Pope Francis Leaves a Mark in Lampedusa

Giulia Madron (July 09, 2013)
“We are Responsible for the death of the ‘undocumented’” For his first trip outside of Rome, Pope Francis chose the Sicilian island, which symbolized last hope for many immigrants.

The 8th of July was a special day for Pope Francis. It was his first trip to Lampedusa. The Sicilian island is one of the main destinations for many African immigrants who come to Europe in search of a better future for themselves and their families. Nevertheless, many of them never reach the Italian shores. 

When Pope Francis became aware of what was happening, he decided to fly to the island and give a mass in order to make the locals aware of the immigrants’ situation.

More than 15 thousand people welcomed Pope Francis on his arrival in Lampedusa to meet the locals and immigrants.

“No one feels responsible for this (the tragedies of immigration), we lost the sense of brotherhood, we have fallen into a hypocrite behavior, ” said the Bishop of Rome.

During the homily, Pope Francis mentioned the famous Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni and in particular the character of the “Unnamed,” the evil figure of his most important novel, The Betrothed.

“Globalization and globalizing the indifference makes us all unnamed men, but we are all responsible even without name or faces,” he said.

He continued, saying that in front of all the people who died in the sea we should “ask God to cry for our indifference, for our cruelty and the cruelty of the world, of those who make socio-economic decisions in the anonymity and that result in such tragedies.”

What Pope Francis said was a open attack on globalization in general. We live in a society that makes us deaf in front of the screams of people who need help. And this is what brings us all towards the “globalization of indifference.”

Before returning to Rome, Pope Francis concluded his visit with a stop at the Church of San Gerlando where immigrants and other inhabitants of the island were waiting for him. He said that Lampedusa should be “a lighthouse for the world, finding the courage to receive those people who are looking for a better life.”

Once again, Pope Bergoglio confirms himself not only an authority of the Church but a man who is deeply committed to what happens in the world and is willing to change it, creating a better future grounded on universal brotherhood.

According to Amnesty International Italy, the Pope’s trip to Lampedusa could represent a big step towards the respect of human rights for those who are immigrants or political exiles.  





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