Pope Francis received members of the Italo-Latin American Organization (IILA), in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Vatican Palace on Friday, June 30, 2017, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its foundation.
Among the objectives of the IILA, which the Holy Father praised, are to promote development and coordination, as well as identifying possibilities of mutual assistance and common action in the member countries. The IILA is an inter-governmental organization founded in Rome in 1960. It is active in the cultural and scientific field, and in cooperation for development. It collaborates with Italy’s Foreign Ministry to carry out specific projects.
The Pontiff first invited the IILA’s members to “identify the potentialities” in countries rich in history, culture, natural resources where, in addition, the “people are good and supportive of other people,” as verified during the recent natural disasters.
The second point “is to coordinate efforts to give concrete answers to the pleas and needs of the sons and daughters of our countries,” specifying that “to coordinate is not to let someone else do it, and at the end give one’s approval, but it entails much more time and effort; it is hidden and little valued work but necessary.”
Pope Francis said that emigration has always existed, but that in the last years it has increased in a way never before seen. And “it is a drama of division: families are divided, children are separated from parents; they leave their land of origin; even governments and countries themselves are divided in face of this reality. Therefore, “it is necessary to foment a joint policy of cooperation to address this subject.”
Finally, the third aspect is to promote a culture of dialogue. Some countries are going through difficult moments at the political, social and economic level. The citizens who have fewer means are the first to note the corruption that exists in the different social strata, and the bad distribution of riches, noted the Pontiff.
“I know that many countries work and struggle to achieve a more just society, promoting a culture of legality. The promotion of the political dialogue is essential, be it between the different members of this association, be it also with other continents, in a special way with those of Europe, given the bonds that unite them,” he said.
In this collaboration and dialogue, diplomacy is a fundamental and supportive instrument to reach peace, he stressed.
Dialogue is essential, but not the “dialogue of the deaf.” There must be a receptive attitude that takes up suggestions and shares anxieties. a capacity to listen. It is a mutual exchange of confidence, which knows that on the other side is a brother with his hand extended ready to help, who desires the good of the parties and the tightening of bonds of fraternity and friendship to advance on paths of justice and peace, he concluded.