“It is a duty of humanity”: Pope Francis on the situation of migrants

He Pope Francisco On Friday, September 22, he thanked the work non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are doing in rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean and assured that attempts to continue their humanitarian work are “hate disguised as balance.”

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“So often they prevent that because the ship is missing something. They are gestures of hatred, hatred of brothers, balance between transvestites. Thank you for everything you do,” the Pope said in Marseille in front of the monument dedicated to sailors and migrants death at sea in front of the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde (Our Lady of the Guard).

Among the audience were several members of NGOs involved in the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean, such as the Italian Mediterránea or SOS Mediterranee, whose ships have been blocked for several weeks and have to pay fines for not adhering to the rules imposed by the government. by Giorgia Meloni in Italy.

With the advent of the government of MeloniItaly has tightened rules that allow NGOs to save lives in the United States Mediterranean and humanitarian ships periodically face legal blockages or fines for violating these new rules.

Previously the archbishop was of MarseilleCardinal Jean-Marc Aveline, in the presence of the Pope, had criticized the governments that prevent NGOs from rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean, assuring that “it is an equally serious crime”.

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“If political institutions prohibit non-governmental organizations and even ships sailing through these waters from helping shipwrecked people, this is as serious a crime as a violation of the most fundamental international maritime law,” the French cardinal said in front of the monument dedicated for sailors and migrants missing at sea.

In his speech, the Pope also criticized “the paralysis of fear and disinterest that condemns people to death with kid gloves.” migrants in the Mediterranean and affirmed that it is a “duty of humanity” to help those crossing the sea to Europe.

“People who, if left on the waves, are at risk of drowning need to be helped. It is a duty of humanity, it is a duty of civilization,” Francisco said

Before this monument, Francisco asked us not to “get used to seeing shipwrecks as news and the dead as figures; no, they are names and surnames, they are faces and stories, they are broken lives and shattered dreams.”

Since the start of 2023, around 1,300 people have died or disappeared trying to reach Europe, the highest number in the past six years, according to World Organization for Migration (IOM) figures, and almost 26,000 in the past decade.

Source: El heraldo