The Pope is Already Clashing with New Italian Leader

Pope Francis on Sunday made an impassioned defense of migrants, calling their exclusion “scandalous, disgusting and sinful,” putting him on a collision course with Italy’s upcoming right-wing government.

Francis made his comments as he canonized a 19th century bishop known as the “father of migrants” and a 20th century man who ministered to the sick in Argentina.

Francis, who has made support of migrants a major theme of his pontificate, presided over the ceremony before 50,000 people in St. Peter’s Square.

“The exclusion of migrants is scandalous. Indeed, the exclusion of migrants is criminal. It makes them die in front of us,” he said.

“And so today the Mediterranean is the world’s largest cemetery,” he said, referring to thousands who have drowned trying to reach Europe.

“The exclusion of migrants is disgusting, it is sinful. It is criminal not to open doors to those who are needy,” he said.

Giorgia Meloni is expected to become prime minister later this month at the head of a right-wing coalition that has vowed to crack down on immigration and tighten Italy’s borders.

She has promised accelerated repatriations and tighter asylum rules. Meloni has also called for a naval blockade of North Africa to prevent migrants from sailing and for renewed curbs on charity rescue ships. [L8N3164EU]

Francis, who did not mention Italy, said some migrants sent back are put in “concentration camps where they are exploited and treated as slaves.” In the past he has said this has happened in Libya.

The pope went off script about migrants at the point in his prepared comments when he mentioned the most well known of the two new saints – Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, who lived between 1839 and 1905.

Scalabrini founded two religious orders – one of priests and one of nuns – to help Italian immigrants in the United States and South America.

The other new saint is Artemides Zatti, who lived between 1880 and 1951. His family fled poverty in Italy and settled in Argentina.

A lay member of the Salesian religious order, he worked as a nurse, bringing healthcare to the poor on his bicycle.

6 thoughts on “The Pope is Already Clashing with New Italian Leader

  1. Pope Francis needs to retire now as he has never represented the interests of the Italian people or the Catholic faith.

  2. The Pope is wrong. What we are experiencing here in America is an INVASION! Would the Pope open the doors to the Vatican for these “needy” immigrants? I don’t think so. He’s being a hypocrite for telling others to take them in!!

  3. Best be careful offending the ‘Pope’. He may send the inquisition to you, so as to teach you the error of your ways.

  4. Ah Italians !!!. The world took your poor uneducated lower classes when your country was an economic political mess. The US, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba and others received your overflow with little fuzz. Now you get some migrants from countries you invaded and disrupt (Libya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, etc) and you get your panties in a roll and decided to bring fascism back. At least the original Fascists removed the Cosa Nostra control from the economy, it does not seem that is in the current plans. Collect more tax monies from the fraudulent crooks and stop blaming the migrants for your self created woes.

    Incoming immigration is never easy and change is unsettling but instead of letting more people drown, I suggest you look for support in the EU to deal with the smugglers that are causing the influx

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