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CHILE: Shutting out immigrants is not Christian, pope says

Pope Francis said on Thursday that it is not Christian to shut out immigrants, urging nations to welcome people whose lives had been “watered down” by poverty, injustice and exploitation.

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Francis, whose defense of migrants and refugees has been a key theme of his nearly 5-year-old pontificate, spoke on his last day in Chile before he was due to leave for Peru to start the second and last leg of his Latin American tour. 

“There is no Christian joy when doors are closed; there is no Christian joy when others are made to feel unwanted, when there is no room for them in our midst,” he said in the homily of Mass on a beach in this city in Chile’s far north. 

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“The cry of the poor is a kind of a prayer; it opens our hearts and teaches us to be attentive,” he said from an enormous white stage framed by dune-like desert mountains on one side and the hazy blue of the Pacific Ocean on the other. 


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