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     Home > Charity and Solidarity  >  2013-07-08 16:31:01
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Pope at Lampedusa blasts indifference to migrants, refugees

08 July, 2013 - Pope Francis on Monday lashed out at what he described as the “globalization of indifference” saying the suffering of others does not concern us and we are not responsible for them. He was criticizing the attitude that greets migrants and refugees who risk their lives trying to reach Europe for a better life. The Pope made the remark during a Mass in the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa in the Mediterrenean, which for the past two decades has been the destination of a steady stream of migrants in small overcrowded boats from north Africa. In his first pastoral visit outside Rome, Pope Francis flew to the Italian island, just 113 km from the Tunisian coast, to re-awaken consciences and concretely change attitudes towards migrants and refugees. Thousands of banner-waving islanders welcomed Francis at the port where he arrived aboard a coast guard vessel accompanied by 120 fishing boats. He threw a floral wreath in the water in memory of some 20,000 migrants who have died in the sea. The Holy Father briefly spoke with some young African migrants before heading off to celebrate Mass in Lampedusa's main sports field. In his homily, the Holy Father lamented that we all have forgotten how to cry for migrants lost at sea. He denounced smugglers who get rich by exploiting the poverty of migrants by transporting them to Italy in overcrowded boats. Commenting on the questions of God in the Book of Genesis, “Adam, where are you?” and “Cain, where is your brother,” Pope Francis said for us the other person is no longer regarded as someone to love, but as someone who disturbs our life and wellbeing. The Pope said the cry of the blood of migrants who have perished in the sea, rises up to God, who questions us regarding our brother and sister migrants. But, the Pope whose ancestors themselves migrated to Argentina from Italy, said in this world no one feels responsible for the other, fallen in to the hypocritical attitude of the priest in the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this world of globalization, we have fallen into the globalization of indifference, which has rendered us nameless and faceless. This indifference the Pope continued, has taken away our ability to weep for the deaths of these migrants, those afloat on the seas and the young mothers with babies. He urged all to pray to wipe out in us the attitude of Herod who sowed death, and to be able to overcome our indifference, and the cruelty in the world and in ourselves.


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