Pope Francis showcases his commitment to immigrants with new statue at the Vatican

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Pope Francis has enshrined his commitment to immigrants and refugees with a statue dedicated to the “angels unawares” who every day put their lives at risk to find a new life in a new nation.

The artwork is the first to be added to St. Peter’s Square in 400 years and depicts an issue central to Francis’ pontificate.

“As Christians, we cannot be indifferent to the tragedy of old and new forms of poverty, to the bleak isolation, contempt and discrimination experienced by those who do not belong to ‘our’ group,” the pope said during his homily at a Mass on Sunday (Sept. 29) dedicating the artwork.