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Who will weep for them?

29 August 2013

The Globalisation of Indifference
A post based on Pope Francis’s homily from the mass he celebrated on the Italian island of Lampedusa on 8th July 2013.
Who will weep for them?

The UN reports that so far this year 40 people have lost their lives off the cost of Lampedusa.  On Pope Francis’ first official visit outside Rome to the island, reports were coming in that another 31 people have drowned in the waters of the island in their quest for a better life.  Pope Francis described these deaths as a “thorn of suffering in his heart”.  But more than that, he spoke of this disease, the globalization of indifference, which has hardens all our hearts to the plight of these migrants, these our brothers and sisters.
“The migrants leave difficult situations in order to find a little serenity and peace.  They seek a better place for themselves and for their families.” 
To that end, for the chance of opportunities, which cannot be found in their own countries, they embark upon perilous journeys, paying traffickers vast sums of money and only counting on God to safely reach their destination.  They do not know if they will make it.  Many do not and those who do, instead of finding the understanding, the welcome and the solidarity which should characterise a global village in this age of globalization are instead met with indifference.  In our desire to preserve our own well-being and our little soap bubbles, we turn our backs and our hearts are not stirred within us as the dignity of our brothers and sisters is trampled upon.
The globalization of indifference has taken away from us our ability to weep even as God Himself weeps over these deaths and these migrants’ lives which are in limbo as they await a decision in the over-crowded detention centres in Lampedusa.
In his homily, Pope Francis directed his listeners to the two questions God asked of man after sin.  “Adam, where are you?”  “Cain, where is your brother?”

These two questions, rather than embedding us further into our attitude of indifference, should instead provoke our consciences and cause us to ask for forgiveness and weep: “weep over our indifference, weep over the cruelty in the world, the cruelty in ourselves, and even in those who anonymously make socio-economic decisions that open the way to the death of so many brothers and sisters and to the robbing of the dignity of so many of them.”

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310
uk@jrs.net

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