Vatican City, Dec 5, 2019 / 05:00 am
Pope Francis decried the mistreatment of migrants and said that he is shocked by anti-immigration narratives within Europe during a conversation with Jesuits in Thailand published Thursday.
"I must admit that I am shocked by some of the narratives I hear in Europe about borders. Populism is gaining strength," Pope Francis said in Thailand according to the Jesuit-run journal La Civilita Cattolica transcript published online Dec. 5.
"The Mediterranean has been turned into a cemetery. The notorious cruelty of some detention centers in Libya touches my heart … In other parts there are walls that even separate children from parents," the pope is reported to have said in a meeting on Nov. 22.
The pope said that migration issues are compounded by a "defensive mindset" that creates a state of fear and makes people believe that "you can only defend yourself by strengthening borders."