Rights and Duties Go Together, Says Pontiff

Expresses Hope for Coexistence of Peoples

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming that in the question of migration, the understanding of rights must be joined with a discussion about duties, both of which stem from human nature.

The Pope stated this today in an address to participants in the Plenary Session of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, which is focused on the theme «Pastoral Care of Human Mobility Today, in the Context of the Co-Responsibility of States and of International Organizations.»

He expressed appreciation for their «effort to build a system of shared norms that contemplate the rights and duties of the foreigner, as well as those of the host community, taking into account, in the first place, the dignity of every human person, created by God in his image and likeness.»

«The acquisition of rights goes hand in hand with the acceptance of duties,» the Pontiff pointed out. «All, in fact, enjoy rights and duties that are not arbitrary, because they stem from human nature itself.»

He affirmed that «the regulations at the national and international level that promote the common good and respect of the person encourage the hope and the efforts for the attainment of a world social order based on peace, fraternity and the cooperation of all, despite the critical phase that the international institutions are going through, determined to resolve the crucial questions of security and development, for the benefit of all.»

The Holy Father acknowledged the «longing of many to pull down the walls that divide and to establish ample agreements, also through legislative dispositions and administrative practices that foster integration, mutual exchange and reciprocal enrichment.»

«In fact,» he added, «prospects of coexistence between peoples can be offered through prudent and concerted lines for reception and integration, consenting to occasions of entry in legality, favoring the just right to the reuniting of families, asylum and refuge, compensating the necessary restrictive measures and opposing the disgraceful trafficking of persons.»

«The future of our societies rests on the meeting between peoples, on dialogue between cultures in respect of their identities and legitimate differences,» Benedict XVI noted. «In this scene the family retains its fundamental role.»

He told the council participants, «It is also up to you to sensitize organizations that are dedicated to the world of migrants and itinerant people to forms of co-responsibility.»

The Pope concluded, «This pastoral sector is linked to a phenomenon in constant expansion and, therefore, your role must translate into concrete answers of closeness and pastoral support of persons, taking into account the various local situations.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-29411?l=english

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