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‘They are people …’ Pope deplores as shameful latest death of 130 migrants

Twitter Chris Catrambone

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/25/21

"Let us also pray for those who can help but prefer to look the other way," Pope Francis says.

Pope Francis spoke out with emotion about the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea, where some 130 people are believed dead after a rubber boat was found capsized northeast of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

“I confess I am extremely sad over the tragedy that has once again taken place in the Mediterranean. One hundred thirty migrants died in the sea,” the pope said after praying the midday Regina Caeli on April 25.

They are people. They are human beings who begged for help in vain for two whole days – help that never arrived.

Brothers and sisters, let us all ask ourselves about this umpteenth tragedy. It is a shameful moment. Let us pray for these brothers and sisters, and for all those who continue to die in these tragic crossings.

Let us also pray for those who can help but prefer to look the other way. Let us pray in silence for them…

A statement from a crisis hotline called Alarm Phone said they were “in contact with this boat in distress over a period of 10 hours, on 21 April, and repeatedly relayed its GPS position and the dire situation on board to European and Libyan authorities and the wider public.”

But only non-state rescue groups actively responded to the call. Alarm Phone said European authorities failed to do anything, and left the situation in the hands of the insufficient resources of the Libyan Coast Guard.

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