Pope Francis’s Address to the Diplomatic Corps
Pope Francis met with authorities and the diplomatic corps in the Philippines on January 16, 2015. He made particular note of the devastation the country endured in Typhoon Yolanda, and the admirable strength and virtue that the Filipino people showed in the face of it.
The Pope compared this experience of drawing together as a people to face new challenges to a family. He said that the Philippines needs to continue to build on “solid foundations… – a society respectful of authentic human values, protective of our God-given human dignity and rights, and ready to confront new and complex political and ethical questions.”
Pope Francis reminded the diplomats present that, “Families have an indispensable mission in society” and this role is fundamental. “It is in the family that children are trained in sound values, high ideals and genuine concern for others. But like all God’s gifts, the family can also be disfigured and destroyed. It needs our support.” Pope Francis enumerated the human values that democracies must preserve: “the inviolable dignity of each human person, respect for the rights of conscience and religious freedom, and respect for the inalienable right to life, beginning with that of the unborn and extending to that of the elderly and infirm.” He called for society to encourage and assist families in their efforts to “bring about a culture of integrity.”