Alexa

Pope denounces Italy immigrant clashes

Pope denounces Italy immigrant clashes

Pope Benedict XVI denounced riots between immigrants and Italians in southern Italy, saying Sunday that migrants have rights, are to be respected, and are equally loved by God.
Benedict issued the admonition Sunday at the end of his traditional noon blessing, during which he also denounced attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt which left seven people dead.
"Let there never be violence in the name of God!" Benedict said.
Benedict dedicated the bulk of his comments to the situation in the in the southern Calabrian town of Rosarno, where hundreds of African migrant workers rampaged after two migrants were wounded in a shooting. At least three dozen people were injured in two days of clashes between the migrants, police and residents.
The pope said immigrants to Italy were looking for a better life in a country that needs them, yet they run the risk of exploitation because of their status. Many illegal immigrants to Italy work for a pittance and live in wretched conditions.
Benedict invited all to "look in the face of others and discover that there is a soul, a history, a life, a person who God loves as he loves me."
The violence has largely subsided, and many of the hundreds of frightened and angry migrants have either been bused out of the area, housed in shelters or left on their own via trains or cars.
The attacks have underscored the simmering tensions between immigrants and Italians, many of whom resent the foreigners yet rely on their labor to do the agricultural, domestic or factory work that many Italians refuse to do.
"Every migrant is a human being _ different because of provenance, culture and tradition _ but a person to be respected and having rights, particularly in work, where the temptation to exploit is easy," Benedict said.
Yet he also denounced the recourse to riot: "Violence must never, for anyone, be the way to resolve differences."
In the Egypt attack, gunmen sprayed a group of Coptic Christians leaving a local church after mass on Coptic Christmas Eve on Wednesday night. Six worshippers and a Muslim guard died, and nine people were wounded.
The shooting touched off two days of rioting in which 40 people were arrested. Three men have been detained.


Updated : 2021-04-19 05:32 GMT+08:00