Our keen interest in your work We pray God's choicest blessings on you and your dear ones at home.
*Discorsi e radiomessaggi, vol. VIII, p.9.
L’Osservatore Romano, 14.3.1946, p.1.