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Pope Francis (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis says the migration crisis between Mexico and the United States is a “serious problem” and praised a US bishop for efforts in caring for the migrants. Source: OSV News.

In a television interview with American Spanish-language television network Telemundo, the Pope was shown photos of a baby wrapped in a blanket and placed inside a suitcase to be taken across the Rio Grande into the US.

“It’s a serious problem there,” the Pope said in response. “On the other side (of the border) there is a great man, Bishop [Joseph] Seitz” of El Paso, Texas.

“This bishop feels (the problem),” Pope Francis said. “The problem of migrants is serious, it’s serious there and it’s serious here,” he said about Europe, particularly “along the Libyan coast.”

Speaking about his own experience as a child of immigrants, and now as an immigrant in Rome, the Pope said that every person who leaves his or her homeland “misses the air of their birthplace”.

“The mate you make in a thermos yourself is not the same as the mate your mum or your aunt makes for you,” he said, referring to the caffeinated herbal drink popular in Argentina.

Pope Francis was asked about his May 13 meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The Pope said Mr Zelenskyy asked for his help in returning Ukrainian children who have been taken into Russia and told the Pope to “not dream much about mediations”.

“Really, Ukraine’s bloc is very strong, it’s all of Europe, the United States, so it has a lot of strength,” Pope Francis said to explain why a Vatican mediation did not appear immediately feasible. “But what really pained (Zelenskyy) and what he asked for collaboration on was trying to get the children back into Ukraine.”

The United Nations Human Rights Office has classified Russia’s illegal transfer of more than 19,000 children into its territories as a war crime.


Pope Francis says situation at US-Mexico border is ‘serious problem’ (By Justin McLellan, OSV News)