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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. Dyslexic doG

    NEWSFLASH: Pope calls god a 'disgrace' because he is responsible for Italian shipwreck.

    October 4, 2013 at 7:39 am |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    everything is in god's plan ...

    what a crock!

    October 4, 2013 at 7:38 am |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    http://youtu.be/_paPL5VyU9I

    October 4, 2013 at 7:20 am |
  4. Colin

    Well, on his view of the World, God allowed this to happen, as it is all part of his "grand plan." This is a basic contradiction in the Christian view of the Universe. If everything is a part of God's plan, if God is responsible for the occasional miracle by, for example, saving the survivors of this sinking, then one must accept that he is also responsible for its sinking. In this view, there can be no such things as tragedies (or happy, lucky occasions for that matter) as everything is part of a God -run Universe.

    Everything just "is".

    But, the standard response is to split any given set of facts into two columns. The "good events," such as certain survivors being rescued, the sick eventually getting better etc. are assigned to God's grace, but the bad subset of the facts, such as the fire that caused this, the actual sinking of the ship and the many dead are simply assigned to the exigencies of life.

    As such, there is no event in history that cannot be split in two in this manner, with the positive column declared a "miracle" or as "prayers being answered." A CEO might as well ignore the liability side of his balance sheet and declare it a "miracle" that his company has just doubled in value.

    October 4, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • o maggie

      he sends the rain on the just and the unjust

      October 4, 2013 at 7:06 am |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    Am I allowed to ask why all these people leave Africa?

    European colonial powers have sucked Africa for long period of time. First last century the last colonies became independent. Generally the colonial powers did not help their former colonies to develop but left them alone in their poverty. This is one reason why they are still so poor today, and people escape.

    The African country Congo was a former colony of Belgium. The Catholic Belgians did extremly suppress the people of Congo, and were supported by the Catholic Church which told the people that they would be stupid children which should acctept the "care" of Belgium. Congolesians were allowed to aquire only very low graduations.

    The pope should confess the sins of the RCC before he pretends to pity the African boat people.

    http://confessingchurch.worpdress.com

    May God revive the true Christian Church, and humble the pope completely.

    October 4, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • Reality # 2

      And Luther would not be proud of RB and his ramblings.

      October 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  6. saggyroy

    He should have done something about it, like send the Vatican Navy.

    October 4, 2013 at 6:28 am |
  7. tallulah13

    I don't understand why this is worthy of an article. One would hope that it would be a given.

    October 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      One would, wouldn't one, wouldn't you agree?

      October 4, 2013 at 3:24 am |
  8. Flibberty Gibbert

    Wow, what insight from the Pope. I am so glad there is a Pope with such a fine grasp of the obvious to share that obvious with us.

    October 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      He's glad to see u too

      October 4, 2013 at 3:25 am |
  9. Where is your God now?

    A boat carrying as many as 500 people capsized and caught fire off the Italian island of Lampedusa 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.

    October 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      Trenton

      October 4, 2013 at 3:22 am |
  10. Napa

    Who are these refugees? Why are they fleeing Africa?

    October 3, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Euro T

      Asylum seekers who flee war-torn and poverty-stricken countries(Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria in the hope of forging new lives in Europe.

      It's poignant to see the plight of those people.

      October 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
      • Sara

        It's a terrible tragedy, but to call it a disgrace is to pretend no one has tried to help, which is very much not true. Decades of effort have improved quality of life in some countries while failing in others. To call it a disgrace is to diminish the very real efforts of millions and to oversimplify the difficulty of finding a solution.

        October 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "It's a terrible tragedy, but to call it a disgrace is to pretend no one has tried to help, which is very much not true"

          you're reading into it. it IS a tragedy, a disgrace. the way companies/businesses go to these poor countries, use up all the natural resources and economically enslave the people therein. yes, there are a lot of people trying to help - but it pales in comparison to the negative efforts allowed to go on because of big business. european countries drew up the borders of africa, traded territories like they were playing monopoly. then they r.aped the land and it's inhabitants. western powers do much to keep all the money. yes, people do try to help - but they need and deserve more help. european countries screwed it all up - they could play a bigger role in straightening it all out. recognizing it is a tragedy doesn't diminish what people have done to help.

          October 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • doobzz

          As usual, no solution was offered, not one idea, just that we need to "band together to stop this". Band together how? Mind meld? Useless drivel. More "fast and pray" crap.

          October 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
        • Sara

          Booty, you assume the same countries that created the problematic borders can meanifully help. Most interventions have, however, been miserable failures leading to even more corruption. What else would you have these countries do? You say "more". More what?

          October 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          numerous things could be done. you rail for saying "band together". debt relief. supporting worker rights. supporting women's rights. not allowing companies to make slaves out of foreign workers and then bring their products here. not giving tax breaks to companies that do things like this or not allowing the import of their products. not selling arms to the political faction of our choosing, thereby choosing the gov't or at least direction of the gov't. we dip our fingers into pies that interest us financially. the list goes on. next time, try to answer your own question instead of railing someone for not giving enough detail.

          October 4, 2013 at 3:18 am |
        • Bootyfunk

          sara wrote:
          "Booty, you assume the same countries that created the problematic borders can meanifully help."
          +++ sounds more like you assume they can't. many of the great european powers (germany, england, france) could certainly help, so your assumption seems utterly wrong.

          "Most interventions have, however, been miserable failures leading to even more corruption."
          +++ most? completely untrue.

          October 4, 2013 at 3:21 am |
        • sam stone

          Yes. U tell em booty, my hero!

          October 4, 2013 at 3:26 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Booty
          Europeans screwed it up?
          Since the Second World War, it's been the USA doing the overwhelming majority of exploitation.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  11. niknak

    Why is it a disgrace?
    I fully understand why those people did what they did.
    They went for broke as staying in their situation in their country meant a slow death due to starvation.

    What is a complete disgrace is people who still believe in imaginary creatures.

    Phuck your god and all who still need a security blanket to get thru life.

    October 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • prophet

      Point being agreed, so I fully agree man! Duh dodo is an idiot!

      October 4, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  12. Sara

    The Catholic church needs to take responsibility for years of fighting against global and national support for birth control that could have helped prevent the environmental and economic catastrophes in which they now live. Without some very real recommendations on how to fix these overwhelming problems, calling such an incident a disgrace is just an effort to spread blame. This is not an easy issue, and billions have been spent already trying to improve conditions in these countries. Either make a recommendation or stay out of the debate.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  13. taca

    INFORMATION ROB BY STAELITES.

    TO YOUR CELULAR.

    AND YOUR NEURONES WITH NANOTECHNOLOGY.

    DO YOU BELIVE THAT?.

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    INFORMATION ROB BY STAELITES.

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    October 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  14. wert34254

    INFORMATION ROB BY STAELITES.

    TO YOUR CELULAR.

    AND YOUR NEURONES WITH NANOTECHNOLOGY.

    DO YOU BELIVE THAT?.

    QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQpgiorg.blog.comQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

    October 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Shadowflash1522

      "Stae-Lites?" Is that like some eternal lightbulb that never burns out?

      October 4, 2013 at 10:54 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I thought it was those conical things that hang from cave ceilings...

        October 4, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  15. HotAirAce

    The loss of life should never be trivialized but this pales in comparison to the RCC's disgrace of allowing priestly pedophilia and covering up criminal behavior. I'll begin to care what this delusional has to say when he turns over everything they have about priestly pedophilia and subsequent cover ups to the relevant authorities. Until then, he's just another con man.

    October 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Great example of trivializing the loss of life!

      October 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Not trivialized, just put in perspective with the crimes of the RCC and the duplicity of at least the last three Pope-A-Dopes.

        October 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
  16. soundoff (5 Responses)

    Lies. there is only 3 comments!

    October 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  17. Brother Maynard

    This is a because of the Popes new agenda.
    It is clear that the pope is not in favor with god and not doing gods will.
    Repent Francis repent !!

    October 3, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  18. doobzz

    Well, now we can all relax. The pope weighed in on this and said it's sad and bad and we should band together to stop it.

    October 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Win

      CNN thinks we live in a theocracy, apparently.

      October 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Sara

      Yep, that ought to solve a problem that billions of dollars and euros and years of military "peace-keeping" has not.

      October 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
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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.