Pope Francis compares Mediterranean migrant crisis to abortion

'Terrorism, war, violence are attacks against life'

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The Independent Online

Pope Francis has said that leaving migrants travelling on boats to die in the Mediterranean is similar to the "scourge" of abortion.

The pontiff made the controversial comparison - between what he called the "scourge of abortion" and "leaving out brothers to die in the Sicilian Channel" - at a meeting of Catholic scientists at the Vatican.

Other "scourges" classed by Pope Francis as "an attack against life" including euthanasia - as well as malnutrition, terrorism, war and violence.

The Catholic News Agency reported that Pope Francis was addressing a meeting of the Italian Associazione Scienza & Vita (Science and Life Association) when he made the comments.

He said: "The scourge of abortion is an attack against life. Leaving our brothers on boats to die in the Sicilian channel is an attack against life. 

"Death in the workplace, because the minimum safety conditions are not followed, is an attack against life. Death from malnutrition is an attack against life. 

"Terrorism, war, violence; but also euthanasia are attacks against life."

The Pope made remarks hours after 750 migrants were rescued off the coast of Sicily. Around 1,800 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean since the turn of the year.