Pope Francis warned on Monday (May 27) against a rise of intolerance and racism as far-right nationalists and eurosceptic parties made historic gains in European elections.
“The signs of meanness we see around us heighten our fear of ‘the other’, the unknown, the marginalised, the foreigner,” he said in a message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
“It is not just about them, but about all of us, and about the present and future of the human family.
“Migrants, especially those who are most vulnerable, help us to read the ‘signs of the times’,” he said.
Nationalist forces from Marine Le Pen in France to Matteo Salvini in Italy and Nigel Farage in Britain boasted significant gains in the EU Parliament elections which wound up on Sunday.
Salvini’s far-right League party did particularly well in Italy in centres seen as migrant “hot spots”, including a town held up by the left as a model of tolerance and integration.