Saving lives at sea "is a duty". The Pope said this at the Memorial to the victims of the sea. "We cannot resign ourselves to seeing human beings treated as bargaining chips, imprisoned and tortured in an atrocious way", "we can no longer witness the tragedies of shipwrecks, due to hateful trafficking and the fanaticism of indifference. People who risk drowning when abandoned on the waves must be rescued. It is a duty of humanity, it is a duty of civilization!" the Pope emphasized. Heaven will bless us if on land and at sea we know how to take care of the weakest, if we know how to overcome the paralysis of fear and disinterest that condemns to death with velvet gloves. In this, we representatives of different religions are called to be an example".
"Too many people, fleeing conflicts, poverty and environmental disasters, find in the waves of the Mediterranean the definitive rejection of their search for a better future. And so this beautiful sea has become a huge cemetery, where many brothers and sisters are deprived even of the right to have a grave, and only human dignity is buried." The Pope said this at the Memorial to the victims of the sea. "A crossroads is placed before us: on the one hand, fraternity, which makes the human community fruitful with good; on the other, indifference, which bloodied the Mediterranean. We are facing a crossroads of civilization," Pope Francis added. The Pope then thanked the organizations that "go to sea to save migrants", "so often prevent it", "are gestures of hatred disguised as balance".
Before arriving in Marseilles, Francis on the papal plane had said: "It is a cruelty, a terrible lack of humanity": this is how the Pope commented with journalists on the situation that is leading to numerous landings of migrants in Lampedusa and other landing areas.
"They keep them in Libyan concentration camps and then throw them into the sea," the Pontiff added, looking at the photo of a migrant mother with her son. In Marseille "I hope to have the courage to say everything I want to say".
The Pope has arrived in Marseilles where he is participating in the Mediterranean Meetings. Francis was welcomed by Prime Minister French Élisabeth Borne. First stop of the trip is the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde for Marian prayer with the diocesan clergy at 17 pm. At 18 pm the Pontiff will be at the Memorial of the sailors and migrants who died at sea where there will be a moment of prayer. At the end of the day the Pontiff moves to the Archbishopric.
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