Pope calls for compassion for refugees and economic migrants

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In a speech he made during a visit on the island Lampedusa Pope Francis has stated the “globalization of indifference” should end. According to him the west should act with “brotherly responsibility” to refugees and immigrants and ask for forgiveness for the ignorance that led to their suffering. Lampedusa is an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea which is about 70 miles (113 kilometres) off the coast of Tunisia.

Due to his geographical position, the island has been the first point of arrival for many Africans who seek to immigrate to Europe. It is estimated that more than 200 000 immigrants have arrived there in the last 15 years.  During his speech, the Pope wished the best for the Muslims, who were present on the island. He congratulated them for the begging of their holiday Ramadan. He said that people should show more compassion and care for those, who are in need.

He said ‘we are no longer attentive to the world in which we live, we don’t care, we don’t protect that which God has created for all, and we are unable to care for one another. And when this disorientation assumes worldwide dimensions, we arrive at tragedies like the one we have seen’.

Furthermore, the Pope raised concerns that modern society is becoming a society which has forgotten the experience of weeping. According to him the globalization of indifference has taken from the people the ability to weep. He asked for forgiveness for the indifference that the world shows towards many suffering people.

Pope Francis is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, which has more than 1,2 billion followers around the world. He was born in 1936, in Argentina and is a son of Italian immigrants. He is famous for its frugality and concern for the poor.  The fact that this was his first trip as pope seems to signal an intention to make the plight of refugees and economic migrants a priority.

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