In Slovakia, Pope Francis recently said:
In the Church, no one ought ever to feel out of place or set aside. This is not just a truism; it is the reality of the Church, in which we live as a people called by God, each with his or her special role to play, all as members of the same team. That is how God wants us to be: each different, but all united around him. The Lord sees us together, all of us.
He also sees us as sons and daughters: he looks at us as a Father does, gazing with love on each of his children. If I let him see me that way, I will learn how to see others the same way: I will come to realize that I am surrounded by other children of God and recognize them as my brothers and sisters. That is what the Church is, a family of brothers and sisters with one Father, who gave us Jesus as our brother, to help us understand how much he loves fraternity. In fact, he wants all humanity to become one universal family. You possess a great love for the family, and so you view the Church from that experience. The Church is indeed a home; it is your home. So I would say to you with my whole heart: you are always welcome! Always feel at home in the Church, and don’t ever worry about whether you will be at home there. Nobody ought ever keep you or anyone else away from the Church!…
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.
Dear brothers and sisters, all too often you have been the object of prejudice and harsh judgements, discriminatory stereotypes, defamatory words and gestures. As a result, we are all poorer, poorer in humanity. Restoring dignity means passing from prejudice to dialogue, from introspection to integration.