Pope criticises nations that close doors to migrants

2015-06-17 14:30
Pope Francis. (Andrew Medichini, AP)

Pope Francis. (Andrew Medichini, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Wednesday called for respect for migrants and suggested that "people and institutions" who close doors to them should seek forgiveness from God.

The pope's appeal, made at the end of his weekly general audience, came a growing debate in Europe on how to deal with an immigrant crisis that has included clashes at the French-Italian borer between police and migrants.

"I invite you all to ask forgiveness for the persons and the institutions who close the door to these people who are seeking a family, who are seeking to be protected," he said in unscripted remarks delivered in a sombre voice.

France and Austria have stepped up border controls on migrants coming from Italy, turning back hundreds and leaving growing numbers camped out in railway stations in Rome and Milan.

In a sign of persisting discord over how to deal with the migrant crisis, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi threatened retaliation if other EU countries did not agree to take their fair share of refugees that land on Italy's shores.

The pope said "these brothers and sisters of our are seeking refuge far from their lands, they are seeking a home where they can live without fear."

He asked for prayers that their "human dignity always be respected" and urged the international community to "work together and efficiently to prevent the causes of forced migration".

France, Italy and Germany agreed on Tuesday to join forces to identify migrants arriving by sea and to swiftly relocate them across the European Union or send them back to their home countries if their claims for asylum in Europe are rejected.

As they deliberated, police began removing mainly African migrants from makeshift seaside camps on the Italian-French border.

Around 300 had collected on the Italian side in hopes of proceeding into France and onwards to northern Europe where relatives live and job chances might be better.

Read more on:    pope francis  |  vatican city

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.