Each January, the Pope invites all accredited ambassadors to the Vatican to congratulate the new year. The Pope also takes the opportunity to have a major speech in which he reviews global issues.
This year, Pope Francis have focused on illegal immigration. The Pope is concerned about the overall indifference to the plight of thousands of people who are fleeing war, famine or persecution.
"It is the outcry of those forced to flee in order to escape unspeakable acts of cruelty towards vulnerable persons, such as children and the disabled, or martyrdom solely on account of their religion. "This is the voice of all those who flee extreme poverty, inability to feed their families or to receive medical care and education, hopeless squalor or the effects of climate change and extreme weather conditions".
Pope Francis lamented that many causes of immigration could have been faced a long time ago, and pointed out that much can be done now to avoid future mishaps. He refers to projects that ensure that no one is forced to emigrate, or for migrants to integrate into their host countries.
"But that would mean rethinking entrenched habits and practices, beginning with issues involving the arms trade, the provision of raw materials and energy, investment, policies of financing and sustainable development, and even the grave scourge of corruption”.
Pope Francis reaffirms that Europe should set an example because it is a landmark of principles such as equality before the law, protection of human dignity, freedom of conscience, solidarity and love of the neighbor without distinguishing their origin.
He has asked that the terrorist threats do not undermine these principles, and that a balance is found between protecting the rights of its own citizens and to ensure support and reception of immigrants.
"Yet there should be no loss of the values and principles of humanity, respect for the dignity of every person, mutual subsidiarity and solidarity, however much they may prove, in some moments of history, a burden difficult to bear”.
The Pope asked to not leave countries alone that are facing the problem directly, such as Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Jordan and Italy, and above all to recognize the human beings at the center of these political decisions.
The Holy See is one of the states with the largest diplomatic activity. It maintains relations with 180 states, and also with institutions such as the European Union or the Order of Malta.
Only countries like Saudi Arabia, China or North Korea avoid having an ambassador to the Pope.