Pope meets Catholic bishops from Marseille to talk migration, but will Europe listen as it scrambles to stem an influx?

Pope Francis greets immigrants as he arrives at the port in Lampedusa, Italy, July 8. (CNS photo/Tullio Puglia, pool) (July 9, 2013) See POPE-LAMPEDUSA July 8, 2013.

RELIGIONS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – Pope Francis, the world Catholic leader, is meeting Catholic bishops from Italian island of Lampedusa this weekend in France.

AP reported Pope meeting Mediterranean bishops is going to recall on solidarity with migrants

Ten years ago Pope Francis made a landmark visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa to show solidarity with migrants.

Now, he wants to make the call more united.

The question is whether anyone in European corridors of power will listen, as they scramble to stem a new tide of would-be refugees setting off from Africa.

Francis’ overnight visit Friday to the French port city of Marseille to close out a meeting of Mediterranean bishops was scheduled months ago.

But it comes as Europe’s migrant problem is once again making headlines, given the nearly 7,000 migrants who came ashore on Lampedusa within a day last week, briefly outnumbering the resident population.

The drama has sparked another round of hand-wringing and pledges of solidarity from European capitals, with even talk of a naval blockade to prevent departures. It’s a policy Francis has long condemned given that an EU-funded operation to return migrants to Libya lands them in what Francis has called modern-day concentration camps.


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