Pope Francis reaches to bless a young child during his general audience in St. Peter's Square Sept. 27, 2023. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA
“What came out of the Marseille event? What came out is an outlook on the Mediterranean that I would call simply human, not ideological, not strategic, not politically correct nor instrumental; no, human, that is, capable of referring everything to the primary value of the human person and his or her inviolable dignity,” he said.
He also noticed, he added, that there was a hopeful and fraternal outlook, even, surprisingly, from those who “have lived through inhuman situations.”
“This hope, this fraternity must not ‘evaporate’; no, rather, it needs to be organized, concretized through long, medium, and short-term actions so that people, in complete dignity, can choose to emigrate or not to emigrate,” he urged.
“In fact, how can we welcome others if we ourselves do not first have a horizon open to the future?” Francis said. “How can young people, who are poor in hope, closed in on their private lives, worried about managing their own precariousness, open themselves to meeting others and to sharing?”
Pope Francis said he saw a lot of passion and enthusiasm during his visit to Marseille, a port city in southern France, including at the Mass he celebrated on Sept. 23.
He encouraged the continent of Europe to also cultivate this passion and enthusiasm so that the Mediterranean region can be “a mosaic of civilization and hope” rather than “a tomb” or a “place of conflict.”
“The Mediterranean Sea,” the pope said, “is the complete opposite of the clash between civilizations, war, human trafficking.”
Pope Francis addresses a crowd of people in St. Peter's Square during his weekly general audience on Sept. 27, 2023. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Francis said the Mediterranean Sea is a channel of communication between Africa, Asia, and Europe, and though “the sea is always an abyss to overcome in some way, and it can even become dangerous,” still, “its waters safeguard treasures of life; its waves and its winds carry vessels of all types.”