(ANS - Sliema) - "For several days now, 49 people saved in the Mediterranean Sea have been on board two NGO ships, looking for a safe haven to land. I address a heartfelt appeal to the European leaders to demonstrate their solidarity with these people." With these words Pope Francis in the Angelus on Sunday 6 January underscored the need to be welcoming towards migrants. The Salesians of Malta, as much as they can, are playing their part.
Since the week before Christmas, 49 migrants have been stranded on two rescue ships owned by NGOs operating in the central Mediterranean. The ships are unable to berth in any port because of the different interpretation that EU governments give to the Law of the Sea on helping migrants in distress and for the political diffidences within the EU.
Last Friday, January 4, two boats sailed from Malta to replenish supplies to the two ships carrying migrants and to ferry several German MPs, members of the European Parliament, a church representative and a fresh crew.
Unable to help the migrants directly, the Salesians in Malta, however, offered to host the 16 exhausted mostly German crew members, sailors who had spent almost four weeks on sea rescue missions.
"Our prayers accompany those still on board as we ask for humanitarian action in favor of those who risked all to save their lives and families by escaping from their home countries and Libya," said the Salesians of Malta.