May Cyprus, from a divided island, become a workshop of brotherhood, said Pope Francis, criticizing the prevailing indifference to the suffering of all those who are forced to abandon their country on perilous journeys in pursuit of their dreams.
The Pontiff ended his historic trip to Cyprus with an ecumenical prayer with the migrants at the Parish Church of the Holy Cross in Nicosia.
Addressing the migrants, Pope Francis said they had made it to this island but wondered “how many of your brothers and sisters stayed halfway.”
“How many desperate people begin this journey in difficult and perilous conditions and fail to reach their destination? Can we talk about this sea that has become a great cemetery? Looking at you, I see the suffering of this journey, ”he said through an interpreter.
The Pontiff also criticized the indifference of people who get used to these tragedies happening around them. “This is a very serious disease without an antidote and we must fight against this habit in the face of these daily tragedies that are happening around us,” he added.
He also apologized as he stated the facts “but we cannot remain silent, we cannot look elsewhere in this culture of indifference”.
Turning to Cyprus, the Pope expressed the hope that “this island, marked by a painful division with the grace of God, will become a workshop of fraternity”.
Stating that due to its geographical position, Cyprus facilitates the arrival of migrants, the Pontiff noted that the number of people arriving on the island exceeds its capacity to provide support to migrants on the rise.
“The geographical position facilitates the arrival of people but things are not easy and we must understand the limits,” he added.
The Pope also listened during the event to the personal stories of migrants who arrived in Cyprus.