Migrants: in Marseille, the Pope denounces “odious trafficking and the fanaticism of indifference”

Migrants: in Marseille, the Pope denounces “odious trafficking and the fanaticism of indifference”

2023-09-22 18:50:35

Pope Francis displays his difference on the migration issue. On the first day of his visit to Marseille, the sovereign pontiff denounced, this Friday, September 22, the “odious trafficking and the fanaticism of indifference” in the face of the fate of migrants shipwrecked in the Mediterranean, who “must be rescued”.

“We can no longer witness the tragedies of shipwrecks caused by heinous trafficking and the fanaticism of indifference. People who risk drowning, when they are abandoned on the waves, must be rescued. It is a duty to “humanity is a duty of civilization”, insisted the pope, who has regularly denounced the fate of migrants since his election ten years ago.

“We are at a crossroads: on one side fraternity, […] on the other, indifference, which is bloodying the Mediterranean. We are at a crossroads of civilizations,” said the head of the Catholic Church, denouncing “the paralysis of fear.”

“Words are useless, but actions”

He spoke during a ceremony of interreligious contemplation in front of the memorial to sailors and migrants lost at sea, at the foot of the “Good Mother”, the emblematic Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica, which dominates France’s second city . “Believers, we must […] be exemplary in mutual and fraternal welcome,” pleaded Francis, surrounded by representatives of other religions with whom he observed a time of silence.

“In the face of such a tragedy, words are of no use, but actions,” explained the sovereign pontiff, regretting once again that the Mediterranean has become “an immense cemetery” where “human dignity is buried.” “But before that, we need humanity,” he added.

In welcoming the Pope, Cardinal Archbishop of Marseille Jean-Marc Aveline, for his part, denounced “the crime” of preventing NGOs and other rescuers from coming to the aid of these migrants at sea. After him, the Pope also praised the work of humanitarians.

Francis’ trip to Marseille comes as a new wave of arrivals on the Italian island of Lampedusa has pushed the European Union to adopt an emergency plan to help Rome manage migratory flows from South Africa. North. But France “will not welcome migrants” from Lampedusa, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Tuesday.

In his speech in Marseille, the Pope also pleaded for cohabitation between different religions, one of the themes of the “Mediterranean Meetings”, the third of the name after Bari (2020) and Florence (2022), which he came to close and which have been bringing together bishops and young people from around the Mediterranean for a week in Marseille. “Relations between religious groups are often not easy, because of the virus of extremism and the ideological scourge of fundamentalism which eat away at the real life of communities,” he warned, instead taking as an example a local body, “Marseille Esperance”, which brings together representatives of various religions and “promotes fraternity and peaceful coexistence”.

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