SignaturesAndrea Tornielli

True emergencies

The drama of migration represents a major challenge for the West. On this occasion, Andrea Tornielli dedicates his monthly column in our magazine to highlight Pope Francis' approach during his audience with the Diplomatic Corps. 

February 9, 2016-Reading time: 2 minutes

Everyone (especially Western political-media circles) tells us daily that the biggest global emergency right now is ISIS, the Muslim caliphate with its load of fundamentalist terror that threatens and kills other Muslims and religious minorities in the region. Of course yes, this is a real emergency. But Pope Francis tells us that in reality the greater emergency is another: that of migration and refugees.

This is how the Pontiff expressed himself last January 11 before the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, that is, the ambassadors of the countries of the world that have diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

This year's speech focused on the theme of migration. The Pope stressed the need to establish medium and long term plans for migration that do not remain a simple response to an emergency, and that serve for real integration in the host countries, in addition to promoting the development of the countries of origin with policies of solidarity that do not subject aid to ideological strategies and practices that are foreign or contrary to the cultures of the peoples to whom they are directed.

Francis also underlined the European effort to help refugees, and asked that the values of welcome not be lost, although he acknowledged that these sometimes become "a difficult burden to bear".

This is the issue: Europe must not forget its values, which are also integrated by its Christian heritage. In the face of migrants, it cannot simply close its borders. It is striking that there is still a lack of awareness on this issue among all the Churches of the continent.

"Much of the causes that lead to emigration."said the Pope, "could have been dealt with long ago. This could have prevented or at least mitigated their cruelest consequences. Even now, and before it is too late, much can be done to stop the tragedies and build peace. To do so, it would be necessary to question established customs and practices, starting with the problems related to the arms trade, the supply of raw materials and energy, investment, financial policy and development aid, and even the serious scourge of corruption"..

The authorAndrea Tornielli

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