Pope Francis’ Easter speeches shame world for growing ‘accustomed to images of suffering’
Leading Roman Catholics into Easter, Pope Francis has highlighted the plight of immigrants, the poor, women and children, the sick and suffering, who bear the “grievous burden of injustice and brutality.”
In his homily at the Easter Vigil mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, Francis recalled the Biblical account of Mary and Mary Magdalene as they visited Jesus’ tomb following his crucifixion. The women’s anguish is often reflected in other people’s faces these days, he said.
“We can see in the faces of those women in any number of other faces: the faces of mothers and grandmothers, of children and young people who bear the grievous burden of injustice and brutality. In their faces, we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking,” the pontiff said, as cited by La Stampa.
“We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants, deprived of country, house and family,” Francis concluded.
On Good Friday, Francis complained that people had grown accustomed to horrific images of bombed cities and drowning migrants. On the day he spoke, over 2,000 migrants hoping to reach Europe were pulled from the Mediterranean.
One teen was found dead in a rubber boat, the charity organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said.
“The sea continues to be a graveyard,” MSF tweeted.
More than 650 have died or are unaccounted for after trying to cross the sea this year, according to Reuters.
“Shame for all the images of devastation, destruction and shipwrecks which have become ordinary in our lives,” Francis said, as cited by AFP.
“Shame for all the scenes of devastation, destruction and drownings that have become ordinary in our lives,” he added.
The shame, according to Francis, should be felt over “the daily spilling of the innocent blood of women, of children, of immigrants,” but also for the fate of those who lose their life because of their race or religion.
At the end of April, Francis is heading to Egypt, which has seen a spate of attacks by Islamists on minority Coptic Christians. At least 44 people, mainly Coptic Christians, were killed when twin bomb blasts struck two Coptic churches in northern Egypt last Sunday. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the bombings.
Francis expressed the hope “that good will triumph despite its apparent defeat” at some point.