Pope Francis has waded into a sensitive political debate on nationalism
The Pope made the comments to Spanish newspaper El Pais just days after the inauguration of American President Donald Trump.
Mr Trump's 2016 election campaign faced fierce criticism for strking a nationalist tone amid promises to build a wall along the U.S. Mexico to protect the U.S. from ilegal immigrants.
But the Pontiff appeared to agree that every country has the right to protect itself from unwanted outsiders.
He said: “Yes, every country has the right to control its borders, who comes and who goes and those countries at risk —from terrorism or such things— have even more right to control them more.”
The Pope reaffirmed Catholic doctrine that every country has a right to maintain borders.
His comments also come in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, in part, to be able to control migration from the EU.
The Pope does not believe in illegal immigration – like the influx of refugees into the EU on boats
However, while the Pope encourages self-governance, he draws the line at countries preventing its citizens from being able to talk to its neighbours – like Germany and the U.S.S.R
He does not believe in illegal immigration, but he insists that it’s important for people to welcome foreigners who migrate legally.
The Pontiff said that Italy and Greece are just two examples which have done a good job of welcoming legal migrants.
Pope Francis praised countries like Italy for treating legal migrants with respect
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He cited the recent earthquake to rock Italy and said that while Italy is dealing with its crisis it is still willing to help migrants.
The Pope suggested that this was of deep importance because many refugees are fleeing war-torn countries.
He also encouraged new immigrants to intergrate into their new countries.
“Where there is no integration immigrants become “ghettoized,” he said.
In the interview, given on Friday, the Pope acknowledged that his views might not be welcome by everyone.
“They have the right to disagree,” he said. “They have the right to think that the path is dangerous, that the outcome may be bad, they have that right.”
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