Pope Francis mourns Italy shipwreck victims

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Pope Francis arrives in the popemobile car for the weekly general audience on September 28, 2022 at t. Peter's square in The Vatican. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Pope Francis mourns Italy shipwreck victims

The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis on Sunday, mourned the victims of shipwreck that occured off southern Italy killing at least 70 people, prayed that such journey of hope would never to turn journey of death.

While praying for the lost souls at the close of the Angelus, the pope called for the stop to the death of migrants.

The Argentine pontiff said, “May the traffickers of human beings be stopped, may they no longer be able to dispose of the lives of so many innocent people.’

“May these journeys of hope never again turn into journeys of death, and may the clear waters of the Mediterranean no longer be bloodied by such dramatic incidents,” the 86-year-old Pope added.

According to AFP, the sovereign of the Vatican City State, who was emotionally touched, then paid his respects in silence for a few seconds before the crowd in St Peter’s Square.

The death toll from the tragedy off the coast of Crotone, Calabria, last week included 15 minors. Rescue workers are still searching for other victims.

Italian media has reported that three suspected smugglers have been arrested.

It was gathered that they are suspected of having charged between 5,000 and 8,000 euros to each migrant they had brought to Turkey three days earlier.
It was also gathered the boat, which was believed to have been carrying about 180 people, mostly from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, broke up just offshore in stormy weather, after possibly hitting a sandbank.

Under-fire Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Saturday, were said to have rejected any government responsibility for the shipwreck.