Pope Francis on Sunday warned the Mediterranean had become the “biggest cemetery in Europe”, as he remembered the migrants who died trying to reach the continent. During his Angelus prayer, he noted a ceremony taking place in Sicily to mark the April 2015 tragedy when an estimated 800 migrants heading from Libya to Italy drowned when their boat capsized. “This symbol of so many tragedies of the Mediterranean Sea will continue to challenge the conscience of all and encourage the growth of a more united humanity, which breaks down the wall of indifference,” he said. “Let us think about it: the Mediterranean has become Europe’s largest cemetery.”
Thousands of people hoping for a new life in Europe set off from North Africa each year, more often than not in overcrowded, leaky boats run by unscrupulous people smugglers.
The pope on Sunday also offered his prayers to the people of Ethiopia’s conflict-wracked Tigray region, which has been hit by famine. “I am particularly close to the people of the Tigray region in Ethiopia, struck by a serious humanitarian crisis which exposes the poorest to famine,” he said.
“Today there is famine, there is hunger. Let us pray together for an immediate end to the violence, for everyone to be guaranteed food and health assistance, and for the return as soon as possible of social harmony,” said Pope Francis. /Compiled from wires