Marseille, France: Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome, has expressed his concerns about the increasing anti-migrant policies and conspiracy theories throughout Italy and Europe. He arrived in Marseille, France, on Monday to attend a church conference.
Since the Lampedusa incident, there has been a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment among Italians, and several European governments bordering Italy are now considering passing laws that would reduce the flow of immigrants into the country.
The head of the Catholic Church said that migration was neither an invasion nor an emergency but rather “a reality of our times that must be governed with wise foresight, including a European response.”
He said that migration and asylum policy should be guided not by “the preservation of one’s own prosperity, but rather the preservation of human dignity.”
Pope Francis warned against turning “the Mediterranean from the cradle of civilization into the graveyard of dignity” and called on governments to “ensure, according to the possibilities of each, an ample number of legal and regular entrances.”
Pope Francis conveyed the message of stopping immigrant hate, mentioning that the people who risked their lives crossing the sea and coming to the country cannot be invaders.
On September 14, 2023, more than 6000 African immigrants arrived in Lampedusa. The Italian authorities declared a state of emergency following the rapid flow of immigrants.
Yesterday, another twenty-eight people rescued by a ship operated by the Italian charity Emergency arrived in Ravenna, northeastern Italy. They came from Syria, Egypt and Libya. Among them were eight children, one of whom was unaccompanied.
After the rescue, Italian maritime authorities assigned the port of Ravenna, hundreds of kilometres north, as a ‘Place of Safety’. Life Support took four days to reach the port south of Venice. During the last two days in the Adriatic, the ship ran into bad weather, causing the rescued people and the crew to suffer seasickness.
Emergency says its search and rescue vessel Life Support has rescued 1,011 people in the Central Mediterranean since it began operations in December 2022.