Pope Chooses Immigrant-Flooded Island for First Trip

Monday, 01 Jul 2013 09:10 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Pope Francis has chosen the southern Italian island of Lampedusa for his first trip outside Rome, to show solidarity with tens of thousands of refugees who each year brave a perilous journey there in flimsy boats, the Vatican said on Monday.

The small island, Italy's southernmost point, is the conduit for mostly African immigrants fleeing conflict or economic hardship in order to enter the European Union.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

The Vatican said Francis was "profoundly touched" by the flood of immigration, and will throw a wreath of flowers into the sea in memory of the many who have drowned in waters off the island during the visit on July 8.

The pontiff will also meet groups of immigrants who have made the crossing and will celebrate a mass in a sports centre on the island.

A holding centre on the island built to hold 380 has long been overwhelmed, and the island's predicament has become a symbol in Europe and Italy for those who see immigration as out of control.

Lampedusa's regular population of about 6,000 has often been outnumbered by migrants sleeping in improvised tent encampments dotted around the island, which in normal times lives from fishing and tourism.

Over 50,000 people arrived there in a surge caused by unrest in North Africa in 2011, and recent good weather has caused another increase in the hundreds arriving each week as it allows a less risky crossing.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

US Evacuates Embassy in Libya Amid Clashes

Saturday, 26 Jul 2014 08:14 AM

The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U. . . .

Montana Rep. Daines: Obama, Reid Waging 'War' on Energy

Saturday, 26 Jul 2014 09:29 AM

President Barack Obama has spearheaded a war on American energy, Montana Republican Rep. Steve Daines said in Saturday . . .

Some in CIA 'Torture' Report Denied Chance to Read it

Saturday, 26 Jul 2014 08:06 AM

About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved