No Man Is an Island ... Even on Lampedusa

Pope Francis' quotability average maintained well above .500 today when he spoke of the "globalization of indifference," his expression for the worldwide expansion of a kind of anti-solidarity, an encroaching acceptance of the suffering of others. His offered his latest entry into Bartlett's during his first appearance outside of Rome when he celebrated Mass in Lampedusa, an Italian island near the coast of North Africa, where  dozens of illegal immigrants arrive every day. The island is a Euopean landfall that an unknowable number of migrants die attempting to reach each year. Speaking of such deaths, he said: “Lord, we ask  forgiveness, for those who with their laws and decisions have created situations, that have led to these tragedies...”

The base of the altar Pope Francis used for his first celebration of the Mass outside of Rome was made from a boat used by group of North African migrants. The United Nations reports that 8,000 people have landed on Lampedusa’s coasts in the first half of 2013. During the Arab Spring, dozens of boats arrived each day. Many of the new arrivals are Muslim and Pope Francis used his homily on Lampedusa to offer greetings on the beginning of the Muslim observance of Ramadan. "I sent heartfelt greetings to dear Mulsim immigrants who, this evening, will begin the Ramadan fast, and wish them them abundant spiritual rewards," he said.

Advertisement

"The Church is close to you in your search for a better lives for yourselves and your families." Pope Francis explained during his homily that he felt compelled to come to Lamepdusa after "I heard a few weeks ago that more immigrants had drowned.

"The news was like a thorn piercing my heart," said Francis, referring to an incident in mid-June when at least 10 migrants drowned off Malta when a Tunisian fishing boat allegedly refused to rescue them. "I felt I must come to Lampedusa to pray that such a tragedy doesn't happen again," Francis said, worrying that "we have lost our sense of fraternal responsibility."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
David Pasinski
7 years 1 month ago
Hope! Thank you, Pope Francis! May the rest of us act on your words to create communities of caring in the face of growing intolerance.
Manuel Carrasco García-Moreno
7 years 1 month ago
Very nice article. I simply love the Pope, his actions and his ministry spreading the Gospel of Love. Just a tiny note. In the article you use the expression "illegal immigrant". Wouldn't it be more accurate and more charitable to say "undocumented immigrant"? Using the later would express that there is no such thing as an "illegal" person.

Advertisement

The latest from america

“It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs,” Jesus told her. Yet she is not repelled by his parable. She engages it.
Terrance KleinAugust 12, 2020
Catholic composer David Haas is shown in a concert at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines, in this 2016 photo. (CNS photo/Titopao, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Mr. Haas has denied any wrongdoing, calling the accusations “false, reckless and offensive.”
During Jerusalem’s lockdown, my family saw the Holy Land—and each other—with new eyes.
Stephanie SaldañaAugust 12, 2020
In this June 27, 2019, file photo, then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listens to questions after the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Few, if any, vice presidential candidates have had as much exposure to the world’s religions as Kamala Harris.