Pope Francis: world leaders must protect human dignity

Governments must “guide the efforts of global diplomacy to secure peace in our world and to promote the integral development of each individual and all peoples,” Pope Francis said at a recent meeting with new, non-resident ambassadors to the Vatican.

In his address, Francis noted the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its continued importance for human rights today.

“It is essential that respect for human dignity and human rights inspire and direct every effort to address the grave situations of war and armed conflict, crushing poverty, discrimination and inequality that afflict our world,” the Pope said.

His hope for the ambassadors is that they “[secure] a peace based on justice and charity” to ensure “senseless slaughter,” like that of the First World War, is avoided.

“May the lessons learned from the two great wars of the 20th century… continue to convince the world’s people and their leaders of the futility of armed conflict and the need to resolve conflicts through patient dialogue and negotiation,” Francis continued.

He added that all countries bear a “moral responsibility” to address the migration crisis and other humanitarian issues. “Those who knock at [the Church’s] doors in search of a secure future for themselves and their children” are welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated, he affirmed.

“[The Church] is committed to working with every responsible partner in a constructive dialogue aimed at proposing concrete solutions to this and other urgent humanitarian problems,” he concluded, “with the goal of preserving human lives and dignity, alleviating suffering and advancing an authentic and integral development.”

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Alexander Foster

Alexander Foster is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle