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In Lampedusa, Pope Condemns Indifference towards Immigrant Deaths

Pope Francis

Spanish Translation of the Week

Pope Francis visited the Italian island where thousands of desperate Africans have come seeking a brighter future and denounced the "globalization of indifference," wherein people do not feel responsible for these deaths.

 In a historic visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the destination for thousands of desperate Africans in search of a better future in Europe, Pope Francis denounced today the "globalization of indifference" which has caused people not to feel responsible for the deaths of these undocumented immigrants who lost their lives looking for a better future. In this sense, he hoped that these events would not be repeated.

"Francisco visitó la isla italiana a la que llegan miles de africanos desesperados en busca de un futuro y denunció la "globalización de la indiferencia", que hace que el hombre no se sienta responsable de las muertes.

En una histórica visita a la isla italiana de Lampedusa, destino de miles de africanos desesperados y en busca de un futuro que intentan llegar a Europa, el Papa Francisco denunció hoy la "globalización de la indiferencia" que hace que el hombre no se sienta responsable de las muertes de los inmigrantes indocumentados que pierden la vida en las travesías buscando un futuro mejor. En ese sentido, hizo un llamamiento para que hechos como esos no se vuelvan a repetir."

This article has been translated from Spanish. Click here to read the original version onClarí

"Immigrants die at sea, in these boats which at one time were a vehicle of hope but have become vessels of death. I have heard the news (the death of seven North Africans trying to reach the Italian coast hidden in a Tunisian fishing boat who may have been stabbed by the boat's crew members) which has sadly been repeated many times and which pains me like a thorn in the heart," said the Pope in a homily during the Mass held on Lampedusa.

Francis added that after learning of this tragedy he felt he had to travel to the island, Italy's southernmost, located just 113km from the African coast, "to recognize its proximity and also to awaken our consciences so that this does not happen again."

The Pope condemned the modern man for being "confused, not paying attention to the world in which he lives, not looking after what God has created for us, nor looking after one another." He added that "when this confusion consumes the world, it produces tragedies like this one."
The pontiff, recalling Spanish author Lope de Vega's work, "Fuente Ovejuna," in which the whole Cordoban town is charged with the murder of the governor, said that "everybody and nobody" are responsible for migrant tragedies.

"Who is responsible for the blood of these brothers and sisters? No one. Everybody responds, 'I don't know,' 'I had nothing to do with it,' 'It was someone else,' 'It wasn't me.' Now no one feels responsible for these people, and we have lost our fraternal sense of responsibility and fallen into a pattern of hypocritical behavior," he said.

Francis added that the welfare culture, "which leads us to believe in ourselves, also causes us to be insensitive to the cries of others. We live in bubbles, which is nice, but they are nothing except the illusion of futility, which causes indifference towards others- leading to the globalization of indifference." "We have become accustomed to the suffering of others. It doesn't affect us, it doesn't interest us, it's not our problem, added the Pope, who also said that this makes us all nameless, faceless, and without responsibility.

The Pope said that today's society has become one in which we've forgotten to cry, cry for people who have died in boats sunken by the sea and for mothers who have lost their children.
"Let us ask the Lord to give us the grace to mourn for this indifference and for the cruelty in the world, in ourselves, and in those who make anonymous socioeconomic decisions worldwide that allow dramas like these," he said.

Photo attributed to Papist, Christus Vincit on Flickr commons

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