Pope Francis would like to meet with migrants during his short visit to Malta on May 31st.
The Archdiocese of Malta took to a pastoral letter to address the Pope’s upcoming trip to Malta in which it was stated that he would ‘like to meet migrants during his visit among us, just as he did in other places he visited in the Mediterranean.’
Pope Francis addressed Malta’s current migrant issue during a meditation held last January where he drew parallels between the passage of St Paul to Malta and the passengers of today.
“Today, the sea that shipwrecked Paul and his companions is once again a place of danger to the lives of other passengers. All over the world, men and women migrants face risky voyages to flee from violence, to flee from war, to flee from poverty. Just like Paul and his companions, they experience indifference, the hostility of the desert, rivers, seas… They are often not allowed to disembark at ports. But unfortunately, sometimes they are also met with far worse hostility from mankind. They are exploited by criminal traffickers: today! They are treated like numbers and like a threat by some government leaders: today! Sometimes the lack of hospitality drives them back like a wave, to the poverty or the very dangers they had fled,” he said.
Last month, a reported 407 migrants, including women and children, were rescued from Malta’s SAR zone within the space of 72 hours.
Malta’s emergency refugee services are already stretched as is, to the point that last month a number of migrant riots were organised amidst degrading conditions that the migrants were forced to live in once they arrive on the island.