Pope meets with France president/Europe faces a reality about immigrants
RELIGIONS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – Pope Frances, the world Catholic leader met with French president Emmanuel Macron and challenged European countries policies about immigrants.
AP reported asked Macron and other European leaders to open their ports to people fleeing hardship and poverty.
He insisted Saturday that the continent isn’t facing a migration “emergency” but rather a long-term reality that governments must deal with humanely.
For a second straight day in the French port city of Marseille, Francis took aim at European countries that have tried to close their doors to migrants and tried to shame them into responding with charity instead.
He called for migrants to have legal pathways to citizenship, and for the Mediterranean Sea that so many people try to cross to reach Europe to be a beacon of hope, not a graveyard of desperation.
The Mediterranean, Francis told Macron and a gathering of regional bishops, “cries out for justice, with its shores that on the one hand exude affluence, consumerism and waste, while on the other there is poverty and instability.”
The pope’s visit to the city in southern France comes as Italy’s far right-led government has reacted to a new wave of arriving migrants by threatening to organize a naval blockade of Tunisia and to step up repatriations. The French government, for its part, has beefed up patrols on its southern border to stop migrants in Italy from crossing over.