HomeNewsPope Francis says deaths of migrants at sea ‘moment of shame’

Pope Francis says deaths of migrants at sea ‘moment of shame’

The pope asked for prayers for all migrants who die at sea as well as for 'those who can help but prefer to look the other way'

Pope Francis described the death of 130 migrants in the Mediterranean last week as a “moment of shame.”

“I confess to you that I am very pained over yet another tragedy in the Mediterranean,” said the pontiff in his address on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square.

Merchant vessels and a charity ship searching the Mediterranean for boats with migrants found 10 bodies floating near a capsized rubber boat in international waters near Libya.

The boat was believed to have carried 130 people on board, said the French humanitarian organization SOS Mediterranee.




“They are people. They are human lives who for two entire days begged in vain for help, a help that never arrived,” said Pope Francis.

“Brothers and sisters, let us all question ourselves over this, yet another tragedy. Now is the time for shame,” he said.

The civilian hotline Alarm Phone had reported three boats were in distress on Wednesday, prompting SOS Mediterranee to launch a search.

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Safa Msehli, a spokesman for the UN International Organization for Migration, said on Friday that “states stood defiant and refused to act to save the lives of more than 100 people.”

The pope asked for prayers for all migrants who die at sea as well as for “those who can help but prefer to look the other way. Let us pay in silence for them.”

Libya, divided by civil conflict for years, is a major route for migrants seeking to reach Europe.

The IOM said the latest deaths would bring the tally for the central Mediterranean route to close to 500 people this year, more than triple the toll for the same period of 2020.

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