The Pope has clamoured for more assistance and acceptance for migrants, saying they are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society.
Pope Francis said this as he prayed for migrants in a special Mass, saying they are people and not just a social issue.
The Mass, celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday, marked the sixth anniversary of the pope’s visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa on July 8, 2013.
Francis had been pope for only four months when he made the surprise visit, his first pastoral visit outside Rome.
The island, halfway between Sicily and the North African coast, has become one of the main European points of entry for migrants and refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
The pope said “they are persons. These are not mere social or migrant issues. They are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society.”
The pope’s words are coming at a time of renewed focus on the migrant problem as the world witnesses tragedies involving migrants.
At least 40 African migrants died and over 130 were injured in Libya when an airplane bombed a detention centre last week.
Also the image of a migrant from El-Salvador and his daughter lying dead at the bank of the River Rio Grande has elicited a lot of emotional reactions in the United States.