Pope: It's a sin if fear makes us hostile to migrants

A family walks on the altar in front of Pope Francis on the occasion of a Mass on the world day for migrants and refugees, in St. Peter's Basilica at

Women greets Pope Francis during the offertory on the occasion of a Mass on the world day for migrants and refugees, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Va

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on the occasion of the world day for migrants and refugees, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018

Migrants and refugees walk past Pope Francis during a Mass on the occasion of the world day for migrants and refugees, in St. Peter's Basilica at the

A family walks on the altar in front of Pope Francis on the occasion of a Mass on the world day for migrants and refugees, in St. Peter's Basilica at

Faithful hold flags as Pope Francis celebrates a Mass on the occasion of the world day for migrants and refugees, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 14, 201

Gandi Almubayed, a Syrian refugee, holds his ten-month daughter Stella, prior to a Mass on the occasion of the world day for migrants and refugees, at

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on the occasion of the world day for migrants and refugees, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018

Stella, a ten-month toddler daughter of a Syrian refugee waves an Italian flag before a Mass on the occasion of the world day for migrants and refugee

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on the occasion of the world day for migrants and refugees, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on the occasion of the world day for migrants and refugees, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says while fear of migrants is "legitimate," it's a sin if that causes hostility.

Francis invited migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, newly-arrived immigrants and second-generation immigrant families to a special Mass he celebrated Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica.

He noted that some local communities fear new arrivals will disturb the established order. He says that while that's "comprehensible from a human point of view," it is a sin if these fears "compromise respect and generosity" and "feed hostility and rejection" of those different from us.

In his almost five-year-old papacy, Francis has stressed Christianity's mission, in following Jesus, to welcome vulnerable and marginalized people.

His focus comes as wealthier countries, including several European Union nations and the U.S., are intent on increasing physical or legal barriers to migrants.