I greet all those taking part in this Second Holy See-Mexico Conference on
International Migration, and wish especially to thank the organizers and presenters.
This meeting is taking place on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reestablishment
of diplomatic relations between the United Mexican States and the Holy See. It is
thus an opportunity to strengthen and renew the bonds of cooperation and
understanding between us, in order to continue to work jointly on behalf of the needy
and the marginalized in our society.
At this time, when the International Community is engaged in two processes aimed
at the adoption of two global compacts, one on refugees and the other on safe,
orderly and regular migration, I encourage you in your work and your efforts to
ground responsibility for the shared global management of international migration in
the values of justice, solidarity and compassion. This demands a change in mindset:
we must move from considering others as threats to our comfort to valuing them as
persons whose life experience and values can contribute greatly to the enrichment of
our society. For this to happen, our basic approach must be “to encounter the other,
to welcome, to know and to acknowledge him or her” (Homily for the World Day of
Migrants and Refugees, 14 January 2018).
In order to acknowledge and respond to the current migration situation, the
assistance of the entire international community is needed, since its transnational
dimension exceeds the capacities and resources of many States. Such international
cooperation is important at every stage of migration: from departing one’s country
of origin all the way to reaching one’s destination, as well as facilitating reentry and
transit. In each of these countries, migrants are vulnerable, feeling alone and
isolated. The recognition of this fact is vitally important if we wish to give a concrete
and dignified response to this humanitarian challenge.
Finally, I would like to point out that the issue of migration is not simply one of
numbers, but of persons, each with his or her own history, culture, feelings and
aspirations… These persons, our brothers and sisters, need “ongoing protection”,
independently of whatever migrant status they may have. Their fundamental rights
and their dignity need to be protected and defended. Particular concern must be
shown for migrant children and their families, those who are victims of human
trafficking rings, and those displaced due to conflicts, natural disasters and
persecution. All of them hope that we will have the courage to tear down the wall of
“comfortable and silent complicity” that worsens their helplessness; they are waiting
for us to show them concern, compassion and devotion.
I give thanks to God for your work and service, and I encourage you to continue your
efforts to respond to the plea of our brothers and sisters, who ask us to recognize
them as such, to give them an opportunity to live in dignity and peace, and in so
doing, to contribute to the development of peoples. To all I willingly impart my