Lampedusa sounds today like a motto. A motto - key to an enormous phenomenon of immigration, especially from Africa. For, every year there is a growing number of people who want to get to freedom, which is associated with the European Union, and people who want to improve their poor existence, get work and make life conditions better. But every year, during an illegal journey through the Mediterranean Sea, thousands of people die, captured by sea waves. It seems that the man of Europe, who is well-off, closed in his egoistic consumption, living in a full comfort, very rich, does not understand this problem, does not try to feel the fate of his brother, who is suffering.

Therefore, pope Francis, who wants the modest Church for the poor, could not notice Lampedusa. He went there in order to pray for those who had died, but also for all immigrants, in order to show the contemporary Europe - prime ministers and presidents, ministers and parliamentarians - that they cannot be indifferent to the fate of people who are abused, neglected and doomed to death. But in Europe there are Christians!

The penitential liturgy celebrated at an altar built from refugees' boats had a symbolic expression, as well as a wreath of white and yellow flowers thrown into the sea as a tribute paid to victims…

The pope notes: 'Many of us, including me, are confused, we do not pay attention to the world, in which we live, we do not care about what God created for everybody, and we are not even able to take care of one another. And when this confusion takes on the worldly form, there is a tragedy which we witnessed'.

Here the Holy Father quotes a question which reappears through his whole speech, and which is a question of God who cares about the man despite his being far away from God: 'Adam, where are you?' (see the Genesis 3.9). He adds a similar question to it, addressed to the man responsible for the fate of his neighbor: 'Cain, where is your brother, Abel?'

These questions emphasize the fact that God is not indifferent to the fate of the man and that we, who think much more than ever,' lost the sense of brotherly responsibility' and we think that 'it is not our duty' - we are responsible for these tragedies. Undoubtedly, the immensity of poverty flooding Argentina and whole Latin America causes a situation in which a poor man, in the extreme despair and poverty is the subject of the greatest concern of pope Francis. This pope knows very well what the Church of the poor for the poor is. This is the Church whose biggest value if the good of another man.

Today, when poverty somehow penetrates humankind, when there are more and more poor people, Pope appeals to ask Lord for a grace of crying over the globalization of indifference and cruelty, which is all over the world and among those who make social-political decisions, opening a road to similar tragedies. Do we have any knowledge about human poverty? Aren't we harassed by pangs of conscience? There is no equality or justice among people. But, are there stronger voices in defence of the poorest ones? Our sense of the common welfare became weaker. The Catholic social teaching says that there is 'bona commune' - common wealth. But it seems to many people that if they earn money, the money is property of only theirs. We must know that possessed material goods in some situations are the common property and those who do not have it, have a right to take advantage of it - maybe because they are brothers in need. How different would social life look like in Poland today, if our brothers who have real fortunes, could share them with others. How many people could be saved, how many clever students could develop their talents, there would not be so many tragedies and disappointed hopes. It is only necessary to be a believer of Christ, who is aware that Christianity is related to life radicalism. If we tell Christ: Yes, I believe in You, I believe that you are coming to me in the person of my poorest brother - then I give a testimony with my life to Christ and my brother.

Words of the Holy Father Francis on Lampedusa embarrass whole Europe, embarrass Christians greedy for comfort, who often want to participate in elections not in order to prevent poverty, but in order to enlarge their welfare and of some few people. It is time for us to think over ourselves and look at ourselves through God's eyes.


"Niedziela" 29/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: