Have You Wept Over the Death of Immigrants?

Last week, Pope Francis visited the small Sicilian island of Lampedusa, a crossing-over point for immigrants
coming from northern Africa to Europe. He went to mourn the deaths of an estimated 20,000 migrants who have crossed over. These individuals were mostly Muslims who were crossing into Europe illegally, and their deaths were largely ignored. The pope’s trip was intended to correct that, and even more, to beg God to have mercy on us in our indifference. His homily was phenomenal, and is well worth the read. He ended it by calling us to tears for our dead and dying brothers:

John C. Dollman, The Immigrants’ Ship (1884)
“Adam, where are you?” “Where is your brother?” These are the two questions which God asks at the dawn of human history, and which he also asks each man and woman in our own day, which he also asks us. But I would like us to ask a third question: “Has any one of us wept because of this situation and others like it?” Has any one of us grieved for the death of these brothers and sisters? Has any one of us wept for these persons who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who were looking for a means of supporting their families? We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion – “suffering with” others: the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! In the Gospel we have heard the crying, the wailing, the great lamentation: “Rachel weeps for her children… because they are no more”. Herod sowed death to protect his own comfort, his own soap bubble. And so it continues… Let us ask the Lord to remove the part of Herod that lurks in our hearts; let us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference, to weep over the cruelty of our world, of our own hearts, and of all those who in anonymity make social and economic decisions which open the door to tragic situations like this. “Has any one wept?” Today has anyone wept in our world?

Lord, in this liturgy, a penitential liturgy, we beg forgiveness for our indifference to so many of our brothers and sisters. Father, we ask your pardon for those who are complacent and closed amid comforts which have deadened their hearts; we beg your forgiveness for those who by their decisions on the global level have created situations that lead to these tragedies. Forgive us, Lord!

Kyrie, Eleison!


  1. I was going to write something snarky about how many immigrants Vatican City take in every year (I read somewhere on the net that it’s about 8 people per year).

    And then i thought…

    8 immigrants per 0.170313 square miles…the US is 3,794,000 square miles….

    That’s 178,213,000 immigrants per year if the US was going to keep up.

    I think I’ll keep my snarky comments to myself lol!

  2. This is “social gospel” nonsense and the pope exploiting these people to push a borderless socialistic world government. He ends by saying, “we beg your forgiveness for those who by their decisions on the global level have created situations that lead to these tragedies.” Wrong, it is the corruption and sin in each of those very wealthy African nations that produced the immigrants, their own elite loot the government and the common people are immoral. They need to solve their own problems and not export all their people to Europe to house and feed.

    Luke 13:1-5 KJV 1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
    2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    Jesus wept for his friend Lazarus, but for a bunch of dead sinners he didn’t show much sympathy, did he? “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” John 17:15.

    Moslems are not brother in Christ and they all die and go to hell no matter where they live, even the wealthy ones who let their fellow moslems starve.

    Europe needs to return to Jesus Christ and to voluntary charity (not socialism) given to help their own kind: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 1 Timothy 5:6.

    – Mack.

    1. Don’t be so quick to usurp how God extends His mercy to your fellow man and condemn others to Hell. It’s pretty clear to me that Jesus’s message in Luke 13 is a warning against pride and self-righteousness. God knows the heart and who truly repents. Jesus does not equate repentance with becoming a Christian and we should never hold anything but hope the all will come to faith, even if that is through means known only to God.

      John 17: read the whole thing starting a few chapters back. Jesus is referring to His 12 apostles specifically less Judas, the “son of destruction”, whom He excluded. If you want to read Jesus not praying for the world as being condemnation to Hell, then that context would put you in the world and under the same condemnation.

      1 Tim 5:8: That’s a warning to Christians everywhere, not just Europe. In fact, this warning would put many Muslims above a lot of bible believing Christians.

  3. Daniel,

    They will be judged not only according to what they knew, but what they could have known if they undertook a reasonable and honest search.

    But how does that excuse Pope Jorge for his failure to command these Moslems to reject Mohamed and to receive true salvation by Jesus Christ who died for our sins and rose again?

    – Mack.

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