By editor - 12 January, 2016
Pope Francis has drawn the world’s attention to the migration crisis in his address to the Vatican diplomatic corps on Monday.
In what is considered his annual ‘State of the World’ address, the Pontiff called for a global effort to address the crisis which he described as a “massive and formidable phenomenon”.
Underlining the Vatican’s commitment to the issue, he told the assembled diplomats gathered in the Regia Hall that the laments of migrants, forced from their homes, echoes the Biblical account of Rachel weeping.
The Pontiff reaffirmed the need to “to set out anew and resume dialogue” and to reject every attempt to use religion as reason to “kill in the name of God”, as has happened in the recent terrorist attacks in in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
“Many of the causes of migration could have been addressed some time ago,” he said and even today there is much that “could be done to end these tragedies and to build peace”.
However, this can be accomplished only if we have the courage to call into question “entrenched habits and practices”, the Pope suggested starting with “the arms trade, the provision of raw materials and energy, investment, policies of financing and sustainable development”.
According to the Pontiff there is a need for “for mid-term and long-term planning which is not limited to emergency responses”, and which has the twofold intent to provide “effective assistance for integrating migrants in their receiving countries” and to promote “the development of their countries of origin through policies inspired by solidarity”.
While the massive number of arrivals in Europe seem to be overburdening the system of reception, Pope Francis encouraged Europe not to lose “the values and principles of humanity”, while safeguarding the right balance between the “moral responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens” and the need to “ensure assistance and acceptance to migrants”.
They in turn have “the responsibility to respect the values, traditions and laws of the community which takes them in”.
The Pope expressed particular gratitude to those countries who have demonstrated generosity to refugees.
“It is important”, he stated, “that nations in the forefront of meeting the present emergency not be left alone”.