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A disgrace that cannot be repeated

· On the eve of his visit to Assisi, Pope Francis expresses his grief for the victims of the tragic shipwreck on the shores of Lampedusa ·

To the participants in a meeting to commemorate of “Pacem in Terris” he recalls that justice and solidarity are ways of peace

“It is a disgrace”. For Pope Francis there are no other words to describe the latest episode in a long line of tragedies at sea. Early this morning, Thursday, 3 October, on the shores of Lampedusa many immigrants lost their lives. The Pontiff thus expressed his pain and deep indignation for the continual repetition of these tragedies and for the indifference of the international community.

“Let us pray to God together”, he said in the Clementine Hall this morning, speaking to the participants in a meeting commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Encyclical Pacem in Terris , organized by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, “for those who lost their lives: men, women, children, for their relatives and for all refugees”.

After he expressed his pain, the Pope made an appeal: “Let us join our forces together so that similar tragedies are not repeated! Only through the concerted collaboration of everyone can we help to prevent them”. It was a call for solidarity and justice, which the Holy Father noted just before in his address, pointing to the path for building peace between all men. In looking at John XXIII's Encyclical, Pope Francis emphasized the foundation of building peace: “The divine origin of man, of society and of authority itself which calls individuals, families, various social groups and States to live out relations of justice and solidarity”.

Justice and solidarity, words that, according to the Holy Father, must be applied to our day, working above all to go beyond “selfish, individualistic, and group oriented acts” and being mindful of “the dignity of every human being”. This was a theme particularly dear to John XXIII, who included among the fundamental rights in the Encyclical was universal access to essential goods for survival with a spirit of communion and universal brotherhood with which Pope Francis is going to Assisi tomorrow, Friday, 4 October.

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Oct. 19, 2019

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