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Pope to diplomats: World peace depends on right to life, disarmament

“I consider it urgent, then, that genuine policies be adopted to support the family, on which the future and the development of states depend,” he said, adding that “without this, it is not possible to create societies capable of meeting the challenges of the future.”

Neglecting families has led to sharply declining birth rates in some countries, which is a sign of a nation that is struggling to face the challenges of the present and fearful of the future.

The pope also warned against talking about migrants and migration “only for the sake of stirring up primal fears.” The movements of peoples have always existed and the freedom of movement — to leave one’s homeland and to return — is a fundamental human right, he said.

“There is a need, then, to abandon the familiar rhetoric and start from the essential consideration that we are dealing, above all, with persons,” he said.

Another urgent task before humanity, the pope said, is caring for the earth.

“One must not downplay the importance of our own responsibility in interaction with nature. Climate changes, with the global rise in temperatures and their devastating effects, are also a consequence of human activity,” he said.

Therefore, people must work together, he said, including by upholding commitments agreed upon in the 2015 Paris Accord, and leave “to coming generations a more beautiful and livable world,” he said.

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