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Pope decries indifference towards migrants, as he prays for the lifeless in Marseille Specific Occasions

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Pope Francis challenged French President Emmanuel Macron and different European leaders to open their ports to folks fleeing hardship and poverty, insisting Saturday that the continent isn’t dealing with a migration “emergency” however slightly a long-term actuality that governments should take care of humanely.

For a second straight day within the French port metropolis of Marseille, Francis took purpose at European international locations which have used “alarmist propaganda” to justify closing their doorways to migrants, and tried to disgrace them into responding with charity as an alternative.

He referred to as for migrants to have authorized pathways to citizenship, and for the Mediterranean Sea that so many cross to succeed in Europe to be a beacon of hope, not a graveyard of desperation.

The Mediterranean, Francis informed Macron and a gathering of regional bishops, “cries out for justice, with its shores that on the one hand exude affluence, consumerism and waste, whereas on the opposite there may be poverty and instability.”

The pope’s go to to the town in southern France, which drew an estimated 150,000 well-wishers Saturday, comes as Italy’s far right-led authorities has reacted to a brand new wave of arriving migrants by threatening to arrange a naval blockade of Tunisia and to step up repatriations. The French authorities, for its half, has beefed up patrols on its southern border to cease migrants in Italy from crossing over.

After the bishops’ assembly ended, Macron and Francis held a personal, half-hour assembly. They spoke about migration points and a collection of different matters, the French presidency stated, including that each leaders share a “joint will” to carry human options to the state of affairs.

France is a “host nation” to migrants — particularly to asylum seekers — and is supporting European solidarity insurance policies, together with via financing and combating human trafficking, the French presidency stated. The Vatican offered no readout of the assembly.

Macron’s centrist authorities has taken a more durable line on migration and safety points after coming underneath criticism from French conservatives and the far proper. With elections for the European Union’s parliament set for subsequent 12 months, Macron is pushing for the E.U. to strengthen its exterior borders and to be extra environment friendly in deporting people who’re denied entry.

Macron greeted Francis on a wind-swept promenade overlooking Marseille’s outdated port, and helped him stroll into the Palais du Pharo for the Mediterranean bishops assembly. Along with his spouse by his aspect, the French chief listened as a younger Italian volunteer working in Greece and the bishop of Tirana, Albania, who fled to Italy throughout Albania’s communist rule, spoke of the welcomes they acquired in overseas international locations.

“Might we let ourselves be moved by the tales of so a lot of our unlucky brothers and sisters who’ve the best each to to migrate and to not to migrate, and never grow to be closed in indifference,” Francis stated. “Within the face of the horrible scourge of the exploitation of human beings, the answer is to not reject however to make sure, in accordance with the chances of every, an ample variety of authorized and common entrances.”

Francis’ two-day journey was scheduled months in the past, however it’s going down as mass migration to Europe is as soon as once more making headlines. Almost 7,000 migrants who boarded smugglers boats in Tunisia got here ashore on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa inside a day final week, briefly outnumbering the resident inhabitants.

Nonetheless, Francis stated discuss of a migration “emergency” solely fuels “alarmist propaganda” and stokes peoples’ fears.

“Those that danger their lives at sea don’t invade, they search for welcome, for all times” he stated. “As for the emergency, the phenomenon of migration is just not a lot a short-term urgency, all the time good for fueling alarmist propaganda, however a actuality of our instances.”


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