Pope: we must save migrants as God will take it into account on Judgement Day

During a meeting with a group of refugees, Francis said that detention camps in Libya are "places of torture and despicable slavery" and should be emptied. For him, “blocking their boats does not solve the problem.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis today met with another group of refugees who recently arrived from Lesbos, Greece, through humanitarian corridors, 14 of them minors and a dozen Christians.

In his address, the pontiff issued a new warning against apathy and indifference in the face of those seeking help. He urged action to "empty the detention camps in Libya by evaluating and implementing all possible solutions".

“[I]njustice,” he said, “forces many migrants to leave their lands” only “to let them perish in a stormy sea rather than die slowly in Libyan detention camps, places of torture and despicable slavery". For this reason, “blocking their boats does not solve the problem.”

Instead, it is necessary “to expose and pursue the traffickers who exploit and mistreat migrants, unafraid of revealing the collusion and complicity” of people in power.

Francis began his speech by referring to the cross with life jacket displayed in the Vatican’s Belvedere Courtyard. The jacket "belonged to a migrant who went missing" at sea last July.

The cross is transparent and pushes us to look "more carefully and always seek the truth". It is also glowing “because it wants to hearten our faith in the Resurrection.”

Saving each and every human life, Francis noted, “is a moral duty that unites believers and non-believers". The jacket and the cross indicate the steps to take: "We are all responsible for our neighbour’s life.”

“We need to put aside economic interests and focus on the individual, every individual, whose life and dignity are precious in the eyes of God.

“We must help and save [people] for we are all responsible for our neighbour’s life, and the Lord will take this into account on Judgment Day.”