2011-12-10 Vatican RadioAccording to forecasts, in the current century over 200 million people will be added to the current number of migrants worldwide. The economic crisis does not diminish the problems of migration, but only worsens them from different points of view. And so the flow of men and women who leave their countries under the pressure of poverty, oppression or natural disaster, even at the risk of life, across the Mediterranean or the Red Sea, or the deserts of Sinai or of Arizona, continues and will continue. How can they be protected, how can they be welcomed, how can they be given the opportunity for a safe and dignified life, so that they are seen not as a threat but as forerunners and bridge-builders in the melting-pot of global humanity?
The Holy See is very involved on this front. Already in the middle of the last century, Pope Pius XII felt the need for a special Council within the Roman Curia to address the problems of migrants. His desire was implemented by Pope Paul VI. Now the Holy See has requested and been granted, not only observer, but full member status within the International Organization for Migration in Geneva, in order to intensify its efforts and its contribution in solidarity with the community of nations. The Holy See speaks out in defence of these rights, based on the firm conviction of the dignity of every human person. But it speaks, too from the real-world experience many Catholic organizations that operate in this field on every continent, giving weight and credibility to its words and its proposals. We must give migrants the opportunity to live and to thrive, working together with them to build a common future.