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The beach at Steccato di Cutro in Calabria, Italy (Public Domain)

Pope Francis and leaders of the Church in Italy have expressed their pain and sent prayers for the eternal rest of at least 59 migrants who died in a shipwreck yesterday off the southern coast of Italy. Source: ACI Prensa.

The migrants were on boat that crashed into the rocks a few meters from the coast of the village of Steccato di Cutro in Calabria. Italian authorities continue to search with boats for dozens still missing at sea.

According to some witnesses, the ship carried about 250 people. Some 80 migrants have been rescued so far.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has expressed “her deep regret for the numerous human lives cut short by human traffickers.”

She described as “criminal” having left “a boat of just 20 meters in length with up to 200 people on board and with adverse weather forecasts”.

“It is inhumane to change the lives of men, women and children for the price of the ‘ticket’ paid by them from the false perspective of a safe trip,” she said.

Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, also spoke about the tragedy, saying it was a reminder that “the issue of migrants and refugees must be faced with responsibility and humanity.”

“The country feels profound sadness and acute pain for the umpteenth shipwreck that has occurred on our coasts,” he said.

Pope Francis prayed for the migrants, “for those who are lost, and for those who have survived” in his Angelus address yesterday, Vatican News reports. 

He also expressed his gratitude towards all those who participate in rescue operations, as well as to all those who offer welcome to those seeking refuge, saying, “May the Virgin Mary sustain you.”


Shipwreck leaves more than 50 migrants dead in Italy: The Church expresses pain (By Diego Lopez Marina, ACI Prensa via CNA)

Pope prays for migrants lost at sea in most recent Mediterranean tragedy (By Francesca Merlo and Nathan Morley, Vatican News)