Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard Jan. 22 in Srinagar, near the India-Pakistan border. More than 40,000 villagers have fled their homes since Indian and Pakistani soldiers began exchanging fire across their borders. CNS photo/Farooq Khan, EPA

Migration issue transcends narrow view of security, self-interest, Pope says

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  • May 17, 2018
VATICAN – Diplomats have a duty to uphold human rights for all people, especially those fleeing their countries due to war, poverty and environmental challenges, Pope Francis told new ambassadors to the Vatican.


The issue of migration "has an intrinsically ethical dimension that transcends national borders and narrow conceptions of security and self-interest," the Pope said May 17.

"None of us can ignore our moral responsibility to challenge the 'globalization of indifference' that all too often looks the other way in the face of tragic situations of injustice calling for an immediate humanitarian response," he said.

The Pope's comments came in a speech welcoming new ambassadors to the Vatican from Tanzania, Lesotho, Pakistan, Mongolia, Denmark, Ethiopia and Finland.

Speaking to the group of diplomats, the Pope said the work of international diplomacy "is grounded in the shared conviction" of the unity and dignity of all men and women.

The United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he said, is a call for solidarity with "those suffering the scourge of poverty, disease and oppression."

"Among the most pressing of the humanitarian issues facing the international community at present is 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," the Pope said.

While acknowledging the "complexity and delicacy of the political and social issues involved," Pope Francis called on the international community work toward crafting decisions and policies "marked above all by compassion foresight and courage."

"For her part, the church, convinced of our responsibility for one another, promotes every effort to cooperate, without violence and without deceit, in building up the world in a spirit of genuine brotherhood and peace," the Pope said.

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