“I was a stranger and you welcomed me”. The Papal Magisterium and Human Mobility from Leo XIII to Paul VI (1878-1978)
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This article analyzes the development of the papal magisterium on human mobility during the period that went from the election of Leo XIII (1878) to the death of Paul VI (1978). What emerges from the research is a complex situation, characterized by a consistent thought in which each Pope chose to preserve specific elements while making his own specific, individual contribution to the problem. The article begins with Leo XIII and his concern for the faith of emigrants, it then reviews Pope Pius’ papacy where the tensions due to the Fascist regime characterized the period up to Pius XII. Paolo VI opened the papal magisterium to the new perspectives proposed by the Second Vatican Council as well as the great changes of human mobility that occurred after the second world war. This study, therefore, analyses an important Catholic line of thought in order to understand both the present day situation and the modernity and complexity of Pope Francis’ papacy.