Italy: Pope condemns ‘shameful’ migrant drownings off Lampedusa
Vatican City, 3 Oct. (AKI) - Pope Francis on Thursday described as "shameful" the shipwreck off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa in which nearly 300 migrants are feared to have drowned. "The many victims of
Vatican City, 3 Oct. (AKI) – Pope Francis on Thursday described as “shameful” the shipwreck off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa in which nearly 300 migrants are feared to have drowned.
“The many victims of the umpteenth tragic shipwreck today off Lampedusa cause me deep sorrow. Shameful is the world that comes to mind: it is shameful,” Francis said.
“Let’s join forces to make sure other such tragedies never happen again,” he added
He was addressing delegates at a Vatican conference to mark the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s 1963 Cold War era Encyclical Pacem in Terris or “Peace on Earth.
“Let’s pray to God or the men, women and children who lost their lives, for their families and for all refugees,” the pontiff said.
In a message from his Twitter account earlier on Thursday, Francis urged Catholics to offer prayers for the victims of the shipwreck.
Many thousands of migrants have drowned or died of dehydration during the dangerous sea voyage to Europe across the southern Mediterranean, often crammed into unsafe people-smugglers’ boats.
Lampedusa is the main arrival-point for migrants heading to Europe by sea and Italy wants European Union policies to help it handle the influx of tens of thousands of people arriving on its shores annually.