Pope Francis condemns countries that 'close the door' to migrants

Appeal came shortly before the publication of the Pope’s first solely authored encyclical on climate change

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Pope Francis has strongly criticised nations that turn migrants away, claiming these countries would need to seek forgiveness from God for their actions.

His appeal came shortly before the publication of the Pope’s first solely authored encyclical, in which he appealed for world leaders and businesses to address climate change.

Francis’s remarks, made during his weekly audience in Vatican City, follow increasing focus on migrant populations.

"I invite you all to ask forgiveness for the persons and the institutions who close the door to these people who are seeking a family, who are seeking to be protected," he told the audience.

His remarks are especially controversial given Italy’s position. The southern European nation has complained previously of the burden placed on its services by increasingly desperate – and numerous – migrants arriving on its shores every week.

Right-wing Italian politician Matteo Salvini attacked the Pope’s remarks on national radio station Padania Liberia. "Out of curiosity, how many immigrants are there in the Vatican State?"

Additional reporting by Reuters

Comments