Pope to Americas: working to build bridges is never in vain

Pope to Americas: working to build bridges is never in vain

Pope Francis celebrates Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in St. Peter's Basilica, Feb. 2, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.
Pope Francis celebrates Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in St. Peter's Basilica, Feb. 2, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

.- In a message for the 7th Summit of the Americas, Pope Francis called for dialogue, cooperation and the securing of human rights and basic life necessities.

In the Apr. 10 message, entitled “Prosperity with Equity: the Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas,” the Pope called for “sincere dialogue” that leads to “mutual collaboration which unites efforts and exceeds the differences in the way toward the common good.”
 
“Efforts to build bridges, communication channels, build relationships, seek the agreement are never in vain,” the Pope said in a message to Panama president Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez.

The 7th Summit of the Americas was held in Panama City April 10-11. The summits are a series of gatherings which bring together leaders of North and South America, including Central America and the Caribbean.

Leaders of 35 countries from North, Central, and South America, including U.S. president Barack Obama, attended the summit.

This year's meeting marks the highest-level talks between Cuba and the United States in nearly 60 years, with Obama meeting with Cuban president Raul Castro, according to Reuters.

In December 2014, Obama said Pope Francis was instrumental in improving relations between the leaders of the U.S. and Cuba.

In his message, Pope Francis called for the promotion of “the globalization of solidarity and brotherhood,” and the “fair distribution of wealth” and resources. Doing otherwise, he said, breeds conflict and violence, creating a “globalization of discrimination and indifference” and leaving the problems of society unresolved.  

“There are ‘basic necessities’ such as land, work and home, and ‘public services,’ such as health, education, safety and the environment, from which no human being should remain excluded.”

In his message, the pontiff also touched in the issue of immigration, which he said is caused by inequality in nations whereby citizens are forced to leave their families and homeland. Such persons are susceptible to becoming victims of human trafficking and slavery, without rights or access to justice, he said.

In defending fundamental human rights, Pope Francis said, the law is not enough: without mercy, there is no justice.

The pontiff cited problems which arise even within a given country, especially for indigenous persons in rural areas or suburbs.

“Without a genuine defense of these people against racism, xenophobia and intolerance, the rule of law would lose its legitimacy,” Pope Francis said.