Oct 9, 2022 - World

Pope: Europe's migrant crisis is “disgusting, sinful, criminal"

Vatican City

A view of St. Peter's Square in Vatican City during Mass, led by Pope Francis, for the canonization of Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabrini and Don Bosco Artemide Zatti on Oct. 9. Photo: Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis — an outspoken critic of Europe’s response to migrants and asylum seekers — on Sunday called the continent's migrant crisis “disgusting, sinful, criminal,” The Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The Bishop of Rome’s comments delivered in St. Peter’s Square reinforce his stance that migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone.

What he’s saying: "Indeed, the situation of migrants is criminal. They are left to die in front of us, making the Mediterranean the largest cemetery in the world," Pope Francis said, per The Post.

  • Pope Francis also pointed to the migrants dying during sea crossings or landing in Libya, where he said they end up in concentration camps and "are exploited and sold as slaves."
  • He added that Ukrainian migrants fleeing war “causes us great suffering,” per The Post.
  • The Vatican said in August that Russia was an instigator in the war in Ukraine and Pope Francis has previously criticized Putin.

By the numbers: The UN Refugee Agency found over 3,000 people died or went missing while crossing the Mediterranean or Atlantic seas to reach Europe last year — nearly double the number the previous year.

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