By Linda Bordoni
Addressing the new Ambassadors of Tanzania, Lesotho, Pakistan, Mongolia, Denmark, Ethiopia, and Finland accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis focussed his discourse on the most urgent issues we face in our changing world, in particular the humanitarian challenges posed by migration.
“Ours, the Pope said, is a time of truly epochal changes, which calls for wisdom and discernment on the part of all those concerned for a peaceful and prosperous future for coming generations”.
And highlighting the fact that the goal of international diplomacy is to promote justice and harmony amongst nations and within the human family, he singled out migration as a great priority:
“The need to welcome, protect, promote and integrate all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands” is the most pressing humanitarian issue facing the international community at present, he said.
Expressing his hope that the Ambassadors’ work within the diplomatic community of the Holy See will contribute to nurture a spirit of cooperation and mutual concern, the Pope reiterated the Church’s deep belief that every effort must be made to cooperate, “without violence or deceit”, to build up a “spirit of genuine brotherhood and peace”.
He acknowledged the complexity and delicacy of the political and social issues involved, but said that “individual nations and the international community are called to contribute as best they can to the work of pacification and reconciliation through decisions and policies marked above all by compassion, foresight and courage”.
The Pope underscored the Church’s conviction that the “overarching goal of all diplomatic activity must be development: “the integral development of each individual man and woman, children and the elderly alike, and the development of nations within a global framework of dialogue and cooperation in service of the common good”.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Recalling that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he said “it should serve as a summons to a renewed spirit of solidarity with all our brothers and sisters, especially those suffering the scourge of poverty, disease and oppression”.