Pope Francis Calls for Solutions to ‘Migration and Climate Change’ Crises

In this Oct. 1, 2017 file photo, Pope Francis poses for selfies with migrants at a regional migrant center, in Bologna, Italy. In a message issued by the Vatican Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, Francis is decrying those whipping up fear of migrants for political gain, and is urging people to …
AP/Luca Bruno

ROME — Pope Francis has urged the nations of the world to work to find common solutions to the most urgent problems facing humanity–notably, migration and climate change.

The international community must “confront such pressing global issues as migration and climate change, as well as the humanitarian crises that they often bring in their wake,” the pontiff told new ambassadors accredited to the Holy See in an address in the Vatican Friday.

“I think too of the economic debt that burdens many countries struggling to survive and the ‘ecological debt’ that we owe to nature itself, as well as to peoples and countries affected by human-induced ecological degradation and loss of biodiversity,” the pope added.

“These issues are not simply political or economic,” he insisted. “They are questions of justice, a justice that can no longer be ignored or deferred.”

“Indeed, they entail a moral obligation towards future generations, for the seriousness with which we respond to them will shape the world we leave to our children,” he added.

In the face of these critical issues, the pope expressed his sadness that the international community is experiencing a growing difficulty, if not the inability, to “seek common and shared solutions to the problems of our world,” as has been made manifest by the global reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those presenting their credentials to the pope were the ambassadors to the Holy See from the nations of Singapore, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Algeria, Sri Lanka, Barbados, Sweden, Finland, and Nepal.

“I would ask you to convey to the Heads of State whom you represent my sentiments of gratitude and esteem for themselves and for their noble mission at the service of their people,” he said.

In his address, Francis also commented on the recent conflict in the Holy Land, thanking God “for the decision to halt the armed conflicts and acts of violence.”

“I pray for the pursuit of paths of dialogue and peace,” he said, noting that on Saturday evening, representatives of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land “will gather to celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost in Saint Stephen’s Church in Jerusalem and to implore the gift of peace.”

“May every community pray to the Holy Spirit that Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, be patient builders of peace and justice, and be open, step by step, to a common hope, to coexistence among brothers and sisters,” he said.

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