Lampedusa is the Italian island that is usually the first bit of land the mostly Muslim illegal aliens come to when leaving North Africa via boat. Lampedusa and Malta have been plagued for the last few years with the arrival of boat people, some claiming they want asylum—asylum from the turmoil that the US and European countries (including Italy) helped create with their enthusiasm for the Arab Spring and the destabilization of Libya.
Now the Pope unexpectedly arrives on Lampedusa, says Mass and lectures about the “globalization of indifference,” which is fine, of course, as long as he only exhorts individual Christians to PRIVATE giving (opening their homes and wallets) and does not continue to demand Caesar’s money for the church’s charity. And, frankly, that is exactly what is happening at least in America as long time readers of RRW know—the political activities of the Catholic Bishops are being funded by you through taxation.
Here is the story from the New York Times:
ROME — Pope Francis traveled on Monday to Lampedusa, the tiny Mediterranean island that has become a gateway to Europe for thousands of desperate asylum seekers and migrants, as well as an unknown number of others who have died during the perilous crossing from North Africa.
It was the pope’s first official trip outside Rome, and he used it to draw attention to a continuing humanitarian problem while chiding the world for its indifference.
“These brothers and sisters of ours were trying to leave difficult situations to find a little serenity and peace…..
Serenity and peace! Then why do they riot and clash with police on Lampedusa, here is one instance of many! In that post we quoted a line from The Independent:
Until the recent mass influx of north Africans, Lampedusa was a quiet community that relied on fishing and summer tourism for a living. The endless flow of arrivals and the catastrophic effect this has had on tourism have seen tempers fray.
Gee, not a peep out of the New York Times on the catastrophe for Lampedusa residents.
Not all arrivals are in need of asylum—many are economic migrants not protected by any international law regarding refugees and asylum. ‘Economic migrant’ is just a fancy phrase to describe illegal aliens. The NYT continues:
New arrivals on the island, about 75 miles north of Tunisia, are fed and fingerprinted and then separated into three groups: economic migrants, who could be repatriated after their cases are reviewed, and asylum seekers and minors, who after a few days are sent to detention centers on Italy’s mainland.
And here, when the Mayor of Lampedusa calls this a “humanitarian disaster” I don’t think he is talking only about the boat people. I think he just might mean this is a human tragedy for the Italian people.
While praising volunteer associations, law enforcement officials and residents of the island for the assistance they have provided to the migrants, the pope criticized the “globalization of indifference” that he said was widespread among too many others. We “have forgotten how to cry” for migrants lost at sea and “take care of each other,” the pope said in his homily. [Maybe Pope Francis could take some of the “refugees” back to Vatican City with him—ed]
Officials in Lampedusa said they hoped the pope’s visit would bring attention to what they saw as a humanitarian disaster.
“This island is the setting of one of the most epochal dramas of our time, but it is ignored,” said Giuseppina Nicolini, the mayor of Lampedusa. “The numbers of those lost at sea are those of a war, but a silent war that no one speaks of, except a few blogs that no one reads.”
Who is silent in the “silent war” (the suffering Italians?) because it surely isn’t the mainstream media that is silent on the plight of the migrants, and what “blogs” is he talking about?
For more on Lampedusa, click here for our complete archive.