His first trip is to the refugees: pope francis has denounced the indifference to the fate of migrants on the island of lampedusa. In a dramatic appeal on monday, he called for more solidarity with those desperately seeking help. Our culture of affluence leads us to "think only of ourselves, it makes us indifferent to the outcry of others, let’s live in beautiful bubbles", the pope proclaimed in a mass on the sports field of the italian island. About 10.000 migrants and islanders, he called for a move away from a "globalization of indifference".
The death of migrants during a crossing is like a painful "thorn in the heart", franciscus said. Man has become disoriented, he no longer cares about others. God must be asked for forgiveness for this indifference. He will also judge people by how they treat the most miserable, francis wrote on twitter after the mass.
"And when this disorientation takes on global proportions, such tragedies occur," she says, says the pope. The cruelty in the world was also contributed to by those who made social and economic concessions that paved the way for dramatic shipwrecks.
First, the head of the catholic church prayed for the many people who died in the refugee catastrophes in the mediterranean sea. From a patrol boat of the italian coast guard, the pope laid a wreath for the people in the sea who had not survived the crossing from north africa. Arriving at the mole of lampedusa, the pope spoke of courage to the refugees waiting for him. "I pray for you and for all those who have not come this far", he said. In recent weeks, hundreds of migrants have again been stranded on the island off the coast of sicily.
The island, which is only about 20 square kilometers in size and located between tunisia and sicily, has been a destination for poverty-stricken refugees, especially from africa, for many years. From 1999 to 2012, over 200.000 people arrived on lampedusa. According to estimates, around 19,000 people have died in the past 25 years during the often dangerous crossing in unseaworthy boats. Also on the day of the papal visit to lampedusa, the coast guard located there a boat with 166 migrants.