Fr. Lombardi: ‘Pope Francis Following Catania Shipwreck Closely’

Boat Carrying Mainly Syrians and Egyptians Runs Aground, Killing Six Migrants

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office told Vatican Radio today that Pope Francis is following closely the events unfolding in Catania, after 6 migrants were killed in a shipwreck. Tragedies, such as the shipwreck in Catania “touch him profoundly”, Fr. Lombardi said.

According to various news reports, the bodies were discovered on the shore of a local resort in Catania, a major Sicilian port. 100 other migrants, mostly from Syria and Egypt, were rescued.

Investigators in Catania have arrested two Egyptian minors who were allegedly part of the boats crew while the search for three of the boat’s drivers continues. After the ship ran aground 50 feet from the shore, passengers mistakenly thought they could walk to shore. The victims killed because the water was unexpectedly deep.

The incident echoes the concerns raised by the Holy Father during his visit to Lampedusa in July where he raised awareness on the plight of immigrants fleeing dangerous situations in their native lands. Pope Francis warned of a “globalized indifference” when it comes to those entering migrating to foreign countries, seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

Fr. Lombardi noted that the Pope’s visit to Lampedusa demonstrates that the dangers faced by immigrants is “alive, real and present.”

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