Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Kevin ClarkeJuly 08, 2013

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.

"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
10 years 10 months 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
10 years 10 months 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.

The latest from america

This week on “Jesuitical,” Zac and Ashley are live at Xavier University in Cincinnati with their spiritual director, Eric Sundrup, S.J., sharing their own experiences discerning their paths as young adults and offering insights from Jesuit spirituality to young people navigating big life questions.
JesuiticalMay 24, 2024
China's flag is seen as Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican
Marking the centenary of the first plenary council of the Catholic Church in China, the Vatican hosted a conference earlier this week on challenges and opportunities for Chinese Catholics.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 24, 2024
Jesuit Jacques Monet sitting at a table in a restaurant, smiling and toasting with a glass of white wine. He is wearing a dark suit and a tie with a pin on his lapel.
Jacques Monet, S.J., passed away peacefully on May 14 at the age of 94, leaving behind a great legacy to his church and nation.
John Meehan, S.J.May 24, 2024
Annette Bening, Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig in "20th Century Women."
The characters in ‘20th Century Women’ find themselves torn between embracing the new and retreating into the familiar.
John DoughertyMay 24, 2024