Pope slams nations which ‘close the door’ to migrants

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis said Wednesday that those who “close the door” to refugees seeking a safe haven in Europe should ask God’s forgiveness, as tensions rose in the EU over the migrant crisis.

A day after European interior ministers failed to agree on how to stem the flow of boat migrants across the Mediterranean or house the thousands of new arrivals, Francis demanded greater respect for “our brothers and sisters who seek refuge far from their own lands”.

“I encourage those who bring them aid and hope that the international community will act in a united and efficient fashion to prevent the causes of forced migration,” he said.

“And I invite everyone to ask God’s pardon for those people and institutions who close the door to those who are seeking a family, who are seeking to be protected,” he said.

Italy has threatened a backlash if other EU states refuse to share the burden of asylum seekers, but even so ministers took no decision to carry out proposals by the European Commission for quotas to redistribute 40,000 refugees.

European leaders swore action after an estimated 800 migrants died in a shipwreck in April, the worst disaster yet in the Mediterranean in a year in which a total of 1,800 people have died trying to cross from Africa and the Middle East on flimsy boats.

In one of the largest pledges of assistance so far, France said Wednesday it would create an additional 10,500 housing places for migrants.

More than 100,000 migrants have arrived in Europe this year, 60,000 through Italy alone, according to the EU’s border agency Frontex.

  • David B

    Just got back from Rome and a splendid trip to the Vatican. Most striking to see the wealth inside the Vatican’s walls contrasted with the beggars and homeless in the streets surrounding it. Having said that I’m sure the Pope begs God’s forgiveness daily.

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  • Benbella

    Let does nation help themselves, why immigrating to cause problems in another Countries, , Culture and Religion is quite different , also how they see things , it would not work, charity starts at home first , give them the TOOLS they need to change not allowing them to destroy other people ways of living . , EG. African Culture and Tradition very different and Muslim Culture or religion called the Western Culture SIN unacceptable , it does not make sense for them to migrate to those Western World Countries until they accepted the ways and understand to live within , otherwise let them stay home, they are still backward to mix up. . Pope Conitinue to pray for them alright..

    • Uchenna

      You are a stupid racist, who unfortunately cannot even write good English. Let me tell you, Mr. or Mrs. Racist, Europe first invaded Africa and other continents uninvited. Now tell me the moral authority you have to say the nonsense you are saying here. Europe first polluted others way of life. Get it into you head.