Following his weekly Angelus prayer in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis appealed for an end to the repatriation of Libyan migrants and the establishment instead of streamlined migration routes.
“I express my closeness to the thousands of migrants, refugees and others in need of protection in Libya: I never forget you; I hear your cries and pray for you,” the pontiff said. He went on to insist that many migrants “are subjected to inhuman violence,” while calling on the international community “to keep its promises to seek common, concrete and lasting solutions for the management of migratory flows in Libya and throughout the Mediterranean.”
“How much suffering for those who are turned away!” he continued. “There are some real concentration camps there… We must put an end to the return of migrants to unsafe countries and to give priority to the assistance of human lives at sea with rescue operations and predictable disembarkation, to guarantee them dignified living conditions, alternatives to detention, regular migration routes, and access to asylum procedures.”
The pope concluded by appealing to his hearers to “feel responsible for these brothers and sisters of ours, who have been victims of this very serious situation for too many years.”
He made no mention of the European citizens who have been made victims of the tsunami of illegal immigration that has wrought a “fundamental transformation (as Barack Obama would put it) of the continent.