Pope Francis calls neglect of migrants the ‘shipwreck of civilisation’ as he returns to camp on Lesbos five years on from his first visit

  • Pope Francis visited the Greek Island of Lesbos where 2200 asylum seekers live.
  • Pope Francis has called the neglecting migrants the’shipwreck civilisation’
  • His criticism of Europe’s inaction was that the nations were “torn apart by nationalist selfishness”.
  • He said that the Mediterranean is becoming a’sad cemetery without any tombstones’

Pope Francis has called the neglect of migrants the ‘shipwreck of civilisation’ as he Today we returned to Lesbos, the island under siege.

In 2016, the pope visited Lesbos. He has been a long-standing advocate for migrants. 

He visited the country just a few days after his stinging reproach to European nations, who he claimed were “torn” by nationalist selfishness.

The pope asserted that there were people in Europe who treat the issue as an irrelevant matter. He spent about two hours at Lesbos Mavrovouni, where more than 2,200 asylum seekers are housed.

He was greeted by dozens upon dozens of relatives and child asylum seekers, and he decided to hug a Mustafa.

Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos today

Pope Francis gives a speech today during a meeting of refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre, (RIC), in Mytilene, on the island Lesbos

Thousands of migrants are trapped in desperate circumstances as authorities try to process them on Lesbos

Authorities try to deport thousands of migrants from Lesbos but they are trapped in terrible circumstances.

Pope Francis warned that the Mediterranean 'is becoming a grim cemetery without tombstones' and that 'after all this time, we see that little in the world has changed with regard to the issue of migration'

Pope Francis warned the Mediterranean would soon be a’sinful cemetery without gravestones’, and said “After all this time we see that very little has changed in relation to the problem of migration”.

The camp is one of the biggest migration flashpoints in Europe, filled with refugees trying to flee to western Europe

This camp, which is home to many refugees fleeing to Europe’s west coast, is considered one of Europe’s most important migration hotspots.

Francis said to one group, through an interpreter: “I am trying help you,” Later, people gathered under a tent and sang songs and psalms for the pontiff.

Pope Francis said that the Mediterranean was becoming “a graveyard without tombstones” and that “after all these years, we can see that very little has changed in regard to migration.”

He suggested that root causes should be dealt with, and not those who are poor or suffer from the consequences.

Recent months have seen the European Union locked in dispute with Belarus about an influx migrants who had been travelling through former Soviet states to seek entry into Poland, Lithuania, or Latvia.

France and Britain have been arguing over increasing numbers of migrants crossing the Channel to the UK. This is in response to the Nov 24 mass drowning that claimed 27 lives.

Rosette Leo from Congo, an asylum seeker, said that “His visit was a blessing.”

Menal Albilal (a Syrian mother and her two-month old baby) said that refugees need more than words.

She added that “The conditions aren’t good for babies here.”

‘The Greek government should think about us, we’ve been here for two years without work or education,’ said François Woumfo, from Cameroon. 

The Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene: The pope has pleaded for better treatment of refugees as attitudes towards migrants harden across Europe

The Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene: The pope has pleaded for better treatment of refugees as attitudes towards migrants harden across Europe

Pope Francis returned to the island of Lesbos today, the migration flashpoint he first visited in 2016

Pope Francis has returned today to Lesbos, where he visited the first migration point in 2016,

Menal Albilal, a Syrian mother with a two-month-old child, said the conditions in the camp at Mytilene 'are not good for a baby'

Menal Albilal from Syria, mother of a child aged two months, stated that the conditions at Mytilene camp ‘aren’t good for babies’

After the collapse of the Moria camp, Europe’s biggest such camp at that time, the temporary Mavrovouni tent camping was quickly erected.

The incident was attributed to a group Afghan youths by the Greek authorities. Security measures were significantly increased for Sunday’s visit of the Pontiff.

Lesbos’s pope visit was less than his previous one as he will host a mass there for around 2,500 people in the Megaron Athens Concert Hall late in the day.

Authorities in Cyprus announced that 50 migrants would be moved to Italy by Francis, who visited the country before visiting Greece.

During his 2016 last visit to Lesbos, he brought 12 Syrian refugees along.