Morelia, Mexico, Jan 31, 2017 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of an archdiocese in the western Mexican state of Michoacan has said the country needs to seek forgiveness for failing to provide for its people who seek a better life in the United States.

“We have to ask the migrants for forgiveness because they couldn't find job opportunities or adequate conditions in Mexico for  their families to get ahead,” Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Morelia told the weekly Desde la Fe. Mexico has been unable to “create an environment where justice reigns, where there are well-paid jobs and opportunities for the future,” he commented. “So we ask forgiveness from those we have driven from our places by not eradicating poverty, and who are now facing the threat of exclusion and discrimination.”

To all of them, Archbishop Garfias continued: “a word of gratitude for everything you are doing for your families and your communities. Also a word of encouragement in face of the difficulties you are up against. Know that you are not alone.” Archbishop Garfias also said now is time to stand in solidarity with the migrants in face of the announcement by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who has ordered the continuation of the construction of a border wall started by Bill Clinton's administration.

Regarding his new mission as Archbishop of Morelia — he was appointed Nov. 5, 2016 — he emphasized that “in this time our country is going through, we need more than ever to find a path to reconciliation to give an effective and long-lasting response to the violence, injustice, corruption and impunity that has settled over our homeland and has become the breeding ground for growing discontent.”

“Although this violence is the product of many distortions in society and the uncontrolled action of organized crime, the fact does not escape me, and I take it up as a challenge, that the decisive action of Christians has been lacking in this environment, who have not been able to respond in time and with strength to the disintegration of the social fabric,” he lamented. “We have not known how to give an effective and living witness to the mission and the evangelization that the Lord has entrusted to us in this world.”