One highlight of Pope Francis’ visit to Slovakia was Tuesday’s meeting with the Roma community in Kosice during which he called for their integration.

Judgement and prejudice only increase distances, hostility and sharp words are not helpful

Marginalizing others accomplishes nothing

Segregating ourselves and other people eventually leads to anger.” 

Pope Francis used these words to condemn the discrimination that the Roma people face, stressing: “the path to peaceful coexistence is integration.”  

Pointing to what Jesus said, “Do not judge”, Pope Francis lamented the gossip or rumours we pass or the prejudices, judgements and labels we tag others with, but consider ourselves justified.

“In this way,” he said, “we disfigure by our words the beauty of the children of God, who are our brothers and sisters“. 

“We cannot reduce the reality of others to fit our own pre-packaged ideas; people cannot be pigeonholed.” 

Our knowledge and appreciation of others must be grounded in our acknowledgement that each of them possesses the inviolable beauty of a son or daughter of God, a reflection of the Creator’s image, according Vatican News.

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