Pope "Deeply Moved" by Death of Migrants Fleeing Libya

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 7, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The tragic death of some 250 migrants fleeing Libya has deeply moved Benedict XVI, a Vatican spokesman said today.

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Early Wednesday morning, a boat capsized with as many as 300 migrants trying to escape the conflict in Libya and reach Italy. Only about 50 of the people survived; some of those lost at sea were children.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, told journalists that the tragedy has “deeply moved the Holy Father.” He said the Pope actively follows the “vicissitudes of immigrants in these dramatic times.”

Father Lombardi noted that some of the victims of the Mediterranean tragedy were Eritrean Catholics who had participated in the activities of the Catholic community in Libya.

He assured that the Pontiff and the whole Church “remember in prayer all the victims — of every nationality and condition, including women and children — who lose their lives in the terrible journey to flee situations of poverty or injustice or violence that afflicts them, in search of protection, welcome and conditions of life that are more human.”

In the last week, some 22,000 immigrants of various nationalities have arrived to Italian shores, fleeing the war in Libya.

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