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October 3rd, 2013
04:06 PM ET

Pope calls Italian shipwreck a 'disgrace'

Rome (CNN)–A boat carrying as many as 500 people capsized and caught fire off the Italian island of Lampedusa, the nation's coast guard told CNN on Thursday.

The official death toll stands at 93 but that did not include an estimated 20 newly discovered bodies that remain in the water, the coast guard said.

At least 151 people had been rescued in the ongoing operation, the coast guard said.

Lampedusa, not far from Sicily and the closest Italian island to Africa, has become a destination for tens of thousands of refugees seeking to enter European Union countries. Deadly shipwrecks en route are common.

The latest boat to sink is thought to have been carrying up to 500 people. Those aboard include Eritreans, Somalis and Ghanaians, the coast guard said, and the boat is believed to have launched from Libya's coast.

Editor's Note: CNN Belief Blog Co-editor Eric Marrapodi was in Lampedusa last week, reporting on Muslim migration into the European Union.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Egypt • Islam • Libya • Pope Francis • Tunisia

soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Islmaicmsg

    Download Islamic book here : http://islamicmsg.org/index.php/kutub/eedarey-ki-kutub/215-aahadees-e-mutariza-aur-un-ka-hal

    December 2, 2013 at 5:26 am |
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    November 27, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  3. Practical Religion

    The Bible can be valuable if used correctly. Many applications.

    October 4, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

      - Isaac Asimov

      October 4, 2013 at 9:43 am |
      • prophet

        Lol

        October 4, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Practical Religion

      Yes, that is one. Another one is "door stop".

      It also makes a good paper weight.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      In a pinch, the rice paper used in most Bibles can substi/tute for Zig Zags.
      It's a pretty thick tome – useful for hollowing out the middle and hiding a flask or a handgun.
      Excellent for crushing roaches.
      Handy reference guide for keeping Demons at bay (Hint: demons hate the smell of burning fish guts).

      October 4, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Good for starting fires – literally.

      Not very good toilet paper but better than an Eatons catalog.

      October 4, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I find it useful for sorting the wheat from the chaff

      October 4, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        A threshing machine built from paper?

        October 4, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • OKfine

        If the chaff gets to escape the likes of you and the crap in the catechism it is far better off than the wheat, just saying.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:21 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        Wheat being the atheists.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Keith

      It makes a great door stop and those thin pages burn really well and are great for starting a barbecues. Apart from that it is USELESS.
      I have saved many poor fools by dumping every gideons bible in every hotel room I have ever stayed in in the garbage can.

      October 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  4. upwave

    The pope says –This tragedy is a disaster.

    Evolutionist says–It's survival of the fittest.

    The pope says - We pray for the loved ones that lost family members in this tragedy, let's ensure this does not happen again.

    Naturalist says–It's natural selection, nature decides who will survive and who will die, nothing more, nothing less.
    The Pope should do more for the people of the world, as a naturalist, I am also a fatalist but the Pope is not and he is responsible for fixing the problems of the world!

    October 4, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Tim

      Read about the work of CRS in the Horn of Africa.

      October 4, 2013 at 8:34 am |
      • OKfine

        If the CRS handed out condoms and birth control pills instead of bibles, catechisms and rosaries they would do a lot more to prevent poverty in Africa. Think about it.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:09 am |
      • OKfine

        If the CRS handed out con,doms and birth control pills instead of bibles, catechisms and rosaries they would do a lot more to prevent poverty in Africa. Think about it.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:11 am |
      • OKfine

        If the CRS handed out con d oms and birth control pills instead of bibles, catechisms and rosaries they would do a lot more to prevent poverty in Africa. Think about it.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:11 am |
      • OKfine

        If the CRS handed out prophylactics and birth control pills instead of bibles, catechisms and rosaries they would do a lot more to prevent poverty in Africa. Think about it.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:14 am |
      • OKfine

        test

        October 4, 2013 at 9:17 am |
        • OKfine

          That was strange my first post did not show up then I tried a few more times and they all appeared at once.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:21 am |
        • Practical Religion

          It has been buggy for a couple of weeks.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land."
        – Desmond Tutu

        October 4, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I do not understand your post. You don't seem to understand evolution / natural selection so your joke does not make sense.

      October 4, 2013 at 8:39 am |
      • upwave

        Didn't you blame God?

        October 4, 2013 at 8:43 am |
        • Apple Bush

          1, I am an Atheist.
          2. Your question to my statement doesn't make sense either. Getting your GED is worth the time.

          October 4, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • upwave

          Didn't you blame God?

          -hmm, no...I am an atheist.

          Ok, did you ask the question 'Where is your God now'?

          October 4, 2013 at 9:21 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Yes, I post as "Where is your God now" from time to time to make the point that God is not involved in our lives. Clearly.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • upwave

          Why would bring God into the equation when you are an atheist?

          A) You don't believe in Him
          B) As an atheist why bring Him up only in tragedies.
          C) Do you ask 'Where is your God now" when good things happen?

          October 4, 2013 at 9:36 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Admit it Apple, there is only one atheist who posts here and it's you just using a slew of names.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:58 am |
        • HotAirAce

          He's not me.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Yes Bill, I am every Atheist on the blog. Brilliant.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:17 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          upwave
          "B) As an atheist why bring Him up only in tragedies.
          C) Do you ask 'Where is your God now" when good things happen?"

          The answer to C) is no need to as the believers do it all the time, so the inverse is the answer to B) – believers don't blame their gods for not preventing the accident or for not saving the lives, only the good in this world even though they claim that their god created the universe and all in it.

          October 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • hold up that microphone;let's hear it from apple bush

        As an evolutionist or naturalist what are your thoughts on this tragedy?

        October 4, 2013 at 8:49 am |
        • Apple Bush

          I fail to see what this tragedy has to do with evolution or natural selection.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:13 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Also, please learn what a "naturalist" is. I am not one.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:15 am |
        • Practical Religion

          The Bible can be valuable if used correctly.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:22 am |
        • hold up that microphone;let's hear it from apple bush

          that was a perfect non-answer, our arms turned purple holding up that mic, all for naught! Waste of time!

          October 4, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • Apple Bush

          I would be more than happy to answer your questions if your questions made sense. You are clearly ignorant. I can't talk to you.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • turn off that microphone;let's not hear it from apple bush

          We can hear you no more!

          October 4, 2013 at 9:39 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Thank you.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:40 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Aside from discounting your opponent, and whatever you describe yourself under whichever name, what are your thoughts on this event?

          October 4, 2013 at 10:00 am |
        • OKfine

          Well BD you are certainly the only papal RCC apologist posting on this blog, shame on you.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • Apple Bush

          My thoughts on this event is that it is horrific. My heart goes out to the families.

          Note: I still do not understand upwaves' post. He/she not understand evolution / natural selection and is applying the terms incorrectly.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Bill, I told you the other day what names I use so you know who I am don't you? If anything you have it backwards, Atheists outnumber believers on this blog 10-1 at least I seems like. YOU are one of the few. If my names bother you, we can go over it again. I am completely transparent, all you have to do is ask.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • Keith

          Firstly let me say that this is a tragedy of horrific proportions my heart goes out to everyone who was involved.
          However it is a perfect example of natural selection, those who cannot see just how dangerous these ridiculous events are are eliminated. Leaving those who are careful and do not risk their lives needlessly to live and reproduce.
          As for the creationists, where was your god when these people REALLY NEEDED HIM, where was he?

          October 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The pope says –This tragedy is a disaster.

      Secularist says– This tragedy is a disaster.

      The pope says – We pray for the loved ones that lost family members in this tragedy, let's ensure this does not happen again.

      Naturalist says – We can honour the memory of the deceased by determining the root cause of this tragedy. Through careful study we can figure out the best way to ensure this doesn't happen again. In this way, the grieving families may take some small comfort in knowing that the loss of their loved ones has at least had a positive impact.

      Which of these two approaches do you think is better?
      Talking to God or finding tangible solutions?

      October 4, 2013 at 8:56 am |
      • hold up that microphone;let's hear it from the 'naturalist'

        The naturalist takes the pope's message and adds to it giving it their own twist. Bottom line, the naturalist is all talk and no work.

        The pope is left to deal with the task of carrying out the "work of compassion" amongst the under privileged people of Africa.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:09 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I was a bit verbose there – here's a shorter version.

          Pope: Let us pray.
          Naturalist: Let us actually do something about it.

          As for "spreading compassion" in poor parts of Africa – what do you think has had the greatest positive impact for those people.
          1) The LifeStraw – a device that filters up1000 litres of water andremoves 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of parasites. Developed in the irreligious country of Switzerland.
          2) Distribution of condoms and educational campaings for how to use them in countries where HIV infection rates are 10% or higher.
          3) Development and administration of vaccines against common, deadly diseases by the secular Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They've even developed vaccines that do not require specialized transportation (like refrigerated trucks) or delivery vehicles (like needles).
          4) The distribution of Bibles by missionaries.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • OKfine

      test

      October 4, 2013 at 9:18 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.