Pope Francis says "No one can remain indifferent to the human tragedies that continue to unfold in different regions of the world." Full Text


Sala Clementina
Thursday, 10 September 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I welcome you who have joined the “ Snapshots from the borders ” project. I thank Mr. Salvatore Martello, Mayor of Lampedusa and Linosa, for the words he addressed to me on behalf of all. And I also thank you for this beautiful cross, so significant, that you have carried. Thank you.

Yours is a forward-looking project. It aims to promote a deeper understanding of migration, which allows European societies to give a more humane and coordinated response to the challenges of contemporary migration. The network of local authorities and civil society organizations, which was born from this project, aims to contribute positively to the development of migration policies that respond to this goal.

The current migration scenario is complex and often has dramatic implications. The global interdependencies that determine migratory flows need to be studied and understood better. The challenges are manifold and challenge everyone. No one can remain indifferent to the human tragedies that continue to unfold in different regions of the world. Among these we are often challenged by those whose theater is the Mediterranean, a border sea, but also a meeting place of cultures.

Last February, during the meeting - very positive - with the Bishops of the Mediterranean, in Bari, I recalled how “among those who struggle most in the Mediterranean area, there are those who flee from war or leave their land in search of a life worthy of man. [...] We are aware that in various social contexts a sense of indifference and even rejection is widespread [...]. The international community has stopped at military interventions, while it should build institutions that guarantee equal opportunities and places where citizens have the possibility to take charge of the common good […]. At the same time, we never accept that those seeking hope by sea will die without receiving help […]. Of course, welcome and a dignified integration are stages in a not easy process; however, it is unthinkable to be able to face it by building walls "( Speech , February 23, 2020).

Faced with these challenges, it is clear that concrete solidarity and shared responsibility are indispensable, both nationally and internationally. "The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: we are all linked, to each other, both for bad and for good" ( General Audience , 2 September 2020). We must act together, not alone.

It is also essential to change the way we see and tell about migration: it is about putting people, faces and stories at the center. Hence the importance of projects, such as the one you have promoted, which seek to propose different approaches, inspired by the culture of encounter, which constitutes the path towards a new humanism. And when I say “new humanism” I don't mean it only as a philosophy of life, but also as a spirituality, as a style of behavior.

The inhabitants of the cities and of the frontier territories - the societies, the communities, the Churches - are called to be the first actors of this turning point, thanks to the continuous opportunities for encounter that history offers them. Frontiers, which have always been considered as dividing barriers, can instead become “windows”, spaces of mutual knowledge, of mutual enrichment, of communion in diversity; they can become places where models are experimented to overcome the difficulties that new arrivals entail for indigenous communities.

I encourage you to continue working together for the culture of encounter and solidarity. May the Lord bless your efforts in this regard, and may Our Lady protect you and the people you work for. I pray for you, and you, please, don't forget to pray for me. May the Lord bless all of you, your work and your efforts to move forward in this direction. Thank you.
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation